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Right-wing upset with Roberts' pro-gay pro-bono work

by PageOneQ

The New York Times is reporting in Friday’s edition that Supreme Court nominee’s John G. Roberts’ work on behalf of the lesbian and gay community on the Supreme Court case, Romer v. Evans, has conservative backers of President Bush unconvinced that Roberts will represent their issues on the High Court. According to the Times Article (full article, reg. req’d):

The White House immediately sought to reassure Judge Roberts's conservative backers, telephoning prominent leaders, including Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, but it appeared that not all of them had been convinced.

The Times also reports that radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Colleen Parro of the Republican National Coalition for Life spoke negatively abut the latest disclosure in the stories surround Judge Roberts' legal career:

…[R]eports of his involvement echoed on conservative talk shows Thursday, generating outrage and disbelief. "There's no question this is going to upset people on the right," Rush Limbaugh told his radio listeners. "There's no question the people on the right are going to say: 'Wait a minute. Wait a minute! The guy is doing pro bono work and helping gay activists?'

James C. Dobson, chairman of the evangelical group Focus on the Family, said Judge Roberts's work in the case was "not welcome news to those of us who advocate for traditional values," though he said it did not necessarily mean that Judge Roberts shared the plaintiffs' views.

Colleen Parro, executive director of the Republican National Coalition for Life and one of the few conservatives to raise questions about Judge Roberts, said his work on the case was "cause for more caution and less optimism" about his nomination.

In the case 1996 of Romer v. Evans, the Court ruled 6-3 that citizens were protected from state-sanctioned discrimination.

The conservative American Famaily Assocation's president, Tony Perkins, attempted to downplay the significance of Roberts' contributions to the case by writing: "[W]e were told that Roberts' role was apparently limited to providing a few hours of participation in a moot court procedure, as he routinely did for all the firm's pro bono clients. More on this as we learn more about this report.

What Perkins omitted from his newsletter to members was the fact that Roberts provided key strategies for fashioning a majority of the Court. The atrategies were described by lead attorney Jean Dubofsky as the successful strategy she used to win the case, according the the Times.


Originally published on Friday August 5, 2005.


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