Conservatives commit hara-kiri for Bush’s non-conservative nominee
Conservatives who haven’t lost all vestige of intellectual principle must be gagging at their continued defense of John G. Roberts’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court. The information about Roberts published by the Los Angeles Times last Thursday is damning from any honest conservative perspective. Not only did Roberts give significant pro bono help to the lawyers representing the homosexual rights activists in Romer v. Evans, and not only was his advice substantive (relating to 14th Amendment equal-protection arguments) as well as technical, and not only did the chief lawyer for the homosexual activists describe Roberts’s assistance as “absolutely crucial” in the case, and no only has another gay rights activists called the decision the “single most important positive ruling in the history of the gay rights movement,” but, in addition to all these things, Roberts failed to include his role in Romer v. Evans in a 67-page list of his legal activities requested by the Senate Judiciary Committee, a list that included detailed accounts of his other pro bono work. Also, in that list, he did not limit his pro bono cases to the two instances in which he had actually represented clients in court; he listed out-of-court type assistance as well, such as he gave in Romer. Yet he didn’t mention Romer. And let’s please not have this nonsense that as a lawyer he had no choice about taking on a client. This was unpaid work, where a lawyer has discretion. A fortiori, Roberts was already a prominent D.C. attorney at the time, and lawyers at that level don’t give a client free advice if they oppose the client’s cause.
So, Roberts, of his own free will, helped the homosexual rights movement overturn a landmark anti-homosexual rights referendum that had been passed by the people of the state of Colorado; and he concealed this fact when asked about it by the U.S. Senate.
Yet on the “conservative” radio and tv talk programs yesterday, stars of the conservative galaxy ranging from Slow Limbaugh to James Dobson strove manfully (can you strive cowardly?) to assert that none of this mattered, arguing, for example, that Roberts’s work in Romer didn’t represent his real views! What nonsense. The fact that Roberts helped overturn the Colorado referendum speaks for itself—res ipsa loquitur. If these conservatives had any allegiance to principle instead of having sold themselves body and soul to George W. Bush, this president who treats them the way an unfaithful husband treats his demoralized wife, who in spite of every betrayal keeps believing his stories, then they would call for the withdrawal of this nomination. That thought, needless to say, doesn’t even occur to these lapdog conservatives. The most that they say, over and over, is that they are “troubled” by the revelations about Roberts, but that they nevertheless support his nomination.
I repeated like a Greek chorus all through 2004 that if W. were re-elected, he would proceed to ruin whatever remained of the conservative movement, by leading it ever farther to the left. I was right.