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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Looney Left and Wingnut Right Reacts to Roberts Work on Gay Rights Case

From Powerline blog:

Nor am I concerned if, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Roberts helped lawyers in his firm who were arguing before the Supreme Court, in a pro bono representation, that the Constitution protects people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation. Roberts was the lead attorney in his firm's appellate practice. I consider it natural that he would assist his colleagues in a matter like this. The legal position Roberts was helping his firm (and other attorneys involved in the case) advance regarding what the Constitution does and doesn't protect was wrong, I believe, as a matter of law. However, it was not immoral.
Posted by Paul at 01:34 PM

Huh??????? Wonder what Powerline Blogger, and Minnesota Family Institute legal arm advisory board member, John Hinderaker has to say about this. It's Paul the "deacon" rather than Hindrocket who comments on this on Powerline.

(From Wikipedia entry on Hindrocket:

He is an active voice in conservative and Republican circles, and has been considered a possible candidate for the Minnesota US Senate seat. Hinderaker is an advisory board member of the North Star Legal Center, the legal arm of the Minnesota Family Council/Institute; the NSLC also is "instrumental in giving definition and professional credibility to the conservative pro-family legal position in Minnesota." Hinderaker is a 1971 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and completed Harvard Law School in 1974.)

From Independent Gay forum:

The Roberts Revelation.
News that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts performed pro bono work on behalf of gay rights attorneys in the landmark Supreme Court Romer v. Evans case, originally reported by the Los Angeles Times ("Roberts Donated Help to Gay Rights Cause"), has ignited concern among social conservatives. While the pro bono work was at his firm's request, Roberts showed no hesitation, and the gay-rights attorneys praised his efforts in preparing them to go before the Court and successfully argue their case. All of which led right-wing radio host Sean Hannity to opine for several hours on Thursday that the disclosure seems to indicate Roberts does not share the judicial philosophy of Scalia, Rehnquist and Thomas.

The revelations could cause a number of social conservatives to turn on Roberts. A more interesting question is what gay political lobbies such as the Human Rights Campaign, which opposes Roberts over abortion, will do.

If left-liberals continue to work against Roberts, it's doubtful they'll actually get a nominee better on abortion, but now it's certain they won't get a nominee better on gay issues.
-- Stephen H. Miller

From Worldnet Daily:

Roberts donated time to 'gay rights' activists
Homosexuals won anti-bias ruling with help of high-court nominee

Posted: August 4, 2005
2:32 p.m. Eastern

© 2005

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts

John Roberts, President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court, donated his time to homosexual activists, helping them win a landmark anti-bias ruling from the high court in 1996.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Roberts helped represent "gay rights" activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. While the nominee did not actually argue the case before the high court, several lawyers familiar with the case say he was instrumental in reviewing filings and preparing oral arguments.

Now what will James Dobson say about this one.

WN Daily continues:

The Supreme Court ruling was decided on a 6-3 vote, with Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissenting. Bush has repeatedly said he would nominate Supreme Court justices in the mold of Thomas and Scalia. The ruling in Romer v.
Evans struck down a voter-approved 1992 Colorado initiative that nullified "gay rights" measures in the state.

Nope, Romer struck down a voter approved referendum that would outlawed city approved non-discrimination ordinances using equal protection clause.

The article continues:
The Times points out Roberts has stressed that a client's views are not necessarily shared by the lawyer who argues on his or her behalf, so the nominee could claim he did not agree with the homosexual activists he helped.

Walter A. Smith Jr., then head of the pro bono department at Hogan & Hartson, told the paper Roberts didn't hesitate to take the case: "He said, 'Let's do it.' And it's illustrative of his open-mindedness, his fair-mindedness. He did a brilliant job."

Roberts did not mention the Romer case in a 67-page response to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire released this week.

"John probably didn't recall [the case] because he didn't play as large a role in it as he did in others," Smith told the Times yesterday. "I'm sure John has a record somewhere of every case he ever argued, and Romer he did not argue. So he probably would have remembered it less."

Jean Dubofsky was the lead lawyer for the homosexual activists and a former Colorado Supreme Court justice.

"Everybody said Roberts was one of the people I should talk to," Dubofsky is quoted as saying. "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."

And now the FRC has to say they weren't played for fools:

From: Family Research Council
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005 18:16:41 EST
Subject: Hot News or Hot Air?

Hot News or Hot Air?
To: Friends of Family Research Council
From: Tony Perkins, President
Date: August 4, 2005 - Thursday
Please forward this to your Friends and Family!

In This Edition:
1) Hot News or Hot Air?

Hot News or Hot Air?

Today the Los Angeles Times reported that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts did pro bono work on the 1996 Supreme Court case that resulted in the striking down of a Colorado state constitutional amendment that prevented local government from offering protected minority status or preferences based on homosexual or bisexual orientation or conduct. Judge Roberts did the uncompensated legal work on the case, Romer v. Evans, while he was an attorney for the DC law firm Hogan and Hartson. After further investigation we were told that Roberts' role was apparently limited to providing a few hours of participation in a moot court procedure, as he routinely did for all the firm's pro bono clients. More on this as we learn more about this report.

Yup, the Bush team is treating the FRC like the Clinton team treated the HRC. Speaking of the HRC, here's Joe Salmonese's statement circling the wagons on this one.

Judge Roberts involvement in the case is noteworthy, but his participation adds little to our understanding of how he would vote on the court. The stakes are too high for guessing games over Judge Roberts' stance.

The Supreme Court makes critical decisions and it is the nominee's job to guarantee that he will protect individual rights and freedoms on the nation's highest court. Judge Roberts has consistently argued that as an attorney, he has zealously represented the interests of his client, no matter his personal views. Judge Roberts should make clear where he personally stands on important constitutional principles.

It also remains unclear the extent of Roberts' involvement in the case. In fact in a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire Roberts is asked specifically about his pro bono work and he does not mention the case once in his 67-page response. The Senate Judiciary Committee should aggressively and appropriately determine the answers to these questions.

HRC and FRC seem to agree on this one.

And gay conservative blogger North Dallas Thirty hits hard at HRC and Lamda legal, and asks some good questions:

Pull the Strings, the Puppets Dance
As per GayPatriot and The Malcontent, the blogosphere is abuzz this morning over the revelation that Bush Supreme Court nominee John Roberts provided pro bono legal assistance to gay activists arguing the case of Romer vs. Evans, in which the Supreme Court struck down Colorado's antigay Amendment 2 that prevented any form of state government from enacting any form of gay-rights protections.

This is obviously good news. However, this morning, I am seeing red and breathing fire, and there's a very good reason for it. This, more than anything else, lays absolutely bare the degree to which our so-called "gay rights" organizations will whore for Democrats and abortionists at the expense of gay rights.

Strong words, hm? Let me show you why.

Quoting from the Los Angeles Times (emphasis by NDT) [See NDT post for emphasis]:

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."

"He said you have to be able to count and know where your votes are coming from. And the other was that you absolutely have to be on top of why and where and how the state court had ruled in this case," Dubofsky said.

She said Roberts served on a moot court panel as she prepared for oral arguments, with Roberts taking the role of a Scalia-like justice to pepper her with tough questions.

When Dubofsky appeared before the justices, Scalia did indeed demand specific legal citations from the lower-court ruling. "I had it right there at my fingertips," she said.

"John Roberts … was just terrifically helpful in meeting with me and spending some time on the issue," she said. "He seemed to be very fair-minded and very astute."

Dubofsky said Roberts helped her form the argument that the initiative violated the "equal protections" clause of the Constitution.

The points emphasized all lead to one central conclusion -- John Roberts not only gave advice on Romer, which could be done privately and without too much fanfare, he openly and publicly assisted people in preparing arguments and ensuring that they could be successful in front of the high court. In gay parlance, relative to his support on this case, he was not only out of the closet, he was setting the wastebaskets on fire as he walked by.

However, what are the "gay rights" groups saying?

HRC says "John Roberts Threatens to Tip the Supreme Court to the Far Right".

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (emphasis mine):

We especially call upon our allies in the Senate to determine whether Judge Roberts subscribes to the holdings of Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas, among other cases, and will affirm that the civil rights and privacy rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are protected by the Constitution.

Finally, and my favorite, Lambda Legal (emphasis again mine):

In nominating Judge John G. Roberts to replace Justice O’Connor on the Supreme Court President Bush has just about guaranteed that divisiveness will continue to reign in the judicial nomination process. Some have suggested that Judge Roberts is well-liked, but with all due respect, we need to know if he will stand up for the rights of all Americans not whether some people think he’s a nice guy.

Really, these comments and allegations are complete and total insults to gays' intelligence. Every single one of these groups allegedly contributed time, money, and expertise (meaning staff) to the legal team in the Romer appeal. Does Lambda, for one, expect us to believe that they had no idea who was giving advice and practice assistance to their co-counsel? What were their people doing when Roberts was shooting questions at Dubofsky in a mock courtroom for the specific purpose of getting her ready to argue the case? Were they jumping door-to-door in Dupont Circle while he was helping her construct the arguments? Were they on their twelfth vodka-and-Seven at JR's while he was giving her his considerable insight on how best to appeal to each justice?

In short, these so-called "gay rights" groups flat-out hid and lied about John Roberts's record. There is no plausible way that they could be unaware of the fact that he assisted the legal team or that he himself helped, as Dubofsky cited above, to construct the argument that Amendment 2 violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment is the one working chance that gays have for arguing for ALL forms of equal protection -- and these groups are opposing and attempting to smear a nominee who has demonstrated that he feels the Fourteenth Amendment DOES apply to gays, and did so on a case that not even the allegedly "gay-friendly" Clinton administration would file a brief stating that they favored. What gives?

The reasons for these groups' studied ignorance and outright mendacity are blatantly obvious when you again review the statements previously cited. When you click on HRC's button, the first reason given to oppose Roberts is that he would "undermine a woman's right to choose". Lambda Legal is even more blatant, inserting an entire paragraph in their press release instructing you to "visit" another portion of their site "to learn more about the connection between reproductive choice and civil rights for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community". NGLTF's insane devotion to promoting and protecting abortion is already well-documented (Matt Foreman's statement that implies nobody knows what Roberts's stance was on Romer is not related, in my opinion, to abortion -- it's just another reminder of how little research he does prior to commenting).

Finally, and perhaps the biggest reason of all, John Roberts was nominated by the Bush administration. That equals automatic disqualification and blocking for Democrats and, like they did for the outing campaign run by Democratic consultants Mike Rogers and John Aravosis, they pay other people to do their smear work for them. Supporting abortion and Democrats at the expense of gay rights is par for the course for many "gay leaders", including current executive director Joe Solmonese and former board member Ellen Malcom, and for all of these organizations that called candidates who supported stripping gays of legal rights (ironically, by state constitutional amendments) pro-gay and gay-supportive. What makes it even easier is that organizations like HRC are run by lobbyists who are completely dependent on Dems for their income, i.e. Hilary Rosen and Mike Berman, and former Democratic staffers, i.e. Joe Solmonese, and are constantly short on cash. It's not hard for Dems to get them to jump on command -- just wave a dollar bill, and they come running over to your window.

Exactly. I happen to be pro-choice on abortion, but think that should this report hold out, groups like HRC and Lamda Legal have some 'splaining to do.

It's interesting the unhinged left Americablog commenters and wingnut right Freepers are both coming up with conspiracy theories on this one.