President Picks Fellow Torture Architect, Long-Time Bush Crime Family Operative for Supreme Court
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President Picks Fellow Torture Architect, Long-Time Bush Crime Family Operative for Supreme Court
Roberts Overruled a Federal Ruling That Had Barred Some of the Nazi Tactics at Guantanamo | July 20, 2005

Very few judges have as strong of a pro-government record as Judge Roberts. He consistently votes with the government against the people. Basically, he’s a Gonzalez clone.

Yahoo reports:

"Roberts was also part of a three-judge panel that handed Bush an important victory last Friday when it ruled that the military tribunals of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, could proceed. The treatment of prisoners there has sparked criticism from human rights groups and in the Arab world."

Bush Confident in Supreme Court Nominee

Associated Press | July 20, 2005

WASHINGTON - President Bush, giving Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts a White House sendoff for the Senate confirmation process, voiced confidence Wednesday that his choice for the high court will get "a timely hearing, a fair hearing" on Capitol Hill.

Joined by Roberts on the steps outside his office after the pair had coffee, Bush told reporters, "We will push the process forward." He said both he and Roberts believe he should be sworn before the new court term begins in October.

"I wished him all the best" in the confirmation process, the president said, urging the Senate to "move forward, in a dignified way."

Bush introduced the 50-year-old federal appeals court judge to the nation Tuesday night, calling him a man with "a good heart" and a jurist who will "strictly apply the Constitution in laws - not legislate from the bench."

After breakfast with Bush at the White House, Roberts was to meet Wednesday with leaders in the Senate, which will decide whether he will replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and become the first new Supreme Court member in more than a decade.

Reaction from Republican senators was overwhelmingly supportive.

Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee called for confirmation proceedings that "treat Judge Roberts with dignity and respect" and lead to a yes or no vote before the court's term begins Oct 3.

Democrats reacted more cautiously, but there were no instant predictions of a filibuster.

"The president has chosen someone with suitable legal credentials, but that is not the end of our inquiry," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the only woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee that will hold hearings on the nomination, said the new justice will be critical to the balance of the court, especially when it rules on cases involving congressional authority, a woman's right to privacy and environmental protections.

"I will keep my powder dry until the due diligence is completed," Feinstein said.

Conservative interest groups were elated, saying the president kept a campaign promise to nominate someone akin to conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Liberal groups, meanwhile, expressed concerns about Roberts' views on abortion, religious freedom, environmental protections and the First Amendment.

"I'm just a little surprised that he's already subject to criticism, but this is America," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., told reporters outside the White House where he joked that the 60 or so opinions Roberts has written will soon be on the "best seller list."

While he lacks national name recognition, the Harvard-educated Roberts is a Washington insider who has worked over the years at the White House, Justice Department and in private practice.

Roberts was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and raised in Long Beach, Ind., outside Gary. He was high school class president, captain of his football team and worked summers at a steel mill, where his father was an electrical engineer, to help pay his way through college

After graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, he clerked for William H. Rehnquist when he was an associate justice on the Supreme Court. It was Rehnquist who presided over the swearing-in ceremony when Roberts took his seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

"Before I became a judge, my law practice consisted largely of arguing cases before the court," said Roberts, who met with the president in the executive residence for an hour last Friday with Bush's Scottish terriers at their feet. "I always got a lump in my throat whenever I walked up those marble steps to argue a case before the court, and I don't think it was just from the nerves."

He was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1992 by the first President Bush and again by the president in 2001. The nominations died in the Senate both times. He was renominated in January 2003 and was confirmed by voice vote. At the time, his nomination to the appellate court attracted support from both sides of the ideological spectrum.

It's unclear how contentious this confirmation battle will be.

"There's no doubt there will be a battle. There's no question about that," said Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council. "But I think it's one that can be won and I think it's one that will be won."

Perkins said this is a watershed moment for the court.

"The court has been shifting to the left over the last 40 years, and this clearly would shift the court back to one that understands its role as being a body that interprets the law, not makes the law," said Perkins. "Clearly it will bring a philosophical shift to the court."

Liberal advocacy groups like the People for the American Way immediately began challenging Roberts' judicial views.

The group sent out "emergency alerts" to more than 400,000 supporters, telling them to contact their senators posthaste and ask them to withhold judgment on Roberts until after the confirmation hearings are completed.

The nominee must be willing to share and defend his judicial philosophy and fully answer senators' questions about the Constitution and other issues, including environmental protections, reproductive rights and religious liberty, Ralph Neas, president of the group, said.

Just last week, Roberts was part of the unanimous three-judge panel that put the Bush administration's military tribunals in the war on terror back on track, clearing the way for the Pentagon to resume trials for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

It is abortion, however, that swiftly emerged as a point of contention.

The National Organization for Women planned an emergency demonstration against Roberts on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. "We refuse to allow Roberts, who is such a stealth opponent of women's rights, pass the Senate confirmation process," NOW President Kim Gandy said. "George W. Bush just guaranteed the fight of his political career with this nomination."

The abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America cited a brief Roberts filed with the Supreme Court while serving as deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration. In the brief, Roberts said Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a woman's right to abortion, "was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

In his defense, Roberts told senators during 2003 confirmation hearings to his current post that he would be guided by legal precedent. "Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."


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911:  The Road to Tyranny