News Release

The Roberts Nomination: Substance and Context

MARJORIE COHN
Cohn is professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and author of Payback Time? She said today: “George W. Bush is paying back his right-wing religious and corporate backers by nominating a conservative who served in the Reagan and George Bush I administrations. As Deputy Solicitor General, John G. Roberts wrote in an amicus brief, ‘We continue to believe that Roe [v. Wade] was wrongly decided and should be overruled.’ During his brief tenure on the Court of Appeals, Judge Roberts ruled against civil liberties, environmental protection, and criminal justice, and voted to keep Cheney’s energy task force records secret. The Senate must thoroughly interrogate him to determine whether he has an ideological agenda.”
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THOM HARTMANN
Hartmann wrote the recent piece “Supreme Court — Media Ignore Possible ‘Fascist’ Play” and the book Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights.

He said today: “With Judge Roberts, Bush got a three-fer — Roberts is backed by big business and anti-abortion-rights activists. And the ‘neo-cons’ love him, as he just ruled in their favor in the Hamden v. Rumsfeld case — he supports their authoritarian vision, where civil liberties are curtailed and the U.S. is increasingly militaristic around the world….

“Perhaps even more important, the timing of this announcement headed off a ‘John Dean moment’ for the Bush administration — when an impeachable crime reaches all the way to the president. Shortly before Bush named Roberts, the AP reported that a ‘classified memo [about Wilson and his wife] was sent to Air Force One just after former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson went public with his assertions that the Bush administration overstated the evidence that Iraq was interested in obtaining uranium from Niger for nuclear weapons.'”

Hartmann noted that “Bush was on Air Force One when that memo arrived, before Rove and Libby began calling up reporters to trash Joe Wilson.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167