A foot soldier in the Reagan revolution

With confirmation hearings a week away, more memos reveal John Roberts' partisan views.

By T.g.
August 30, 2005 7:22PM (UTC)
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Is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission "un-American"?

John G. Roberts seems to have suggested as much in a memo he wrote in 1983 while working in the office of the White House counsel under President Reagan. As the Washington Post tells the tale, a citizen had written a letter to Reagan in which he called the EEOC "un-American" and demanded that Reagan live up to his promise to eliminate it. Roberts was assigned to deal with the letter. In a memo back to his boss, Roberts said he couldn't find any evidence that Reagan had ever promised to get rid of the EEOC. Then he added: "We should ignore that assertion in any event, as well as the assertion that the EEOC is 'un-American,' the truth of the matter notwithstanding."


The memo was one of several the National Archives and Records Administration released yesterday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Post and other news organizations. As the Post says, the memos repeatedly show Roberts' "partisanship in his early jobs at the Justice Department and the White House."

In the documents, Roberts urges the Reagan administration to pursue legislation that would bar the use of racial quotas in hiring and prohibit the use of busing to integrate schools. He suggests that police powers be limited to the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury, and he complains that the head of Bob Jones University had been insufficiently grateful for the Reagan administration's efforts at "promoting the interests of fundamental Christians in general."

The Alliance for Justice is announcing its opposition to Roberts' nomination today in Washington. Confirmation hearings begin next week.



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