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Roberts: Precedent Important for Abortion
AP (via S.F. Chronicle) ^ | 9/13/2005 | JESSE J. HOLLAND

Posted on 09/13/2005 7:51:01 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts said Tuesday that the landmark 1973 ruling on abortion was "settled as a precedent of the court" as he was immediately pressed to address the divisive issue on the second day of his confirmation hearings.

"It's settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis," the concept that long-settled decisions should be given extra weight, Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Roberts dismissed any suggestion that his Catholic faith would influence his decisions if he was confirmed to be the nation's 17th chief justice. The Roman Catholic Church strongly opposes abortion.

Questioned about rights of privacy, the appellate judge cited various amendments of the Constitution that he said protect those rights, and said, "I do think the right to privacy is protected under the Constitution in various ways."

Roberts noted that the Supreme Court itself upheld the basics of Roe v. Wade in a 1992 case, Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: abortion; johnroberts; roberts; robertsscotus; roevwade; scotus
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Uncertain if he's just telling them what they want to hear, with wiggle room... or does he believe every precedent's a worthy precedent?
1 posted on 09/13/2005 7:51:02 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Rutles4Ever

Remaining cautiously optimistic...


2 posted on 09/13/2005 7:52:39 AM PDT by RockinRight (What part of ILLEGAL immigration do they not understand?)
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To: Rutles4Ever

Good response by Roberts, because he is really not saying anything or casting the future of R vs. W at all.
Well thought out response -- choke on that LIBS.


3 posted on 09/13/2005 7:53:24 AM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: Rutles4Ever

I do not like the sound of his statement. I see little wiggle room in his remarks.


4 posted on 09/13/2005 7:57:00 AM PDT by GarySpFc (Sneakypete, De Oppresso Liber)
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To: EagleUSA; BlackElk

I believe he already gave the hint tothe out:

Casey.

The Casey case actually does NOT completely reaffirm Roe. The 4th Amendment is a very shgaky place to try to build a case for Roe. Casey moves the battlefield in part over to the 14th Amendment, which allows for a lot more games-playing.

Nonetheless, the fact that Casey modified Roe already means that a future case can modify Roe some more. Eventually ( I hop3e not to eventually) it can be modified out of existence.


5 posted on 09/13/2005 7:57:36 AM PDT by sittnick (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: EagleUSA

I heard him to say that although there is "precedence", that there are conditions under which "precedence" can be challenged. Very good........


6 posted on 09/13/2005 7:57:37 AM PDT by Saynotosocialism
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To: EagleUSA

In re-reading what he's said, he only refers to the Planned Parenthood as a "starting point", not the final word.

I think he would not leave the door cracked open for overturning Roe if he thought it was ironclad.

I am also cautiously optimistic...


7 posted on 09/13/2005 7:57:57 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Rutles4Ever
Roberts dismissed any suggestion that his Catholic faith would influence his decisions if he was confirmed to be the nation's 17th chief justice. The Roman Catholic Church strongly opposes abortion.

True. He will be influenced by his own conscience (formed with the help of the Catholic Church, of course).

8 posted on 09/13/2005 7:59:47 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: Rutles4Ever
Hmmm...is precedent important when SCOTUS claimed that blacks were only 2/3 of a human being. Is this the best we can get? Where are the men on this committee who will stand up and say that precedent doesnt mean crap if its wrong! Im sure that the Hitler regime also used precedent when it continued to slaughter millions of innocent humans. Good thing that we are more concerned about precedent than the intent of the constitution and will of the people.....not.
9 posted on 09/13/2005 8:02:06 AM PDT by sasafras (Want to get rid of illegals then take away all the benefits and penalize employers who hire illegals)
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To: EagleUSA

Roberts is brilliant. Yes, Roe vs Wade exists is all he said. (Freedom to murder another human being under the guise of freedom, privacy and "ownership" is another thing.)


10 posted on 09/13/2005 8:04:33 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Rutles4Ever

Just because Roberts has an (R) after his name means nothing when the man assumes the position of jurist. Liberal judges on the SCOTUS nominated by Republican Presidents include names such as Earl Warren, John Paul Stevens, and as recent as recent as Sandra Day O'Connor who was departing from the US Constitution in her most recent decisions.

No doubt this is why the liberals in both parties attacked Judge Bork with such venom. They can't have a purist when they are dismantling the constitution from the bench.


11 posted on 09/13/2005 8:04:40 AM PDT by sully777 (The Religion Of Peace apparently kills!)
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To: Saynotosocialism

I've heard him say that too. Roberts will not be a conservative activist. But he will be an originalist and that's what I want.


12 posted on 09/13/2005 8:05:09 AM PDT by twigs
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To: GarySpFc
There's lots of wiggle room. Long standing precedents are given more weight when deciding cases to preserve consistency in our legal system.

That's not saying that bad decisions should not be overturned, just that they should not be overturned capriciously.

The murder of unborn children should have enough weight to overwhelm objections to privacy and long standing precedence.
13 posted on 09/13/2005 8:10:11 AM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: sasafras

Before you launch into criticisms at least learn the facts of history. SCOTUS had nothing to do with the 3/5s (NOT 2/3s) rule. That was a device incorporated into the CONSTITUTION of the US dealing with representation.

It did not declare slaves less than human.


14 posted on 09/13/2005 8:17:00 AM PDT by justshutupandtakeit (Public Enemy #1, the RATmedia.)
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To: Rutles4Ever

This is a proper response.

There are only a few decisions that nominees would say were "wrongly decided." Almost all the time that prior decisions are effectively overturned it is through one or more qualifications of the prior decision.

Was Roe v Wade wrong decided, like Dred Scott?

Even Plessy v. Ferguson wasn't totally wrong ... there are times when you can have separate AND equal, as in women's bathrooms at sports facilities.





15 posted on 09/13/2005 8:21:23 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
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To: GarySpFc
I do not like the sound of his statement. I see little wiggle room in his remarks.

I understand and agree completely. However, and I speak only for myself, I find no substantive moral and ethical difference between enduring what the democrats have made of the confirmation process, and negotiating with a hostage taker. I.e., say whatever you must to take away their means of leverage, and get them into custody.

It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I could see a nominee dismissing anything said during confirmation as pointedly as the democrats ignored the unprecedented boycott by the entire Supreme Court of Bill Clinton's State of the Union Address.

16 posted on 09/13/2005 8:27:29 AM PDT by papertyger (I seek opportunity... Not security.)
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To: Rutles4Ever

There's no way of knowing at this point. I think that any anti-abortion nominee will deceive as necessary to get past the abortion questions, since the Democrats will refuse to approve anybody that fails their abortion-on-demand litmus test. That's just the hand we've been dealt.


17 posted on 09/13/2005 8:30:49 AM PDT by Junior_G
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To: Rutles4Ever

Kicked in the teeth again.

He said it's "settled". He said it's "confirmed".

As far as being an "originalist", abortion was originally legal in this country and the idea that the fetus was legally a human or that the government should tell a man how to raise his family was hardly even considered.

Roberts is a Harvard educated elitist liberal. Just like Bush.


18 posted on 09/13/2005 8:31:56 AM PDT by harris33
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To: Rutles4Ever

The only stare decisis the USSC needs is the Constitution. Else you end up with activist judges using international law to re-write the meaning of a Law.


19 posted on 09/13/2005 8:32:55 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (Anyone who needs to be persuaded to be free, doesn't deserve to be. -El Neil)
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To: EagleUSA

Exactly. He is upholding the general principle of stare decisis, but that doesn't mean that a prior SCOTUS ruling cannot be overturned. It has been done repeatedly throughout our history.


20 posted on 09/13/2005 8:33:51 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar
I completely agree.

Dred Scott was a SCOTUS decision.
Plessy v Ferguson was a SCOTUS decision.

The Court can be wrong. Bad decisions by the Court ought to be overturned. The Liberals would be the first to agree with that (they like Brown v Bd of Education a lot better than Plessy).

Roberts supports stare decisis, as he should. But he is not bound by past decisions (and he knows it).

21 posted on 09/13/2005 8:40:59 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Rutles4Ever
"It's settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis," the concept that long-settled decisions should be given extra weight, Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If Roe vs Wade is "settled" then that word has absolutely no meaning. It is the most controversial SCOTUS decision that's still standing, and not merely because a lot of people don't like the outcome. There's serious disagreement, even among pro-abortion liberals, about the legal validity of that opinion. It's anything but "settled".

22 posted on 09/13/2005 8:41:32 AM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: Rutles4Ever
"It's settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis," the concept that long-settled decisions should be given extra weight, Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The decision to permit the wholesale slaughter of 45 million unborn children is entitled to "respect" because of legal tradition/precedent? This is a disgusting statement!

Roberts dismissed any suggestion that his Catholic faith would influence his decisions if he was confirmed to be the nation's 17th chief justice. The Roman Catholic Church strongly opposes abortion.

This statement is even more appalling since Catholics believe that the Church is "the pillar and foundation of truth" -- the Church that Christ founded. Jesus warned us that "whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father."

Catholic teaching must enform every aspect of a Catholic's intellectual life. This should not be problematic for non-Catholics, since Catholic teaching regarding the political order follows the natural law, which is knowable to all people. Catholics are obligated not to impose particularly Catholic doctrines on non-Catholics.

Roberts is either woefully ignorant of Catholic teaching or a coward. Neither characteristic testifies to good judgement or character.

23 posted on 09/13/2005 8:44:03 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: harris33
Roberts is a Harvard educated elitist liberal. Just like Bush.

Give me a break. What makes Bush a liberal?

24 posted on 09/13/2005 8:49:02 AM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (North Texas Solutions http://ntxsolutions.com)
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This does not look good.


25 posted on 09/13/2005 8:52:58 AM PDT by Tim Long (Conservatism: It's the choice of a smart generation.)
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To: Aquinasfan

There is also a gray area here, in that, theologically speaking, it could be argued that this panel is not "entitled to the truth" regarding Roberts' pos. on abortion. Like having a Nazi show up on your doorstep and asking for the Jews in your attic during WWII. In that case, the Nazi soldier would not be entitled to the truth, which would render unsinful the subsequent lie that "there are no Jews in my attack".

That said, it gets a little dicey because he took an oath to testify truthfully. Does the unentitlement to truth trump the oath? If the Nazi pulled out a Bible and told you to take an oath before God that you're not hiding Jews, is the oath immediately null and void under duress?

I'm looking for a silver lining, I admit. But there is a case to be made where there is an absence of justice, certain parties are not entitled to the truth...


26 posted on 09/13/2005 8:56:41 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: GarySpFc

Based on today's hearings, there's lots of wiggle room. He said that stare decisis is less important in deciding cases involving constitutional rights than it is in deciding cases involving statutory interpretation. That's because the only ways that an incorrect Supreme Court decisions on the Constitution can be corrected are (a) a subsequent opinion by the Supreme Court or (b) a consitutional amendment. On the other hand, an incorrect Supreme Court decision on a federal or state constitution can be corrected by a subsequent statute or statutory amendment as well as by a subsequent opinion.


27 posted on 09/13/2005 8:59:59 AM PDT by Piranha
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To: Rutles4Ever

Don't look for Roberts to overturn Roe vs. Wade. I am beginning to wonder if Roberts is a conservative or whether he is a moderate leaning liberal???


28 posted on 09/13/2005 9:44:44 AM PDT by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT)
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To: Rutles4Ever
"It's settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis,"

None of which says he wouldn't vote to overturn it. I pray he does.

29 posted on 09/13/2005 10:10:13 AM PDT by Know your rights (The modern enlightened liberal doesn't care what you believe as long as you don't really believe it.)
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To: Rutles4Ever
The best we can hope for is that Roberts is a lying to get the job. Not encouraging.

This is what conservatives get for allowing the Republicans to play Russian roulette with judicial nominees. Until we demand Scalia-like originalists and hold the Republicans accountable if they don't appoint such justices, the court is going to remain the same.

Compare that to Clinton and the Democrats, which didn't once fail to appoint and confirm a sure thing.

30 posted on 09/13/2005 10:24:07 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: EagleUSA

Yes, let's hope Roberts is lying and that we haven't been given yet another Souter, O'Connor or Kennedy.


31 posted on 09/13/2005 10:25:20 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: kabar
Or maybe he is being honest and means what he says -- that precedent in regard to Roe should be overturned. If that's true, it will be late to do anything about another yet another moderate or liberal appointed to the court by a Republican President.

It might be a good idea to demand Republicans keep their promises and nominated a verifiable orginalist in the future and hold them accountable if they don't at the ballot box.

32 posted on 09/13/2005 10:29:11 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: teletech
Don't look for Roberts to overturn Roe vs. Wade. I am beginning to wonder if Roberts is a conservative or whether he is a moderate leaning liberal???

How many times are conservatives in general going to allow this to happen without holding the Republican party accountable?

With a Republican President in the White House and 55 Republican Senators, we shouldn't have to wonder if a nominee, in this case one replacing an originalist that was opposed to Roe, is conservative or not.

It's outrageous that conservatives as a group could be stupid enough to let the Republicans get away with failing to appoint originalists opposed to Roe to the court.

33 posted on 09/13/2005 10:31:52 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: Ol' Sparky
Yes, let's hope Roberts is lying and that we haven't been given yet another Souter, O'Connor or Kennedy.

It's not a good sign when our best hope is that the nominee dishonestly answers questions in a formal hearing.

Either way, he is the wrong choice for the Supreme Court.

34 posted on 09/13/2005 10:34:52 AM PDT by Gelato
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To: Rutles4Ever
If the Nazi pulled out a Bible and told you to take an oath before God that you're not hiding Jews, is the oath immediately null and void under duress?

That is a highly exteme situation. People have an obligation to protect their neighbors from immediate danger to their lives. Roberts does not have the obligation or even an entitlement to be Chief Justice. Lying is an unacceptable method of getting there - period.

35 posted on 09/13/2005 10:59:38 AM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: Rutles4Ever

WGST radio news in Atlanta announced immediately after this that Roberts had promised to uphold Roe.


36 posted on 09/13/2005 11:10:01 AM PDT by madprof98
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To: Rutles4Ever

I'd rather he rely on the Constitution. If he relies on his personal conscience to formulate judicial decisions, he's no different than a liberal judicial activist.


37 posted on 09/13/2005 11:13:08 AM PDT by MarcusTulliusCicero
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To: madprof98
WGST radio news in Atlanta announced immediately after this that Roberts had promised to uphold Roe.

Did they actually quote him directly, or was the announcer saying it in his own words?

38 posted on 09/13/2005 11:17:28 AM PDT by inquest (FTAA delenda est)
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To: inquest

The newscaster summed up his testimony that way.


39 posted on 09/13/2005 11:19:27 AM PDT by madprof98
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To: inquest

Article Six of the U.S. Constitution specifically states that, '...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust'".

So the Democrats have created a scenario where the constitution is being violated, and Roberts has to play into their hands?


40 posted on 09/13/2005 11:30:53 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever
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To: GarySpFc
I do not like the sound of his statement. I see little wiggle room in his remarks.

Why? All he is saying is that previoius decisions should be given consideration. He is not saying they are bound by them.

41 posted on 09/13/2005 11:33:27 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: harris33
He said it's "settled". He said it's "confirmed".

When and in what context did he say 'settled'. Saying it was 'confirmed' is just stating an obvious fact.

42 posted on 09/13/2005 11:36:52 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: harris33

Oh, nevermind, I found it. Roberts said "settled as a precedent." Roberts is again stating another obvious fact. Unless you are denying that Roe v. Wade is a precedent.


43 posted on 09/13/2005 11:40:42 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right
"It's settled as a precedent of the court, entitled to respect under principles of stare decisis," the concept that long-settled decisions should be given extra weight, Roberts told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

That's when.

44 posted on 09/13/2005 11:41:02 AM PDT by Tim Long (Conservatism: It's the choice of a smart generation.)
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To: MarcusTulliusCicero
I'd rather he rely on the Constitution. If he relies on his personal conscience to formulate judicial decisions, he's no different than a liberal judicial activist.

Exactly. Too often, we seem willing to embrace judicial activism so long as they're our judicial activists.

45 posted on 09/13/2005 11:44:19 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Tim Long
That's when.

And what is wrong with that statement? Roberts is simply stating facts. It is 'settled as a precedent' and it is 'entitled to repsect'. You can say that about any Supreme Court ruling that has not been overturned.

46 posted on 09/13/2005 11:45:06 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Always Right
The Roe decision is entitled to respect? Sort of like the Dred Scott decision deserved respect?

Do you think Anton Scalia or Clarence Thomas would make such a statement?

47 posted on 09/13/2005 11:50:05 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: Ol' Sparky
Do you think Anton Scalia or Clarence Thomas would make such a statement?

Yes. All decisions which have not been overturned deserve respect, no matter how wrong they are. All Roberts is saying is you should read them and consider them. If they got it wrong, there is nothing there that says you can't overturn them. Roberts is just making simple statements of fact.

48 posted on 09/13/2005 11:53:03 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: Junior_G
I think that any anti-abortion nominee will deceive as necessary to get past the abortion questions, since the Democrats will refuse to approve anybody that fails their abortion-on-demand litmus test.

That would be true if the Republicans were in the minority in the Senate. The Republicans have 55 seats. It shouldn't make one bit of difference what the minority party thinks if they don't have the votes to stop a nomination or the constitutional option.

It's no wonder Republicans keeping winning elections and conservatives have virtually nothing to show for it. Both the Republican party and conservatives behave like losers. Either that or Bush and the Republicans don't really have any intention of keeping their promises to nominate Scalia-like originalists.

Clinton and the Democrats didn't once fail to nominate an open leftist to the court and had no problem getting Breyer or Ginsburg approved. Until Republicans and conservatives get a backbone, the Supreme Court isn't going to change no matter how much Kool-Aid one drinks.

49 posted on 09/13/2005 11:54:49 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: Junior_G
That's just the hand we've been dealt.

Your pansy attitude is why the democrats need not win elections and still control government

50 posted on 09/13/2005 11:55:07 AM PDT by rmmcdaniell
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