Well, the jury's still out on Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts, if you'll pardon the pun.
We've got a very enigmatic person on our hands.
The Christian right has been celebrating his nomination, describing him as "in the mold of Supreme Court justices...such as Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas."
There have been some odd things. I'm unhappy with his recent decision agreeing with the White House that Guantanamo Bay detainees are not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention. I'm disturbed by the french fry ruling, but then again in that case he was simply enforcing the law, even if I think the zero-tolerance policy resulting in the arrest of a 12 year old girl for eating a single french fry in the DC subway is, comment est-ce qu'on dit...fou?
I can accept that as White House counsel it was his job to advocate positions and policies that I would not agree with. I assume, also, that anyone with any integrity would not work for an administration if they opposed its policies; but still, this little technicality has allowed President Bush to cast his nominee as a centrist, even as extreme right wing ideologues such as James Dobson describe him as "unquestionably qualified."
These endorsements had me mildly worried. I wondered if the right wing knew something we didn't? Was he a stealth nominee? Or was he really a centrist? Bush has been known to misjudge nominees in the past. Remember Bernie Kerik?
There were some other things; he "forgot" he was a member of the conservative Federalist Society, and he previously acknowledged that Roe v. Wade was the "settled law of the land" and added, "there's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent." What is one to make of that?
And then came today's bombshell.
It turns out that Bush's darling nominee did pro-bono work on the 1996 landmark Romer v. Evans, which overturned Colorado's anti-gay legislation. Suzanne Goldberg, who was at the time on the staff of Lambda Legal, described the victory as "the single most important positive ruling in the history of the gay rights movement."
Yup, Roberts volunteered his time to assist the gay rights movement. In fact, when he was first approached about working on the case, his reported response was, "Let's do it."
I'm trying to picture Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas taking personal time to advance the homosexual agenda.
Mr. Dobson...any comment?
UPDATE: The New York Times reports, "James C. Dobson, chairman of the evangelical group Focus on the Family, said Judge Roberts's work in the case was "not welcome news to those of us who advocate for traditional values," though he said it did not necessarily mean that Judge Roberts shared the plaintiffs' views."
UPDATE 2: Conservative "pro-family" organization calls on President Bush to withdraw the nomination.
In other news, I received an email today from the American Family Association asking me to vote in a poll on whether I supported the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.
For the record, I voted no. (Currently the result is 95% in favor.) I still believe God is the driving force behind evolution, but frankly I think it would do Christianity more good to have biology taught in Sunday school than to have religion taught in science class.
Additionally, you may click here to sign the AFA's petition to support John Roberts.