John G. Roberts Jr.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005; 8:32 PM
|John G. Roberts, Jr., 50, was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2003 by President Bush.|
With impeccable credentials -- Roberts attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, clerked for Justice William H. Rehnquist on the Supreme Court and has argued frequently before the court -- the question marks about Roberts have always been ideological. While his Republican Party loyalties are undoubted, earning him the opposition of liberal advocacy groups, he is not a "movement conservative," and some on the party's right-wing doubt his commitment to their cause. His paper record is thin: As deputy solicitor general in 1990, he argued in favor of a government regulation that banned abortion-related counseling by federally funded family-planning programs. A line in his brief noted the Bush administration's belief that Roe v. Wade should be overruled.
As a judge on the D.C. Circuit, Roberts voted with two colleagues to uphold the arrest and detention of a 12-year-old girl for eating french fries on the Metro train, though his opinion noted that "[n]o one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation." In another case, Roberts wrote a dissenting opinion that suggested Congress might lack the power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause to regulate the treatment of a certain species of wildlife.