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7/19/2005 11:03:00 PM | Justin

Which Is It, John Roberts?

"Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent." (2003 confirmation hearing)

"Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled." (a brief Roberts had filed with the Supreme Court while serving as deputy solicitor general in the Reagan administration)

Let's hope this was a genuine change of mind.

Update: To be fair (as Tim points out), all of Roberts' anti-Roe stances were taken when he was an advocate for the president, not a judge. Still, though, I don't think he should be off the hook entirely... he has a very long career as an advocate, and a very short career as a judge, so if we didn't look at his years as an advocate, we'd have virtually nothing to go on.

Update 2: I should have also included the continuation of his quote as solicitor general, because in that he says categorically that Roe had no support in the constitution. This is perhaps more worrying:"T]he Court’s conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion… finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the constitution"



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