Roberts: Justice Scalia in O’Connor’s Robes?

Media 07.19,05

Washington – The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition has serious concerns with President Bush’s nomination of Judge John Roberts to fill the Supreme Court chair of retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Wade Henderson, LCCR’s executive director and the co-chair of the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary, an alliance of the country’s leading national public interest organizations, issued the following statement:

“We are saddened that President Bush chose the politics of conflict and division over bipartisan consensus. While Judge Roberts may not have been on the Rev. James Dobson’s short list of pre-approved nominees, let’s be clear – John Roberts is no mainstream judge.

“At first blush, John Roberts may not appear to be an ultra right judicial activist, but his approach to issues of protecting the rights and freedoms of individual Americans are, at best, unclear and, in some instances, deeply troubling.

“The public clearly opposes blatantly extreme judicial nominees. Perhaps this is why the President has chosen a candidate whose cover story avoids that label. While in reality John Roberts may be a hard-nosed extremist with a soft conservative facade. In short, the President may have nominated a stealth candidate – a Justice Scalia or Thomas in O’Connor’s robes.

“We urge the Senate to conduct a complete, thorough and probing review of John Roberts’s record. For a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, the Senate must take all the time it needs to investigate not only his qualifications, but also questions of judicial philosophy in every important area of concern to the American people. The Senate can only do its job if John Roberts and the Administration produce all requested documents and answer all of the Senate’s questions.”

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