Thursday, August 04, 2005

L.A. Times: Roberts worked on winning side in Romer

John Roberts did pro bono work for gay activist groups in the Romer v. Evans case. In Romer (text of the opinions here), these groups successfully challenged a Colorado initiative which prohibited special legal protection for homosexuality.

A couple of things are clear -- even though Roberts participation as an advocate indicates nothing about his beliefs, this will undercut claims that he is an ideologue who cannot see beyond his preferences and beliefs. It also may make conservatives uneasy (Scalia wrote a scathing dissent in Romer). Certainly a lawyer should advocate for his client. But Ramesh Ponnuru and Mark Levin are right: the Senate confirmation hearings should feature more questions about legal philosophy and ideas, not less. Perhaps not, "how would you decide Roe today?" But something a little stronger than "would you faithfully interpret the text of the Constitution or would you make it say what you want it to say?"
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