Wednesday, August 03, 2005

John G. Roberts: Friend or Foe?

As the Senate prepares for confirmation hearings regarding John G. Roberts's nomination to the Supreme Court, we are left wondering about the implications the nomination will have on African Americans. In a complete about face from their war-like attitude with John R. Bolton, Senate Democrats are actually a little too friendly with this recent nominee. We were somewhat taken aback when Democratic Leader Harry Reid smiled, posed for the cameras and told Roberts he was looking forward to learning more about him. This is not to say that Democrats should be combative, but this change in attitude is somewhat surprising.

Even more surprising is the fact that the nominee's true political beliefs are a mystery to many. It is safe to say that Roberts is clearly not liberal, but the words "staunch conservative" or "moderate" are up for grabs in terms of describing him. One thing does stand out, however, and that is his stance on Civil Rights. A report in Monday's Washington Post uncovered memos Roberts wrote during his time in the Reagan Administration. According to the Post, Roberts had views that were not too far removed from Reagan's approach to civil rights. Let's remember that Reagan and civil rights DO NOT go together.

As the confirmation hearings approach, Republican Senators are attempting to block questions about Roberts's views on civil rights. We sincerely hope that Democrats such as Ted Kennedy continue to pressure Roberts about his political beliefs. It is impossible to know the extent to which Roberts still holds some views, but we do know that feelings about issues such as civil rights simply do not fall by the wayside, either.