It's not exactly a surprise -- and it's almost certainly not going to make a difference -- but People for the American Way has just announced that it will oppose the confirmation of John G. Roberts to the United States Supreme Court.
In a 50-page report, PFAW says that putting Roberts on the court would "undermine Americans' rights and freedoms and limit the role of the federal courts in upholding them." PFAW said Roberts has, throughout his career as a lawyer and a judge, "worked to impede or undermine progress toward realizing the Constitution's promise of equal justice under law."
"As special assistant to the attorney general in the Reagan administration, and later as a key legal strategist in the Reagan White House counsel's office, Roberts was an aggressive participant in the administration's attempts to restrict fundamental constitutional and civil rights," PFAW writes. "When Roberts became top deputy to solicitor general Kenneth W. Starr in 1989, he continued to advance a right-wing agenda. He urged the Court to limit the remedies women could seek when their rights under Title IX were violated. And he asked the court to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying it has 'no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution.' In his limited time as a federal appeals court judge, Roberts has shown enormous deference to the executive branch, with a broad and expansive view of presidential power that threatens the system of checks and balances."
In a letter to Roberts yesterday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter told the nominee to expect tough questions about his views on the power of the Supreme Court versus the power of the Congress when his confirmation hearing begins on Sept. 6. Once those questions have been asked and either answered or avoided, there's something else Roberts can expect: confirmation. As the Washington Post reported earlier this month, Roberts may already have a filibuster-proof level of support in the U.S. Senate.