Erwin Chemerinsky, Alston & Bird professor of law and professor of political science, Duke University
For those who care about civil liberties and civil rights, there is every reason to be troubled by John Roberts. Nothing in his record shows any support for basic liberties such as reproductive choice, or for advancing civil rights. The briefs he wrote as a lawyer, at the Department of Justice and in private practice, urged the overruling and limiting of abortion rights and programs to remedy past discrimination. In his short time as a judge his decisions have been consistently very conservative. Senate Democrats should announce that they will filibuster Roberts unless they are satisfied that he will adhere to key precedents with regard to civil liberties and civil rights.
Imagine in the 1950s a nominee who had consistently written briefs urging the overruling or limiting of Brown v. Board of Education. The nominee should have been rejected by the Senate unless he or she could show that the written record was not an accurate reflection of the person’s views. That is exactly how the Senate should treat John Roberts.
My emphasis. If he really believes that Roe was wrongly decided, he doesn’t belong on the Court. If he really hates affirmative action and separation of church and state so much, he doesn’t belong.
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