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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|The Measure Of A Man|
My father was fond of quoting to me the old adage "you will be known by the company you keep." I'm sure there was an original attribution to that quote somewhere, but Dad never included it, so I am similarly unable to.
At any rate, it seems to me that that adage very comfortably mutates into "you will be known by those who refuse to keep company with you." Or worse, those who willingly, knowingly, and blatantly lie to besmirch you.
Given that, I would say we know very well the quality of John Roberts.
From the National Abortion Rights Action League ad now running in a number of markets around the country:
Announcer: "Seven years ago a bomb destroyed a woman's health clinic In Birmingham, Alabama."
Lyons: ""The bomb ripped my clinic. I almost lost my life. I will never be the same."
Announcer: ""Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber."
Lyons: "I am determined to stop this violence, so I'm speaking out."
Well, NO, he did not file any such briefs. In point of fact, the brief he filed (as the third signatory below Ken Starr, Solicitor General, and Stuart Gerson, Assistant Attorney General) never even mentions the convicted clinic bomber (since,of course, the bombing referred to did not hppen until eight years later), nor does it refer to any so-called fringe groups other than Operation Rescue. The bulk of the argument is based on whether the Court should apply the "Ku Klux Klan" statute to the activities of Operation Rescue. The amicus brief set out to argue the following:
1. Whether a conspiracy to deter pregnant women from obtaining
abortions involves the kind of class-based animus required by 42
2. Whether obstructing access to a medical facility deprives
out-of-state patients of their constitutional right of interstate
It made its way--through logic, facts and the law--to the following conclusion:
In sum, defining the class as "women seeking abortions" does not
further the analysis, since petitioners conduct demonstrations for the
purpose of stopping clinics from performing abortions, not to injure
women because of their gender. Even if women are a class protected by
Section 1985(3), defining the relevant class in terms of an activity
in which women alone can engage does not prove that petitioners'
intent is invidious. The fact remains that abortion is a medical
procedure that fits into a category all by itself, and it is for the
purpose of bringing that singular procedure to a halt that petitioners
hold their demonstrations. That intent does not satisfy the animus
requirement of Griffin and Carpenters v. Scott.
In other words, "women seeking abortions" are not a protected class of citizens under federal law, so the federal system has no jurisdiction in this case.
But even more than that blatant lie is the complete distortion of the outcome of the brief. By a 6-3 split the Court agreed with the side Judge Roberts wrote on behalf of--AND THE PROTESTERS AND THE BOMBER WERE STILL PROSECUTED because existing state laws were more applicable to the case and adequate to the prosecution.
What is startling about this is how even the President of NARAL is distancing herself from the overt purpose of the ad, while still managing to spout lies and distortions. So spake Nance Keenan:
I want to be very clear that we are not suggesting Mr. Roberts condones or supports clinic violence. I’m sure he finds bombings and murder abhorrent. But still his ideological view of the law compelled him to go out of his way to argue on behalf of someone like Michael Bray, who had already been convicted of a string of bombings.”
First of all, you're right that you're not SUGGESTING that Roberts supports violence--YOU"RE OUTfreakin'RIGHT SAYING IT! And he did not go "out of his way" to argue--he was doing his job, being asked by the President through the AG's office under the supervision of the Solicitor General to write a brief!!
The real question for Keenan el al. is this: if your case against Roberts is this weak, and your grasp on the "Right to an Abortion" is so tenuous, that you have to resort to such blatant lying, THEN DOESN"T THE WHOLE OF YOUR POSITION VIS-A-VIS ABORTION AMOUNT TO AN INTELLECTUAL HOUSE OF CARDS? Isn't it time to give up the game, when you HAVE to cheat to even be on the field?