Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Information on Roberts

I'm trying to be hesitant in my judgement of nominee John G. Roberts. It would be really easy for me to dislike the man just because Bush appointed him. (Although evidence seems to say that anyone Bush supports isn't the most upstanding of citizens). I'm feeling more and more concern about the man, though. I found this article through BlondeSense, through TruthOut.

From "Charter Member of Reagan Vanguard," by R. Jeffrey Smith, Amy Goldstein and Jo Becker of The Washington Post (Monday 1 August 2005) (linked in from here)

Cooper [Charles J. Cooper - who "who worked closely with Roberts while serving as a special assistant and later as deputy to the assistant attorney general for civil rights"] said he does not recall details of the dispute but says the memo is consistent with Roberts's overall view at the time "that there had been excesses in the civil rights remedial approaches of the prior administration." Other memos by Roberts similarly argued for reining in the federal government's role in civil rights disputes. They indicate, for example, that he was at the center of articulating and defending the administration's policy that the Voting Rights Act - a seminal law passed in 1965 and up for renewal in 1982 - should in the future bar only voting rules that discriminate intentionally, rather than those that were shown to have a discriminatory effect. (link)

On Title IX, something that's close to heart for this ex-jock.

Roberts's writings also show that he favored another pillar of the administration's new civil rights policies in education: an effort to limit the use of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which allows the government to withhold federal aid from schools that discriminate against women. Until then, Title IX had been interpreted to mean that all of a school's funding could be cut off if it discriminated at all, but Reagan officials rewrote the rules so that only the specific program found guilty of discrimination would lose money - an interpretation that Congress later overruled.

His second summer working for the attorney general, Roberts wrote Smith a memo on this topic, urging that the administration stand behind a lower court decision siding with the University of Richmond in a case brought by the US Department of Education for alleged sex discrimination in its sports programs.

"I strongly agree with [the] recommendation not to appeal" the court's decision that the university did not have to turn over athletic records to the government because its intercollegiate sports received no federal aid, Roberts wrote. "Under Title IX, federal investigators cannot rummage willy-nilly through institutions, but can only go as far as the federal funds go." (link)

Hesitancy is fleeing, and I'm beginning to feel real concern.


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