Naked City

Bush's man for the Supreme Court

In a televised public address on Tuesday, President George W. Bush nominated D.C. beltway insider Judge John G. Roberts as his nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. On July 1, O'Connor penned her resignation, telling Bush she intended to step down from the bench as soon as her successor is confirmed. Despite speculation that Bush might appoint another woman or other minority member to the court, the president instead chose 50-year-old Roberts, a former deputy solicitor general who has served on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2003. Bush named Roberts along with a list of other potential nominees to the court back in 2001.

Roberts' list of judicial accomplishments is thin, making the nominee a somewhat enigmatic selection. Roberts has argued before the Supremes in 39 cases; his arguments prevailed in 25 of those cases. Still, as a government lawyer serving under former Solicitor General Kenneth Starr during the elder Bush's presidency, Roberts argued in 1990 in favor of government regulation banning abortion-related counseling in federally financed family planning programs. Also that year, Roberts helped author a brief asserting the administration's opposition to the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which secured abortion rights under the constitution. "We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overturned," Roberts wrote.

For more, check out our War on Women's Health page.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

John G. Roberts, George W. Bush, Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court, Kenneth Starr, Roe v. Wade, abortion rights, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

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