David Kravitz

From his Blue Mass. Group site (blue to reflect his Democratic colors):

The LA Times reports today that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts gave substantial behind-the-scenes assistance, pro bono, to the activists who asked the Supreme Court to overturn Colorado's infamous "Amendment 2," which prohibited municipalities in Colorado from adopting any gay-friendly ordinances or policies. . . .

What to make of this? Is Roberts a clandestine agent of the dreaded "homosexual agenda"? Is he, in fact, secretly gay? (Perhaps that would explain his son's controversial pastel clothing?)

Maybe. But more likely, he was doing his job. A partner at Roberts's firm was working with the plaintiffs in Romer; the partner asked for Roberts's help (Roberts was, after all, the firm's best Supreme Court lawyer), and Roberts agreed. And having agreed, he gave it his all, reviewing briefs, preparing the lawyers for oral argument, and generally being "terrifically helpful." That is exactly what lawyers are supposed to do.

This is, in other words, an excellent illustration of how difficult it is to discern a lawyer's views from his professional activities. . . .

I will say this, though. It is of course always open to a lawyer to decline to participate in a case because for whatever reason the lawyer cannot in good conscience represent the client's interests in that case. The fact that Roberts agreed to participate in Romer at least suggests that he was not viscerally, fundamentally opposed to the pro-gay rights result that the plaintiffs sought in that case. . . .

More at David's site.

This was a pro bono case, not an assignment, so it's not completely right to say he was just doing his job. Roberts was reportedly under no pressure to help out. If he were truly opposed to gay rights, I doubt he would have helped out.

It's not like he was a junior associate obeying somebody's command. He was an experienced 40-year-old lawyer who reportedly did not hesitate to assist in a major gay rights case. This is significant.
8.4.2005 11:46pm
David Kravitz (mail) (www):
I agree with you (I wrote the post that Eugene links to). By saying he was "just doing his job," I didn't mean that someone was forcing him to participate in a case to which he objected. Doing what Roberts did here is an ordinary part of a big firm appellate lawyer's practice - but I seriously doubt he would have done it if he had major-league objections to what the Romer plaintiffs were after. This is spelled out in more detail in the linked post.
8.5.2005 12:51am
cfw (mail):
Speaking of significant pro bono work, when do we get more details of the Florida death penalty case Roberts worked on? What issues were involved? What stage of proceedings? Probably reviewing a H&H petition for a writ of cert, or helping prepare for argument at USSCT. Did his side win?
8.5.2005 10:01am
Thom (mail):
It's all part of Roberts's sinister, conservative master plan. How else would a stauch conservative get through to the Supreme Court? Work on a liberal pro bono case, then have that fact leaked to the press at a convenient time to take the wind out of the sails of the liberal opposition groups. It's perfect.

I'm not serious here, by the way.
8.5.2005 10:08am
Jack Wayne (mail):
I think that what this shows is that Roberts is a Big Government lawyer and Judge. The point of the suit was to give more power to the government and less to the people by overturning an amendment. Being pro or anti Gay had nothing to do with his true beliefs.
8.5.2005 10:58am
Anderson (mail) (www):
Watch out, you're going to turn the Dobsonites against Roberts!
8.5.2005 12:28pm
Alexandra von Maltzan (mail) (www):
I know I have written a few comments challenging Roberts' nomination in the last few days, and there are still a few issues facing him which he may or may not resolve for all to see. But I am beginning to like him, the more I hear that he has views which cannot be all immediately slotted into the common agenda for either side. That in my mind is the true spirit of a highly educated conservative, whose views become more liberal by the sheer virtue of having gained a broader knowledge, resulting in perhaps less extreme judgments. Whether I agree with gay rights issues or not is irrelevant. Aside from attempting to draw conclusions from his willingness to get involved in the case, he would have had the well established Catholic wrath regarding the five non-negotiables we talked about yesterday, which includes gay rights, somewhere on top of the list. I am also geting increasingly fed up with the barrage of criticism and invasion of privacy, culminating in the New York Times trying to dig up information about his two adopted children. The investigative piece was given to an incompetent journalist, so thankfully that should crush any hope of success in achieving impropriety. It must be hell to be Roberts right now, and we'll see whether he may after all be the stuff that a Supreme Court Justice should be made of. My mind remains open.
8.5.2005 1:07pm
DJ (mail):
And so what if Juge Roberts is a closeted gay?
8.5.2005 1:17pm
That in my mind is the true spirit of a highly educated conservative, whose views become more liberal by the sheer virtue of having gained a broader knowledge, resulting in perhaps less extreme judgments.

So "gain[ing] a broader knowledge" always and everywhere makes people's views more liberal?
8.5.2005 4:31pm