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John Roberts: Just Ignore His Comments!

Reported by Janie - August 19, 2005

Wednesday (8/17) on Dayside, guest-host Mike Jerrick conducted a short-segment entitled "In This Corner" and interviewed Dan Gerstein, former communications director for Joseph Liberman, and Terry Holt, former Republican National Convention Senior Advisor (Holt's "connected" past can be read about here). Today's topic? Patrick Leahy's comments in regards to Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts.

Jerrick quoted Leahy's recent comments on Roberts: "Well, you mention civil rights, Senator Leahy yesterday, went on to say, Senator Leahy says judge Roberts views are the most radical being offered by a cadre of those intent on reversing decades of policies , reversing civil rights acts, reversing voting rights legislation, women's rights, privacy and access to justice. Makes him sound like Attila the Hun. Send him out of the country now!"

Comment: Jerrick makes it seem like these accusations are completely unfounded. Maybe Jerrick should do some actual investigative research and find out why someone would say these things, rather than immediately dismiss them as preposterous. In the mountain of documents on Roberts that was recently released, Roberts was found to have given advice to former President Reagan telling him to "refrain from embracing" the Equal Rights Amendment, that was pending in Congress at the time (an amendment that would give equal rights to women) and was quoted as questioning "whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good". Roberts also held an opinion on the Voting Rights Act. According to the Washington Post : "He wrote vigorous defenses, for example, of the administration's version of a voting rights bill, opposed by Congress, that would have narrowed the reach of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He challenged arguments by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in favor of busing and affirmative action."
On the topic of right to privacy, Roberts called it "the so-called 'right to privacy,' " and asserted that "such an amorphous right is not to be found in the Constitution." I think these quotes from Roberts is enough to back what Leahy stated. It's called journalism Jerrick, look it up!

Holt responded: "They also have to work against some moderate Democrats who have said very rational, reasonable and glowing things about Judge Roberts."

Comment: So Democrats only say rational, reasonable things when they are agreeing with the President?

Gerstein gave a brilliant response to the entire situation: "This is a classic case of situational politics. When the Republicans were in charge of the Senate, and Bill Clinton was president, they raked him over the coals, demanded information about White Water, about 20 different things and said we're exercising oversight responsibility. When the shoe is on the other foot, and Democrats start asking tough questions, this administration has a pronounced habit of saying 'how dare you, how dare you challenge us, you must trust us' and I think all they're doing is their job."

Comment: Despite not being able to get most of his arguments out, because Holt was laughing loudly over him, and cutting him off at every chance he was allotted, Gerstein was able to get this beautiful point across before Holt began yelling over him loudly again and Jerrick ended the interview.

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