GOP talking points on Roberts exposed

What Republicans want you to think about the Supreme Court nominee.

Published July 22, 2005 6:20PM (EDT)

Congressional staff members on both sides of the aisle might want to remove Raw Story from their email list-servs. Republicans and Democrats alike can't seem to keep their internal memos off Raw Story's front page. On Thursday the site claimed to have gotten its cybermitts on yet another set of talking points, this one from Republicans regarding the newly anointed Supreme Court nominee.

The dossier begins with a matter-of-fact detailing of John Roberts' professional record. Then it goes on to take a critical look at Roberts' actions as a deputy solicitor general and a judge. The analysis is meant to provide Republicans with rebuttals of likely Democratic criticisms. But it also points up problems that Roberts might have placating the subfamily of hardcore conservatives who would like to clone Antonin Scalia.

According to the dossier, Roberts' decisions as an advocate "often speak to judicial restraint." And, the authors continue, "since his confirmation to the DC Circuit, Judge Roberts has authored about 40 opinions, but only three of his opinions have drawn any dissent ... Similarly, though he has sat on numerous other three-judge or en banc panels, he has written dissenting opinions in only two cases."

The dossier moves on to undercut two key decisions that have caused liberals consternation -- Roberts' brief, while he was still an advocate, against Roe vs. Wade in the case of Rust vs. Sullivan and his dissent as a judge against the "hapless" arroyo toad. According to the document, both those decisions were simply following established precedent and weren't as controversial as they might seem.

Don't be surprised to see GOPers on the talk-show circuit this weekend downplaying Roberts' conservatism. We'll be listening for earnest avowals that Roberts does not hate toads.

By Aaron Kinney

Aaron Kinney is a writer in San Francisco. He has a blog.

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