Wednesday, July 20, 2005

IAC Fact Sheet on John G. Roberts & His Nomination by Bush

There is no doubt in my mind, at least not any longer, that those whom the puppet (Bush) has allowed to be his puppeteers (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Ledeen, Dan Pipes, Tony Perkins, among many, many others of like Straussian ideology--the one's who believe that a dictatorship is needed to preserve "freedom") are out to forever change what this nation is. In order for this cabal of "Theocratic/Oligarchy-ists" to insure it will be able to cram and superimpose its will upon the rest of us, they have got to be able to control the courts, especially the Supreme Court. That is why it is so important for these pro-corporate religious nut-jobs to "capture" the Supreme Court"-- they will give a whole new meaning to the term "rule of law." It will become the "rule of oppression and repression" if this cabal succeeds. And with no one in either house of congress doing anything but caving in to the Bush/Cheney cabals "wish list" we are in very serious trouble. Somehow we have got to stop this. The mass rally in Washington this Sept 24, 25 26 is an opportunity for those in Washington to see in no-uncertain of terms how we feel about what is being done to OUR nation. It is vitally important that as many as possible come to Washington in Sept.--Jack

Statement from the International Action Center
On the Nomination of John G. Roberts to the Supreme Court
July 19, 2005

"...George W. Bush has signaled his intention to continue his all-out assault on women, working people, lesbian/gay/bi/trans communities, civil liberties and civil rights." It is vital that we examine the nomination of John G. Roberts, and ask how such a reactionary appointment could be made and, more importantly, how we can push back the Bush attack and what social and political forces can be mobilized in the struggle.

Judge John G. Roberts has built his career advancing the far-right agendas of the Reagan and Bush Administrations. He has worked to overturn abortion rights, blur the separation between church and state, undermine affirmative action, and advance a narrow right-wing interpretation of the Constitution.

Roberts is a member of two prominent, right-wing legal organizations that advance a reactionary legal philosophy: the pro-corporate, anti-affirmative action, and anti-union Federalist Society; and the National Legal Center For The Public Interest, a legal research group funded by General Motors, Ford, Texaco, Exxon-Mobile, and Gulf, as well as right wing millionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.

Women’s Rights

Immediately after President Bush announced his selection of Roberts, Operation Rescue, an organization founded to terrorize women, obstruct reproductive freedom, and shut down health clinics, issued a press release saying, “Operation Rescue supports this selection. Roberts has shown strong conservative credentials with indications that he will not uphold Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that decriminalized abortion.”

The anti-choice homophobe Gary Bauer promptly issued a statement hailing Roberts as "a refreshing nominee who possesses an outstanding record of judicial accomplishment as well as a commitment to judicial restraint long missing from so many activist courts."

Roberts’ record makes it clear why he has gathered such enthusiasm from far-right religious fundamentalists.

As Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts filed an amicus curiae brief in the National Organization of Women’s (NOW) case against Operation Rescue — in support of Operation Rescue, and in support of individuals who illegally blocked access to clinics.

As Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts argued in a brief before the Supreme Court that "we continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled. The Court’s conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion...finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

As a Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts co-wrote a Supreme Court brief in Rust v. Sullivan, which argued that the government could prohibit doctors in federally funded family planning programs from discussing abortions with their patients.

Workers Rights

Roberts was lead counsel for Toyota in Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Ky, Inc. v. Williams. This case involved a woman who was fired after she asked Toyota for accommodations to do her job after being diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. The court ruled that while this condition impaired her ability to work, it did not impair her ability to perform major life activities.

The Geneva Conventions

Roberts was part of the three-judge panel that last week upheld President Bush's military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, supporting the Bush Administrations assertion that the Geneva Conventions and other international law did not apply to detainees held there. Neal K. Katyal, a lead lawyer for one of the plaintiffs in this case and a Georgetown University law professor, called the decision "contrary to 200 years of constitutional law."

Civil Rights

After a Supreme Court decision effectively nullified certain sections of the Voting Rights Act, Roberts was involved in the Reagan administration's effort to prevent Congress from overturning the Supreme Court's action. Roberts also filed an amicus brief in Adarand v. Mineta in Oct. 2001, supporting a challenge to federal affirmative action programs.

The Environment

As a member of the Solicitor General's office, Mr. Roberts was the lead counsel for the United States in the Supreme Court case Lujan v. National Wildlife Federation, in which the government argued that private citizens could not sue the federal government for violations of environmental regulations.

In his private practice, Roberts has also represented numerous large corporate interests opposing environmental controls. He submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the National Mining Association in the recent case Bragg v. West Virginia Coal Association.

Church & State

While working with the Solicitor General's office, Roberts co-wrote an amicus brief on behalf of the Bush administration, in which he argued that public high schools can include religious ceremonies in their graduation programs.

Our response: Organize and Mobilize!

The only effective counter to Bush’s continued assault on working people, people of color, women, and on civil liberties and civil rights is to organize a massive opposition movement in the streets. We cannot look to politicians of either party to stop Bush—the Democrats have been nearly unanimous in their support of the Bush agenda of endless war and repression, and they have confirmed some of the most backwards and reactionary judicial appointees.

These next few months are critical in the struggle against the war abroad and the war at home. The Bush agenda is facing a genuine crisis—the illegal occupation of Iraq is clearly failing in the face of overwhelming popular resistance, military recruiting is declining, and opposition to the war is growing. What we do now can make a difference.

Now is the time to build a massive movement of resistance, a movement that is broad because it includes, rather than excludes, the struggles of all oppressed communities.

In challenging the Bush agenda and mobilizing to defend our rights, it is important to recall how we have secured victories in the past. In a nation founded on slavery and indentured servitude, genocide against indigenous peoples, and oppression of women and working people, every advance was won because of the power of massive peoples’ mobilizations to assert and demand those rights. Regardless of which corporate party is in power, or which corporate lawyer is appointed to the Supreme Court, it is the people who ultimately make history.

All of the most important victories for working people, for the civil rights struggle, for women, for the lesbian/gay/bi/trans communities, and for all oppressed communities were won because of organizing in the streets. Victories in the courts and legislatures merely reflected the reality that was created by the mass movements. It was resistance- the Montgomery bus boycott, the Stonewall rebellion, the Flint sit-ins for union rights, the massive marches for women's suffrage, and many other protests, marches, strikes and direct actions--that secured our rights, and it is in that spirit of resistance that we must continue to struggle.

The International Action Center
July 19, 2005
International Action Center

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