Friday, August 26, 2005

Our Disappearing "Rule of Law" and John Roberts

Our Disappearing “Rule of Law” and John Roberts
By: Jack Dalton 8-26-05

No longer should there be any doubt as to the direction the Bush/Cheney cabal is leading this nation, or the methodologies they are employing to push their neo-con (actually neo-liberal) agenda upon us the unwilling to mindlessly follow and who stand in opposition to what they are doing. Coercion, intimidation, character assassination, extortion—all of the methodologies of a good upstanding crime family.

While preaching about spreading “freedom and democracy” they have turned our own on its head. There are people within the Bush/Cheney cabal who have articulated the need for a limited dictatorship to preserve our “freedoms” and to make us “safe and secure” from all those dirty “terrorists.” That was stated recently by none other than Michael Ledeen as well as
Charles Krauthammer both of whom subscribe to the prevailing Leo Strauss ideology: only the “elite” can rule and that to maintain their power over people they must at times lie their asses off.

I find it rather interesting, a sad commentary actually, that in a discussion with Media Benjamin of CodePink, an Iranian woman stated that the women of Iran do not want the Theocracy they live under, and at the same time said that they ask America not to bring them “American democracy.” That speaks volumes to me. She understands more than those in this country that the “freedom and democracy” being articulated is nothing more than a ramped up “free market capitalism” unrestrained and unrestricted.

The greatest evil we do is to deny the evil we do” and that has been taken to an entirely new and elevated level by the extremists, Bush/Cheney & Co., Inc. that currently occupy the seat of power in this nation. One by one due to an acquiescent congress we are losing one enumerated right after another: equal protection, right to council, free speech zones replacing free speech, military spies in our midst, voting rights, just to mention a very few on an increasingly huge list.

At the same time we are losing our protections corporate American is gaining in their rights to lie, deceive, cause harm, and pollute. In fact so much of what has come out of this current administration and congress is geared to one thing—profits over people and people be damned.

For three decades these very same people have been trying to “take-over” the Supreme Court thru which they will then be able to change what this nation is and is not. The Supreme Court is the last body the cabal needs to completely secure their ability to fundamentally change this nation from what it was founded to be, to what the cabal wants it to be. And what that is stares us right in the face: a nation of obedient sheep that will sit down, shut up and do what we are told.

If John Roberts gains a seat on the Supreme Court there will be no court to hold the Bush/Cheney cabal of self-righteous neo-fascists in check or accountable for anything they do, not that there is one now, but it would get much worse. Roberts will be there to help Scalia and Thomas to insure that happens.

The following is a summary of the 50 page report on John Roberts by
Save Our Courts (PFAW) and should be read closely by everyone. This is one of the most important issues facing us right now, if not the most important. We must not allow ourselves to be sidelined on this issue. We must continue our anti-war efforts but not at the expense of non-involvement or non-action on the single most critical issue facing this nation right now—the Bush/Cheney cabals attempted destruction of the Supreme Court.

If Roberts gains a seat on that court we can kiss the so-called “rule of law” goodbye as it will then become something to repress and oppress at a level not seen before.

Enough from me, on to the report:

People For the American Way Report in Opposition to the Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominee John Roberts

Save the Courts.org

Introduction

Roberts Record: Overview

Civil Rights, Equal Opportunity, and Freedom from Discrimination

Privacy and Reproductive Freedom

Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State

Access to Justice

Presidential Power

Conclusion

Executive Summary

The record of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts demonstrates that his confirmation to the nation's highest court would undermine Americans' rights and freedoms and limit the role of the federal courts in upholding them. People For the American Way calls on the Senate to reject John Roberts' nomination.

The opinions he has issued during his short tenure on the federal bench, the documents from his tenure in senior positions in the Reagan Administration, and what we know of Roberts' tenure as principal deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration, combine to make a compelling case against confirmation.

For much of the past 25 years, Roberts worked to impede or undermine progress toward realizing the Constitution's promise of equal justice under law. He has been an active participant in efforts to advance a legal and judicial ideology grounded in a narrow view of constitutional rights and a restricted role for the federal courts in protecting and enforcing them. As a federal judge, he has indicated support for an approach to the Constitution that would undermine the authority of Congress to take action for the common good in areas such as environmental protection.

As special assistant to the Attorney General in the Reagan Administration, and later as a key legal strategist in the Reagan White House counsel's office, Roberts was an aggressive participant in the administration's attempts to restrict fundamental constitutional and civil rights. In fact, Roberts often came down to the right of ultraconservative legal luminaries, including Robert Bork, William Bradford Reynolds, and Ted Olson. He supported the legality of radical proposals to strip the courts of jurisdiction over certain school desegregation remedies, abortion, and school prayer. He denigrated what he referred to as the “so-called” right to privacy, resisted attempts to fully restore the effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act, and worked against measures aimed at increasing gender equity. As the Washington Post has reported, at times he was “derisive, using words such as 'purported' and 'perceived' to describe discrimination against women.”

When Roberts became top deputy to solicitor general Kenneth W. Starr in 1989, he continued to advance a right-wing agenda. He urged the Court to limit the remedies women could seek when their rights under Title IX were violated. And he asked the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying it has “no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution.”

In his limited time as a federal appeals court judge, Roberts has shown enormous deference to the executive branch, with a broad and expansive view of presidential power that threatens the system of checks and balances. A key dissent by Roberts suggests that he has embraced the ideology of a legal and political movement that seeks to weaken Congress' ability to protect Americans' rights and interests, potentially threatening decades of progress made since the New Deal in safeguarding air, water, and public health, and protecting individual rights and liberties. Among the aspects of Roberts' record documented in this report:

**Roberts supported a restrictive interpretation of the scope of civil rights laws banning gender discrimination in publicly funded school programs, including athletics, a position that would have restricted the reach and enforcement of other important civil rights laws as well.

**Roberts played an important role in an unsuccessful Reagan Administration effort to make it harder to prove violations of the Voting Rights Act.

**Roberts referred dismissively to the “so-called 'right to privacy;'” his record strongly suggests that he does not believe that the Constitution guarantees or protects a right to privacy, a position that threatens reproductive choice, gay rights, and families' medical decision-making. He signed a brief on behalf of the first Bush Administration arguing that “[w]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled.”

**Roberts' record indicates he would allow government endorsement of and favoritism towards religion. His confirmation could open the door to a range of activities that threaten religious liberty, including coercive religious practices in public schools.

**Roberts took the position that Congress could constitutionally strip the Supreme Court of the authority to rule on cases regarding school prayer, abortion, and other issues, a position to the right of that advanced by Theodore Olson and adopted by the Reagan administration.

**Roberts criticized the Supreme Court for overturning a Texas law designed to keep undocumented immigrant children from getting a public education.

**While in the White House, Roberts urged that the administration should “go slowly” on proposed fair housing legislation, claiming that such legislation represented “government intrusion.”

**As a judge Roberts has signaled that he subscribes to the ideas of the new “federalism” that would limit the federal government's power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause to act on behalf of the common good. In Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, Roberts issued a troubling dissent from a decision upholding the constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act. Roberts's dissent suggested that Congress lacked the power under the Commerce Clause to protect endangered species in this case. The consequences of such a radical view, if held by a Supreme Court majority, would extend far beyond the Endangered Species Act to whole areas of Congressional authority, including such longstanding programs as Medicare and Social Security.

**Roberts has written that affirmative action programs were bound to fail because they required “recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates”; and as deputy Solicitor General he unsuccessfully opposed a federal government agency's affirmative action program designed to diversify media ownership.

The White House has broken with precedent and unfortunately continues to deny the Senate access to key documents from Roberts' time as second-in-command to Ken Starr in the solicitor general's office in the Bush I Administration. In the absence of such documents, we must assume that the views expressed in the briefs Roberts signed during his tenure are in fact his own.

Conclusion

John Roberts has spent much of the past two decades in political and legal positions of great influence. The public record that has been revealed over recent weeks demonstrates that Roberts has consistently advocated positions that would undermine Americans' fundamental rights and liberties under the Constitution and federal law. The confirmation of John Roberts to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor would bring dramatic change, move the Supreme Court significantly to the right, and shift the balance of the court to the great and lasting detriment of Americans and the constitutional principles and legal safeguards that protect their families and communities. We urge senators to vote against his confirmation.

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