Flashback: Chief Justice Roberts on the Role of Women
March 20, 2009, 3:49 pm
Filed under: Ian | Tags: ,

sexist_old_adAfter his nomination to the Supreme Court, I played in bit part in efforts to warn the nation that then-Judge Roberts may not be the charming moderate he claimed to be, but I’m always stunned at how willing the nation was to ignore obvious red flags that should have made him unconfirmable.  Dahlia Lithwick reminds me of an incident from the Chief Justice’s past which had slipped my mind:

But let’s say 20-year-old footnotes and signing your name on a brief really do signify deeply felt ideological views. What did Senate Republicans do with then-nominee John Roberts’ 1984 memo defending legislation that would have stripped all school-busing cases from the courts—even when his superiors at the Justice Department thought the proposed bill went too far? Nothing. What did they read into his 1985 memo about nominating a government lawyer for an award program honoring women who changed professions after 30, in which he opined, “Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good, but I suppose that is for the judges to decide”? Nothing. Roberts’ Paleozoic views on women freaked out even Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum. But his GOP supporters dismissed these youthful foibles and celebrated him as “nonactivist.”

Really, Your Honor?


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