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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Tricounty DFA: Info on Roberts
Hello Everyone;

Sorry for this second update of the day -- but I thought you all would like to see this info on John Roberts, Bush's new appointee to the Supreme Court. These pieces are from Democratic and there is a lot to mull on. He is quite conservative, indeed. Stay tuned, I guess!


John Roberts a dissenter on the Cheney Energy Task Force Case

In re: Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 18831 (D.C. Cir. 2003), cert. granted, 2003 U.S. LEXIS 9205 (2003): secrecy of Vice President Cheney's energy task force

Judge Roberts was one of the dissenters in the court's 5-3 denial of a petition for rehearing en banc (with one judge not participating) filed by the Bush Administration in its continuing efforts to avoid releasing records pertaining to Vice President Cheney's energy task force. This ruling came in litigation brought by Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club charging that the Vice President's task force had violated federal law by not making its records public. The court's ruling marked "the fourth time a judicial panel has rebuffed efforts to keep the information from the public." Carol D. Leonnig, "Energy Task Force Appeal Refused," Washington Post (Sept. 12, 2003). At the Administration's urging, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the case; a decision is expected by the end of June 2004.

Roberts wrote in 1991 "Roe v wade...should be overruled."

"When Roberts was nominated for the D.C. Circuit in 2003, Clinton's former solicitor general, Seth Waxman, called Roberts an "exceptionally well-qualified appellate advocate."

He put in his time advising the Bush legal team in Florida during the battle over the 2000 presidential election and has often argued conservative positions before the court -- but they can be attributed to clients, not necessarily to him.

That includes a brief he wrote for President George H.W. Bush's administration in a 1991 abortion case, in which he observed that "we continue to believe that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

Roberts won the case -- Rust v. Sullivan -- in which the Supreme Court agreed with the administration that the government could require doctors and clinics receiving federal funds to avoid talking to patients about abortion."

Roberts background

Posted by mzteris

Added to homepage Tue Jul 19th 2005, 08:30 PM ET

...record as a lawyer for the Reagan and first Bush administrations and in private practice is down-the-line conservative on key contested fronts, including abortion, separation of church and state, and environmental protection.

For Bush I, successfully helped argue that doctors and clinics receiving federal funds may not talk to patients about abortion. (Rust v. Sullivan, 1991)

Separation of Church and State
For Bush I, co-authored a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that public high-school graduation programs could include religious ceremonies. The Supreme Court disagreed by a vote of 5-4. (Lee v. Weisman, 1992)

Civil Rights and Liberties
For a unanimous panel, denied the weak civil rights claims of a 12-year-old girl who was arrested and handcuffed in a Washington, D.C., Metro station for eating a French fry. Roberts noted that "no one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation" and that the Metro authority had changed the policy that led to her arrest. (Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 2004).

In private practice, wrote a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that Congress had failed to justify a Department of Transportation affirmative action program. (Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, 2001).

For Reagan, opposed a congressional effort—in the wake of the 1980 Supreme Court decision Mobile v. Bolden—to make it easier for minorities to successfully argue that their votes had been diluted under the Voting Rights Act.

Environmental Protection and Property Rights
Voted for rehearing in a case about whether a developer had to take down a fence so that the arroyo toad could move freely through its habitat. Roberts argued that the panel was wrong to rule against the developer because the regulations on behalf of the toad, promulgated under the Endangered Species Act, overstepped the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce. At the end of his opinion, Roberts suggested that rehearing would allow the court to "consider alternative grounds" for protecting the toad that are "more consistent with Supreme Court precedent." (Rancho Viejo v. Nortion, 2003)

For Bush I, argued that environmental groups concerned about mining on public lands had not proved enough about the impact of the government's actions to give them standing to sue. The Supreme Court adopted this argument. (Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, 1990)

Criminal Law
Joined a unanimous opinion ruling that a police officer who searched the trunk of a car without saying that he was looking for evidence of a crime (the standard for constitutionality) still conducted the search legally, because there was a reasonable basis to think contraband was in the trunk, regardless of whether the officer was thinking in those terms. (U.S. v. Brown, 2004)

Habeas Corpus
Joined a unanimous opinion denying the claim of a prisoner who argued that by tightening parole rules in the middle of his sentence, the government subjected him to an unconstitutional after-the-fact punishment. The panel reversed its decision after a Supreme Court ruling directly contradicted it. (Fletcher v. District of Columbia, 2004)

Judicial Philosophy
Concurring in a decision allowing President Bush to halt suits by Americans against Iraq as the country rebuilds, Roberts called for deference to the executive and for a literal reading of the relevant statute. (Acree v. Republic of Iraq, 2004)

In an article written as a law student, argued that the phrase "just compensation" in the Fifth Amendment, which limits the government in the taking of private property, should be "informed by changing norms of justice." This sounds like a nod to liberal constitutional theory, but Rogers' alternative interpretation was more protective of property interests than Supreme Court law at the time.

Also check out this great link (thanks Drew!) on "Rove/Plamegate."

Rove/Plame Scandal Leads To Greater White House Horrors?
July 19, 2005 · At long last, Plamegate - the scandal surrounding the naming of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson by two "senior administration officials" - has exploded out of the D.C. beltway to become a major national news story. By Bernard Weiner

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