“Americans deserve a nominee who respects this country’s culture of freedom and personal responsibility, and who understands the profound effect his decisions have on our everyday lives,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “We are extremely disappointed that President Bush has chosen such a divisive nominee for the highest court in the nation, rather than a consensus nominee who would protect individual liberty and uphold Roe v. Wade. President Bush has consciously chosen the path of confrontation, and he should know that we, and the 65% of Americans who support Roe, are ready for the battle ahead.”
Some of the lowlights of Judge Robert’s background include:
- As Deputy Solicitor General, Roberts argued in a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court (in a case that did not implicate Roe v. Wade) that “[w]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled…. [T]he Court’s conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion… finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution.”
- In Rust v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court considered whether Department of Health and Human Services regulations limiting the ability of Title X recipients to engage in abortion-related activities violated various constitutional provisions. Roberts, appearing on behalf of HHS as Deputy Solicitor General, argued that this domestic gag rule did not violate constitutional protections.
- Roberts, again as Deputy Solicitor General, filed a “friend of the court” brief for the United States supporting Operation Rescue and six other individuals who routinely blocked access to reproductive health care clinics, arguing that the protesters’ behavior did not amount to discrimination against women even though only women could exercise the right to seek an abortion.
- The Court was so accustomed to the Solicitor General and the Deputy Solicitor General arguing for the overturn of Roe that during John Roberts’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in Bray, a Justice Asked, “Mr. Roberts, in this case are you asking that Roe v. Wade be overruled?” He responded, “No, your honor, the issue doesn’t even come up.” To this the justice said, “Well, that hasn’t prevented the Solicitor General from taking that position in prior cases.”