This article originally appeared in the September / October 2005 edition of Fight Back! Newspaper.
The Supreme Court Nomination:
By Freedom Road Socialist Organization
Make no mistake about it, John G. Roberts, Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court, is a clear and present danger to your rights. He’s a right-wing corporate lawyer with a reactionary agenda. Everyone concerned about what is fair and just should object to his confirmation by the Senate.
The stakes are high. In the years ahead, there is no doubt that the Supreme Court will make decisions on a lot of big issues that effect our lives, including reproductive rights for women, the rights of gays and lesbians, the criminal justice system, voting rights and our democratic rights in general.
Anyone who doubts the importance of the Supreme Court and its decisions should think back to presidential race of 2000 when the Court handed the White House to a Texas governor who lost the election.
Some Democratic Party politicians and a lot of the media pundits are saying it’s too early to take a stand against Roberts because not enough is known about his record. In fact there is more than enough evidence to indict this character.
Roberts started his career as a corporate lawyer. He attacked the rights of workers injured on the job. He then went on to the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. He wrote legal briefs attacking reproductive rights and the voting rights of African Americans and other oppressed nationalities. What’s he done lately? As a federal judge he voted against any real legal process for those held at the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay. This is no small matter. Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are tortured. Some prisoners were just kids. And along comes Roberts, puppet of the Bush administration, who says that neither the Geneva Convention nor the Bill of Rights applies to the detainees.
Everyone knows that right-wing politicians are determined to overturn Roe vs. Wade - the Supreme Court decision that acknowledged abortion rights - and this vital issue will take center stage in the Roberts confirmation process. John Roberts and his supporters are trying to muddy the waters and make it seem like he is a fair-minded man with an unclear position. That’s a lie. He wrote a legal brief saying Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. No serious person can say that his decisions on the bench would do anything other than erode reproductive rights.
The Republican Party and the right wing generally understand what John Roberts is about. That’s why they are preparing with millions of dollars and a media campaign, along with whatever political capital they can muster, to get his nomination through the Senate.
And consider this: No one on the Supreme Court is getting any younger. Bush might well get another chance to nominate yet another justice. The battle over Roberts will shape and inform the fight over future nominees.
In the final analysis, anyone who is appointed to the Supreme Court is going to serve the rich and powerful. It’s anything but the people’s court. That said, standing up and saying no to Roberts is a rejection of injustice and an affirmation of the rights that all oppressed and working people are entitled to. Whether it is abortion rights or anything else that matters, society’s really big issues are going to be settled in the streets, by our collective action and determination to win. We can’t let Roberts, Bush or their backers turn us around or turn the back the clock.