Skip to comments.Roberts helped gay-rights activists win landmark ruling
Posted on 08/04/2005 3:51:18 AM PDT by joeu
WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for a coalition of gay-rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people against discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
That should bring Ted Kennedy right on board.
"Shannen Coffin, a Catholic friend of Roberts and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, predicted Roberts would separate personal philosophy from legal philosophy. Being Catholic, I dont think, affects him any more than if hes Hindu."
Ann Coulter may be right on this guy.
We are scr-wed once again BUMP!!
This is very disturbing news concerning a guy that is supposed to be a 'conservative'. Here we go again....
[Little Wharvey Gal voice] He's a Souter!
This should make the whinning libs all run up to Roberts and kiss and hug him......
So calm down and BREATHE!!!!
He is not a Souter..show me one of his rulings that make you think that.
Looks to me that Roberts took the side of people who overturned the will of the people in a"statewide referendum". Sexual orientation is not a protected class of people except by judicial fiat.
U.S. Supreme Court
ROMER v. EVANS, ___ U.S. ___ (1996)
ROY ROMER, GOVERNOR OF COLORADO, ET AL. PETITIONERS v. RICHARD G. EVANS
Argued October 10, 1995
Decided May 20, 1996
After various Colorado municipalities passed ordinances banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, health and welfare services, and other transactions and activities, Colorado voters adopted by statewide referendum "Amendment 2" to the State Constitution, which precludes all legislative, executive, or judicial action at any level of state or local government designed to protect the status of persons based on their "homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships." Respondents, who include aggrieved homosexuals and municipalities, commenced this litigation in state court against petitioner state parties to declare Amendment 2 invalid and enjoin its enforcement. "
She is not right about this guy....just because he isn't a flamethrower doesn't mean he isn't qualified to sit on SCOTUS.
He may be qualified to sit on SCOTUS but so were Ginsberg and Souter.
I'm still undecided on this guy, perhaps you could tell me what he's done that makes you his advocate here.
He has the full backing of the President....that is good enough for me.
"Many communities designate their properties as "single-family" residences - which prohibits such a living arrangement (along with others)."
the above is OK with me..I am just saying why not use that law and apply it equally to all..seems it would restrict all who did not rent as a single family, a law applied to all is OK with me. we do not disagree..
Have you read the dozen or so other articles from his Reagan era work where he opposed bussing, Affirm. Action, Roe v Wade, or his later work where he opposed and ruled against the EPA, or where he took a restrictive view of the Commerce Clause, or his recent rulings where he upheld military tribunals for terrorists?
But Dog - why would a lawyer do pro-bono work for a group they should diametrically oppose? I mean, it's one thing to be on the sidelines and say "yeah, discrimination based on sexual orientation is wrong," but it's another thing to devote your time and energy pro-bono. Lawyers aren't exactly sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
The only hope is that he's refined his views over the past ten years and is more pro-family than this.
Souter and Kennedy had full-backing, too. Blind loyalty to the presidency has kept the culture of death vibrant. See "Arlen Specter outrage dissipates in afterglow of election victory."
There are lots of liberal judges "qualified" to sit on SCOTUS. That's a pretty low bar to set given the historical opportunity to undo the abuses of the activist court.
The issue is whether Judge Roberts is a strict constructionist or not. The cited case doesn't tell us anything about that, one way or the other.
The confirmation hearings should tell us what we need to know, particularly when Senator Coburn is questioning. I would pay attention to that, rather than anything coming out in the media before then.
umm come on. don't believe everything you read, especially when it so provocatively spun.
So far we've been doing nothing but trying to read dry tea leaves and look at chicken entrails to determine what this individual will do if he's confirmed. Now we have a single solid piece of evidence, AND IT'S BAD. That an attorney takes a case for a paying client and argues it says little or nothing about whether the attorney agrees with the client's position--a Democrat plumber can just as well fix a Republican's toilet without becoming a Republican.
When its pro bono, it's very different. The attorney, Roberts in this case, is giving his time. When that time and skill are given to an ideological cause, as he did here, the only reasonable conclusion is he supports that cause. What's even more disturbing is that this case overturned a popular referendum, meaning that, contrary to some of the VERY SMALL indications he's given to the contrary, he could easily be another Souter or Stevens.
This also raises a serious issue about his integrity. The Senate questionnaire he received called on him to list all pro bono cases he'd been involved in. He failed to list this one. Those who believe in judicial tooth faeries can believe he did this unintentionally.
In short, we now have a Republican nominated candidate for the Supreme Court whose greatest judicial success was acting as a pro bono stealth lawyer for homosexual activists and winning an activist decision that overturned a popular referendum. Then, when asked about his work on pro bono cases, he lied to the Senate by not disclosing this work. As far as I'm concerned, this disqualifies him for the seat, both ideologically and ethically.
If the referendum in question didn't deny the right of homosexuals to protection under the law as persons and as citizens (and I don't see how it could) than it only defined homosexuality as a distinction that wasn't accorded protection under the constitution of Colorado. This SCOTUS ruling placed homosesxuality in the same catagory of distinction as black and female.
Homosexuality is rightly viewed as a destructive behavior and the people of Colorado voted not to give this trait legal protection. Sometimes discrimination is a good thing.
The committee asked for ''specific instances" in which he had performed pro bono work, how he had fulfilled those responsibilities, and the amount of time he had devoted to them.
This pretty well ices it. Even the MSM would have a hard time getting that wrong.
The lack of opposition on the left should send a chill down your spine.
"however as taken from the article the ability to deny a person housing based on sexual orientation is not a good policy to support"
Rubbish. That's an excellent policy to support. And even if a property owner doesn't support it himself, he should be free in this country to rent to whomever he feels like. Roberts should have been taking pro bono work to do things like scale back takings, to attempt to prove that rent control is unconstitutional, that sort of thing.
This is idiotic. Souter never did anything like that...and he probably benefitted from these sorts of laws.
At any rate...he is sort of saying that he was doing this because it was a client of the firm and he was obliged to help his partners. I can sort of see that point. But he could have politely declined to help his partner. I doubt his partner would help him on pro bono work for pro life charities, would he? Probably not. Pro bono can be the domain of the person working on it. Not everyone in a firm has to jump on board (although the firm does represent the clinet as a matter of ethics).
The other thing that's really disturbing is Roberts has been an active and popular member of the D. C. social scene for most of his career, one of the most corrupting things that can happen to a conservative.
That is different from what you earlier posted. The request was NOT to list ALL pro bono work but "specific instances." To an honest person your phrasing was deceptive if not dishonest. Put the rail, tar and feathers away.
I think pro bono work says more about his personal philosophy. It's a positive that he ruled the way he did against the EPA and about the Commerce Clause but I admit I'm more concerned with social issues and the right of the people to determine those.
Hogan and Hartson? Hogan and Hartson?
Berger was at Hogan and Hartson. They have represented the DNC, Comunist China, Bill Clinton's Innagural Committee, John Huang...
Read about them here.
There is no ethics rule that says a lawyer must work over a morally objectionable case.
In fact it is just the opposite.
The other post does not have him doing work, only giving advice "of some kind".
For all we know his advice could have been, "down the hall to the right".
It also matters if he filed a Notice of Appearance as an official indication he was on the case.
BTW, what kind of lawyer head a "pro bono department"?
sad but very true ..the fight goes on ..but we must fight within the constitution and through our republic's systems to change both the minds and hearts of the secularists..sodomy is not a life style it is LUST..but we cannot trample our system because we are in the right on this issue..
Lack of opposition from the left? I don't think so. They're just getting warmed up.
I'm a Roberts supporter but this is a little worrisome. The court's ruling in this case was horrendous, and could set the precedent for overturning all the gay "marriage" bans that have been enacted by state voters recently.
Several years ago, Colorado voters approved a state constitutional amendment barring the enactment of so-called gay rights laws in their state. The reason for this was that politicians kept passing (or trying to pass) these laws despite public opposition to them. We're seeing a similar thing in California right now where some politicians are trying to engineer gay "marriage" in that state even though voters passed a law banning it.
But in Colorado the voters had not yet acted, so they did so. They approved the amendment banning gay rights laws on a state referendum. By a 6-3 majority, joined in by Justices Kennedy & O'Connor, the court ruled that the amendment was unconstitutional. The reasoning was spurious, and could be used to ban just about any law or amendment the liberals don't like. They argued that an amendment to the state constitution banning gay rights ordinances deprived gays of "equal protection" since they couldn't pass such laws without first repealing the aforementioned amendment. So the presence of the amendment constituted an additional barrier for gays to overcome that, for example, supporters of a law banning discrimination against the elderly wouldn't face.
But that's a ridiculous argument. By definition a constitutional amendment is a barrier. Opponents of free speech, for instance, would have to repeal the first amendment before they could pass their desired laws. The 15th amendment bans racial discrimination in voting. Gender discrimination in voting wasn't banned until many years later via the 19th amendment. But that doesn't mean that in the meantime the 15th amendment was unconstitutional since it placed a barrier on those who would deny blacks the vote while not placing such a barrier on those who would deny women the vote.
The irony of all this is that judicial fiats, which this ruling was, impose barriers on the democratic process just as constitutional amendments do, only WITHOUT public participation in the process. Opponents of abortion, as an example, are denied the ability to pass a ban on abortion because of Roe vs. Wade. The same would be true if there was a legitimately ratified constitutional amendment banning anti-abortion laws, but at least that would have been enacted via legitimate processes.
The Romer vs. Evans case essentially gives the court carte blanche to void any state constitutional amendment they don't like on the grounds that the very presence of the amendment imposes a barrier on those who want to enact laws violating it. It's worrisome if Roberts was involved in this. I hope there's a good explanation.
well, actually it has been a feature of interest. Thanks for reminding me. I posted elsewhere about how odd it was that the left was falling in line behind him. I got caught up in the rest of my life and forgot. I'm not too worried -- I still don't believe the headlines as presented.
There seems to be campaign to hard sell this guy to the left, with the complicity of their leadership. I'm sure a deal was done somewhere -- probably Hillary given the white house or something.
Wasn't he just a wee tad disingenuous NOT to list one of the major pro bono cases he was involved in, a case that produced a major victory for the gay agenda, overturned a popular referendum, and where Rhenquist, Scalia, and Thomas all dissented? Shouldn't this cause all of us a bit of discomfiture with his candidacy??
Too early to say...
Many questions from both-sides-of-the-aisle
at the confirmation hearings will give a much better read