Friday, August 05, 2005

Friday 5 August 2005

Scalia: "No Pink Robes Needed Here"

Conservative Justice Reacts To Roberts Disclosure On Gay Rights Case; Justice Roberts Sunday In The Making

Justice Antonin Scalia said yesterday that he was "disappointed" in nominee John Roberts, for not disclosing he conducted pro bono work, giving advice to advocates of gay rights nearly 10-years ago.

"No pink robes needed here" offered the conservative justice, a member of the Supreme Court since 1986.

The pro bono work of Roberts, in a 1996 Colorado case, Romer v. Evans, is considered the gay rights movement's most significant legal victory. By a 6-to-3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Colorado Constitution that nullified existing civil rights protections for gay men and lesbians and also barred the passage of new antidiscrimination laws.

Roberts did not write legal briefs or argue the case. At the time, as an appellate lawyer for the Washington firm of Hogan & Hartson, he provided strategic guidance, formulating legal theories and coaching.

"I can hear the arguments now", continued Scalia. "Why shouldn't they enjoy the same rights as other married couples? Why should they be denied what every other American can have? Instead of sitting on our court, maybe he should open up a chapel in Las Vegas and he can become a Justice of the Peace and marry them off all day long".

Other conservatives were quick to express their concern about the Roberts nomination.

Focus on the Family Chairman, James C. Dobson said that, for the evangelical group, Roberts's work on the gay rights case was
"not welcome news to those of us who advocate for traditional values."

Colleen Parro, executive director of the Republican National Coalition for Life said his work on the case was "cause for more caution and less optimism" about his nomination.

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council indicated that the upcoming "Justice Sunday II - God Save the United States and this Honorable Court" on August 14th at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee may have to be changed.

"It may have to retitled to 'Justice Roberts Sunday' and focus in on just what this man has done" said Perkins.

"If he has provided the legal foundation for gay marriage, then I'm with Scalia - No pink robes should be hanging in the high court".

"Goodness, it is so obvious ... The phrase 'Struggle Against Global Extremism' takes up this much headline space ... Why on earth would they want to go with the shorter term?"

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