Sunday, July 31, 2005

With her usual whimsical flair, Molly Ivins zeroes in on a common initial reaction to John Roberts:
My first reaction to Roberts was: "Sounds like that's about as good as we can get. Quick, affirm him before they nominate Bork, Bolton or Pinochet." A conservative with good manners and no known nutball decisions or statements on his record? Hey, take him. At least he's not (whew!) a member of the Federalist Society.

The reason Ivins thought Roberts wasn't a member is that he sorta, kinda "forgot" to mention it. Actually, he was on the steering committee of the Federalist Society in '97-98.
So?
So Roberts already looks disingenuous at best, and then the White House ups and decides it's entirely too risky to let the public in on his record as a government lawyer and refuses to release documents requested.
Excuuuuuse me, that is public record. Roberts worked for us, he was paid by the taxpayers, this is not a matter of national security. Where does this White House get off pulling this kind of stuff? Right away, it looks like they're trying to cover something up. Lawyer-client privilege? Are they nuts? Everyone's first reaction is, so what's he guilty of?

What he's guilty of is being a member of an ultra-conservative, extreme right wing organization:
Alfred Ross, of the institute of Democracy Studies, explains that "...if one goes through the publications of their practice groups, one can only gasp not only at the breadth of their agenda, but the extremism of their ideology."
The society has argued for the abolition of the Securities and Exchange Commission, severely limiting the Environmental Protection Agency, and rolling back gender equity laws (Title IX) and voting rights law. Its publications have criticized teaching evolution and attacked the principle of separation of church and state.
According to Ross, they recently launched a state judicial selection project to try to dominate the state, as well as federal, bench. This is all standard, ultra-right-wing claptrap. It's all about control.
If we can't shake loose the actual records on John Roberts, we certainly should pay attention to the group he's most identified with.

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