The Nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court

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  • Roberts Confirmed as 17th Chief JusticeJohn Glover Roberts Jr. was sworn in yesterday as the 17th chief justice of the United States, enabling President Bush to put his stamp on the Supreme Court for decades to come, even as he prepares to name a second nominee to the nine-member court. He was the youngest chief justice since John Marshall.

  • Roberts Says Much but Gives Away LittleFor those senators who were busy excavating his past for hints of his future, Judge John G. Roberts Jr. had a history lesson of his own to offer on his first day under questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • Roberts Survives Grilling, Dems Turn To Swing SeatAfter four days in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, John Roberts appears headed for confirmation as the 17th chief justice of the United States, even as Democrats and outside groups gear up for the next, even more critical, fight.

  • John Roberts--More Evidence that He Thinks Like a HistorianAnother document has now come to light that reflects Robert’s continuing interest in historical scholarship. It is an article entitled “Oral Advocacy and the Re-emergence of a Supreme Court Bar” published this year in an issue of the Journal of Supreme Court History (2005, Vol. 30 No. 1; pp 68-81). In this most recent writing Roberts reflects on the historical trend toward “discernible professionalization among the advocates before the Supreme Court” (of which Roberts is one) and traces the role that oral advocacy has had on the court.

  • Roberts Rx: Speak Up, But Shut Up"THE first thing I say to them is, your role in this process is that of a bridegroom at a wedding: stay out of the way, be on time and keep your mouth shut."

  • Old Memo From Roberts the Young Lawyer Shows a Caustic SideWhen he was a young lawyer in the Justice Department in 1982, John G. Roberts Jr. wrote a memorandum that contained an unusually caustic assessment of a prominent black lobbying group called TransAfrica.

  • Roberts in the 80s Was Hostile to Release of RecordsJournalists have discovered one document of particular interest to historians and archivists as it relates to John Roberts's views on government openness with respect to presidential records and the Presidential Records Act (PRA).

  • Roberts Memo Urged Laws Prohibiting Busing, QuotasSupreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. advised the Reagan administration's attorney general that"it makes eminent sense" to seek legislation permanently barring the use of employment quotas to redress discrimination and prohibiting the busing of students to foster the integration of schools, according to newly disclosed archival documents. The March 15, 1982, recommendation to enact administration policy into law came up in a written assessment that year by Roberts and a colleague in the office of then-Attorney General William French Smith of legal issues raised by conservative groups.

  • Are Roberts Documents Being Withheld in Violation of Law? With the approval of the White House, recently the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released some 57,385 Roberts-related materials documenting much of Robert's career when he worked for the Reagan administration. News articles have focused on what the papers contain and what they reveal about the nominee. But what about the 2,945 pages that the White House has not yet released? Are they being withheld legitimately under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and its accompanying Executive Orders that interpret the law and provide guidance to NARA for the release of such documents? Some government openness advocates are beginning to wonder whether the remaining papers are being withheld legitimately by the Bush administration.

  • In Article, Roberts's Pen Appeared to Dip South When John G. Roberts Jr. prepared to ghostwrite an article for President Ronald Reagan a little over two decades ago, his pen took a Civil War reenactment detour. The article, which was to appear in the scholarly National Forum journal, was called"The Presidency: Roles and Responsibilities." Roberts was writing by hand a section on how the congressional appropriations process had evolved. A fastidious editor of other people's copy as well as his own, Roberts began with the words"Until about the time of the Civil War." Then, the Indiana native scratched out the words"Civil War" and replaced them with"War Between the States."

  • Roberts's Harvard Roots: A Movement Was Stirring John G. Roberts Jr. arrived at Harvard in the fall of 1973, a nascent conservative from a Catholic boarding school in the Republican Midwest, transplanted to Cambridge, Mass., at a time when campus conservatism seemed to be in hibernation. Prep school Marxists blustered about armed struggle, and students picketed liquor stores for carrying a boycotted wine. Conservatives were casually dismissed as a joke.

  • Roberts's Files From 80's Recall Big Debates of Era Only an indistinct portrait of the young John G. Roberts Jr. emerged in thousands of pages released on Monday by the National Archives from the Supreme Court nominee's years in the Reagan White House. But the documents do provide a vivid reminder of the debates that consumed official Washington in those days.

  • Roberts Helped to Shape 80's Civil Rights Debate: was 1981 and John G. Roberts Jr. was 26, two years out of Harvard Law School and an eager combatant in the political wars - including the one over the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was up for renewal in Congress. In general, he wrote to one of his mentors after three months on the job:"This is an exciting time to be at the Justice Department. So much that has been taken for granted for so long is being seriously reconsidered."

  • John Roberts helped on gay-rights case: Supreme Court nominee John Roberts worked behind the scenes for a coalition of gay-rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people against discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

  • Judge Roberts, Meet Daniel Webster: In 1976, when John Roberts was a 21-year-old senior at Harvard, a paper he wrote won the annual Bowdoin Prize in the English language. Here are some excerpts from that work,"The Utopian Conservative: A Study of Continuity and Change in the Thought of Daniel Webster," along with some dorm-room speculation about what they reveal of the mind of the man who may soon sit on the Supreme Court.

  • Court Nominee Was Part of Legal Team Seeking to Shift Course on Civil Rights Laws: In the early 1980s, a young intellectual lawyer named John G. Roberts Jr. was part of the vanguard of a conservative political revolution in civil rights, advocating new legal theories and helping enforce the Reagan administration's effort to curtail the use of courts to remedy racial and sexual discrimination. Just 26 when he joined the Justice Department as a special assistant to Attorney General William French Smith, Roberts was almost immediately entrusted to counsel senior department officials on such incendiary matters of the day as school desegregation, voting rules and government antidotes to bias in housing and hiring.

  • John Roberts's White House Memos Offer Opinions on Supreme Court: For those seeking clues to the judicial philosophy of John G. Roberts, documents from his years as a lawyer in the White House counsel's office during the Reagan administration provide revealing evidence. in 1983, Mr. Roberts addressed a proposed constitutional amendment setting a 10-year term of office for federal judges. The Justice Department opposed the measure on the ground that life tenure was critical to judicial independence. Mr. Roberts did not disagree, but noted that the framers had adopted life tenure at a time when life expectancy was significantly shorter. He then made an argument in favor of limited terms."Setting a term of, say, 15 years would ensure that federal judges would not lose all touch with reality through decades of ivory tower existence," Mr. Roberts wrote."It would also provide a more regular and greater degree of turnover among the judges."

  • John Roberts/An Advocate for the Right: The early 1980's were a heady time for conservatives in Washington.Ronald Reagan was president, and after years on the outside, some of the strongest voices in the conservative movement - men like Edwin Meese III, James G. Watt, William Bradford Reynolds and Theodore B. Olson - were in high positions in the government and were determined to reverse what they believed to be years of liberal policies in areas like civil rights, environmental protection, criminal law and immigration. John G. Roberts, a young lawyer in the Justice Department in 1981 and 1982 and on the White House counsel's staff from 1982 to 1986, held positions too junior for him to set policy in those days. But his internal memorandums, some of which have become public in recent days, reveal a philosophy every bit as conservative as that of the policy makers on the front lines of the Reagan revolution and give more definin recent days, reveal a philosophy every bit as conservative as that of the policy makers on the front lines of the Reagan revolution and give more definition to his image than was apparent in the first days after President Bush picked him to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

  • Supreme Court/Nominee Excelled as an Advocate Before Court: On a Friday in October 1990, the Justice Department got some bad news from the clerk of the Supreme Court: The justices had disqualified a young assistant solicitor general scheduled to argue a highly technical bankruptcy case the next Monday. For a replacement, Solicitor General Kenneth W. Starr tapped his 35-year-old principal deputy, John G. Roberts Jr. Roberts spent the weekend on the case, came to the court Monday morning and fielded questions from the justices for the government's allotted 10 minutes. Then, in the afternoon, he went to the second-most-powerful court in town, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and argued another case -- a complicated financial dispute between the Environmental Protection Agency, which Roberts represented, and the water authority of Rochester, N.Y. Roberts's side won both cases. Although other justices in recent times have come from a career spent mostly in law practice, Roberts's nomination is the first in at least a century in which a former leader of the small, elite group of lawyers who regularly practice before the high court has been picked as a justice, according to Supreme Court historian Dennis J. Hutchinson of the University of Chicago. To argue before the Supreme Court on only a couple of days' notice is rare. But to do so on the same day as appearing before another demanding federal appeals court is practically unheard of, lawyers say, a challenge that only the most confident and versatile of advocates would take on.

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Stephen Francis Kislock III - 8/13/2005

If you have not read Judge John G. Roberts Jr. Statement to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary,
"http://web.mel.org/melfiles/roberts_final.pdf".
This is an 83 page file.
Sincerely,
Stephen F. Kislock III

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