The National Lawyers Guild
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 6, 2005
CONTACT: The National Lawyers Guild
Michael Avery, President, 617-573-8551
Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President, 858-484-2387
Paul Gattone, Executive Vice President. 520-631-6385
National Lawyers Guild Urges Democratic Senators to Use All Means - Including Filibuster - to Defeat Nomination of Roberts for Chief Justice
NEW YORK - September 6 - The National Lawyers Guild urges the Democratic senators to use all means, including the filibuster if necessary, to defeat the nomination of John Roberts for Chief Justice of the United States. Roberts' record reveals a callous disregard for the rights the poor, for minorities, for women, for the disabled, for workers, and for a clean and safe environment.
John Roberts' career has established his credentials as an uncompassionate conservative. He has worked consistently to deny access to the courts to individuals who have suffered harm.
- tried to cut back the federal law that allows people to sue the government when they have been deprived of their federal rights, by arguing that the state of Virginia should not reimburse hospitals for Medicaid claims at reasonable rates. Roberts said the Medicaid Act did not create any enforceable rights.
- viewed legislation to fortify the Fair Housing Act as "government intrusion."
- condemned a Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law that allowed schools to deny admission to the children of undocumented workers.
- fought for a narrow interpretation of the Voting Rights Act that would have made it much harder for minorities to get elected to public office, and mischaracterized the Act as requiring "a quota system for electoral politics."
- contended that Congress could pass a law to prevent all federal courts from ordering busing to achieve school desegregation, a position much more extreme than that adopted by the Reagan administration.
- took the position that affirmative action programs are bound to fail because they require recruiting "inadequately prepared candidates," an unfounded and racist stance.
- referred to the "so-called 'right to privacy'" in the Constitution, and argued that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled.
- worked to keep women who have suffered gender discrimination out of court.
- ridiculed the gender pay equity theory of equal pay for comparable work as a "radical redistributive concept."
- supported a dramatic weakening of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, by arguing that a deaf student who got by in school by lip-reading and using a hearing aid was not entitled under the Act to receive the services of a sign-language interpreter in the classroom.
- defended Toyota for firing a woman with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- argued on behalf of the National Mining Association that West Virginia citizens could not prevent mining companies from extracting coal by blasting the tops off of mountains and depositing the debris in nearby valleys and streams.
Throughout his career, John Roberts has taken positions that demonstrate his insensitivity to the rights and needs of the disadvantaged. The 50-year-old Roberts would have the opportunity to shape the Supreme Court for the next two to three decades. A Roberts Court would threaten the rights of all but the rich and powerful.
The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, comprises over 6,000 members and activists in the service of the people. Its national office is headquartered in New York City and it has chapters in nearly every state, as well as over 100 law school chapters.