The Manchurian Candidate: John Roberts

The Manchurian Candidate: John Roberts

Roberts’ nomination was announced just four days after he ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that the Geneva Convention did not apply to detainees being held as “enemy combatants.” Roberts was first interviewed for a Supreme Court seat on April 1, before Hamdan’s appeal was argued.

According to the ethical canons, Judge Roberts should have disqualified himself from hearing the appeal, or at a minimum, advised Hamdan’s attorneys of his conflict of interest. He did neither. The 50-year-old Roberts would have the opportunity to shape the Supreme Court for the next two to three decades.

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JOHN ROBERTS:

Defended Toyota for firing a woman with carpal tunnel syndrome,

Defended the practice of blasting off the tops of mountains, in a friend of the court brief for the National Mining Association,

Asserted that Operation Rescue was only discriminating against “pregnant people, not women,”

Signed off on Reagan’s presidential telegram to a memorial service for 16,500 aborted fetuses,

Stated, “The existence of the [Presidential Records] Act (which makesadministration records publicly available after 12 years) serves to burden the full and frank exchange of the advice now.” He also opposed release of cabinet nominees backgrounds even on a confidential basis to Congress,

Believes the Endangered Species Act is unconstitutional,

Argued that the Medicaid Act did not create any rights that could be enforced by recipients.

Called Fair Housing laws “government intrusion.”

Believes that children of illegal immigrants have no right to an education,

Sees the Voting Rights Act as creating “a quota system for electoral politics,”

Advised the Reagan administration that Congress should prevent federal courts from ordering busing to achieve school desegregation,

Characterized affirmative action as programs to promote “inadequately prepared candidates,”

Tried to deny a child the services of a sign-language interpreter in the classroom, in spite of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act,

Argued in 1991 that victims of sex discrimination could not sue for monetary damages, an argument the entire Supreme court, including Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Rehnquist rejected,

Considers the federal civil rights statute, 42 United States section 1983, “the most serious federal court problem,”

Suggested that the National Labor Relations Board, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Consumer Products Safety Commission should be abolished because they usurp the Executive’s powers.


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Please write your Senators and tell them of your concerns about John Roberts.

For more information, go to allianceforjustice.org or People for the American Way at pfaw.org.

The People’s Lawyer is a project of the Nat’l Lawyers Guild, NYC Chapter. Contact the chapter at nlgnyc.org or at (212) 679-6018.