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Away From Home

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Roberts on the issues

Some stands that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts has taken:

Some of John Roberts' stands on issues that come before the Supreme Court:

ABORTION: As a lawyer in the administration of President Bush's father, he helped write a Supreme Court brief that said, "We continue to believe that Roe (v. Wade) was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

RELIGION: Roberts unsuccessfully urged the Supreme Court to rule that public schools could sponsor prayer at graduation ceremonies. "We do not believe ... that graduation ceremonies pose a risk of coercion," said the brief Roberts helped to write on behalf of the first Bush administration.

ENVIRONMENT: As a judge, he was sympathetic to arguments that wildlife regulations were unconstitutional as applied to a California construction project. The government feared the project would hurt arroyo toads.

CRIMINAL MATTERS: His votes on the bench have been mixed. He ruled in favor of a man who challenged his sentence for fraud, then said police did not violate the constitutional rights of a 12-year-old girl who was arrested, handcuffed and detained for eating a single french fry inside a train station in Washington.

POLICE SEARCHES: Joined an appeals court ruling in 2004 that upheld police trunk searches, even if officers do not say they are looking for evidence of a crime.

MILITARY TRIBUNALS: Roberts was part of a unanimous decision last week that allowed the Pentagon to proceed with plans to use military tribunals to try terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay.

Again, I don't read too much into the provided stances on abortion and religion, because those positions were taken when Roberts was advocating for a client (when working for the Dept of Justice, the administration (and, by extension, the citizenry) is your client). His judicial votes are interesting, however.


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