Thursday, August 04, 2005

Expect the Christian Right to Howl...

Surprising article about Supreme Court nominee John Roberts in today's Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay rights activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. He did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the high court, but he was instrumental in reviewing filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers intimately involved in the case.

...Jean Dubofsky, lead lawyer for the gay rights activists and a former Colorado Supreme Court justice, said that when she came to Washington to prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court presentation, she immediately was referred to Roberts.

"Everybody said Roberts was one of the people I should talk to," Dubofsky said. "He has a better idea on how to make an effective argument to a court that is pretty conservative and hasn't been very receptive to gay rights."

She said he gave her advice in two areas that were "absolutely crucial."

It might be the right, and not the meek left, that will torpedo this nomination. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback has already been making ugly noises that Roberts might not be as anti-choice as Brownback would like.

It's worth noting that many conservatives have been floating Scalia to replace Chief Justice Rehnquist when he finally retires, and more than a few Democrats have indicated in advance that Scalia would be an acceptable choice. For his hateful language in this decision alone, every Democrat should oppose his elevation to Chief Justice - or stop passing the hat in the gay community when reelection time rolls around.

The case was argued before the Supreme Court in October 1995, and the ruling was handed down the following May. Suzanne B. Goldberg, a staff lawyer for New York-based Lambda, a legal services group for gays and lesbians, called it the "single most important positive ruling in the history of the gay rights movement."

In the blistering dissent, Scalia, joined by Rehnquist and Thomas, said "Coloradans are entitled to be hostile toward homosexual conduct." Scalia added that the majority opinion had "no foundation in American constitutional law, and barely pretends to."


Blogger Flippy said...

"Coloradans are entitled to be hostile toward homosexual conduct."

Seriously? Am I allowed to be hostile towards what other people do inside their homes? I think we should pass laws against people who eat lima beans. That's sick.

7:19 PM  

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