I watched C-SPAN yesterday and a pundit interviewed John Robert’s old Harvard roommate Richard Lazarus. It seems John Robert’s was quite an individual. Supposedly, Roberts ate chocolate chip ice cream from Baskin Robbins “religiously”. Lazarus also said that the two handed out candy one Halloween but ran out of sweets and forgot to turn the lights off. You have to turn the lights off, or the kiddies won’t know to venture elsewhere. I wonder what Roberts handed out when the candy was out -- perhaps coat hangers?
Nobody denies that John Roberts is an intelligent, hard working, and articulate individual. While the same qualities could be attributed to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and the former ruler of WMD central himself Saddam Hussein, I’m not sure I would want them heading the judicial branch of the government. Interpreting the constitution without bias to better insure the liberties of Americans is more what I had in mind.
Admittedly, I’m not certain where the previous four leaders stood on abortion. I am certain however, that John Roberts is firmly against it. Luckily for him his wife agrees. She served as an executive for Feminists for Life. Nope, nothing to do with the death penalty or the war in Iraq, this group is strictly against “baby killers.”
John Roberts may be soft on ice cream, but he is undoubtedly hard on abortion. In 1971 Roberts stated, “We continue to believe that Roe (v. Wade) was wrongly decided and should be overruled.” Whether applauding virulent anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue, or following George Bush Senior’s lead in ostracizing a woman’s right to choose, John Roberts wants our women bare foot and pregnant, and under the court’s control.
Fun-loving Roberts doesn’t stop there: put your flags and kerosene away because like school prayer it will be preserved to the fullest if John Roberts has a say. To think I just bought ten American flags made in China specifically for that purpose.
In 1990 Roberts went before the Supreme Court at the behest of the first Bush administration to ban flag burning. The Court gave Roberts a different flavor than he was used to, and told American citizens to burn away. The most troubling part of the case was not that Roberts was arguing against flag burning, but rather that he admitted it was “an expressive act.” This “necessity” to hinder freedom of expression is indicative of a man who claims to have no prejudices.
While I don’t mind praying for people like John Roberts not to be the next Chief Justice, I don’t think it should be sanctioned at schools across the country. When Roberts argued for sectarian prayers at high school graduations, I don’t think he had the reciting of the Koran in mind -- considering his conservative Roman Catholic values -- but I applaud his sinister attempt to blur the lines between church and state. For the record, Chocolate Chip went home with another loss that day.
Lastly, if you’re a minority, an animal, or know one or two, watch out. Roberts has come down hard on affirmative action, legal protection for “enemy combatants,” and has advocated restricting the scope of the Endangered Species Act.
Ice cream lover and intellect, John Roberts, has had a short career, with enough faults to scare any liberty craving American. Who knows how far to the right he’ll go if nominated. Where will he stand on a constitutional ban on gay marriage? What will his ruling be on the overreaching measures in Patriot Act 7? These are things people should be thinking about now and pushing for their representatives to question. We can’t just take his word for it. The only thing we have to judge John Roberts on is his past actions and his fundamental beliefs. Bush’s neocon wrecking ball is destroying everything in sight and is now aiming at the Supreme Court. Baskin Robbins might love John Roberts, but his appetite for the liberties of Americans is something that this country shouldn’t have to stomach.
Remi Kanazi is a Palestinian freelance writer, and the founder of and primary writer for the political website PoeticInjustice.Net. His articles have been features on CounterPunch.org, Aljazeera.com, Palestine Chronicle, Palestine Monitor, MR Zine, Alternative Press Review, Toward Freedom, Middle East Online, Worldpress.org, and the Tehran Times. Remi lives in New York City and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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