who, as I've mentioned before, is a Blue Massachusetts liberal -- condemns what he calls "NARAL's anti-Roberts smear."

It's good to see some liberals talking about being fair in their criticism of Roberts.

Saying that Roberts supports anti-abortion terrorism is as fair as saying that the ACLU supports "Islamic" terrorism or child molesting. But we know that no one on the Right would make such charges.
8.11.2005 2:26pm
I still get the impression a lot of people think Operation Rescue is just a bunch of people peacefully holding signs.
8.11.2005 3:03pm
As a liberal who supports a more conservative judicial approach, I take particular offense to NARAL's outrageous smear. It's nice to see that someone else on the left is at least out there trying to take a fair approach to weighing Roberts' nomination. Mudslinging gets you nowhere fast.
8.11.2005 3:17pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Steve: they might or might not think that, and it might or might not be invalid, but regardless, that has nothing to do with the issue presented to the Court in Bray or the issue of Roberts' conduct in Bray. And that's the real point. NARAL's ad is sleazy and dishonest.
8.11.2005 5:23pm
aslanfan (mail):
Another liberal voices disapproval, from the NYT (Linda Greenhouse):
Walter Dellinger, a former acting solicitor general in the Clinton administration and longtime Naral supporter, sent a letter on Wednesday to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and its ranking Democrat, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, respectively. Mr. Dellinger said he had disagreed with Mr. Roberts's argument in the Bray case but considered it unfair to give "the impression that Roberts is somehow associated with clinic bombers." He added that "it would be regrettable if the only refutation of these assertions about Roberts came from groups opposed to abortion rights."
8.11.2005 5:24pm
Some may choose to believe that Roberts' decision to submit a discretionary amicus brief in support of an organization that employs terrorist tactics was made not out of sympathy with the ultimate goals of that organization, but merely in a well-meaning attempt to clarify the scope of a federal law, with no concern for the facts of the case or the parties involved. I happen to take the opposite view, and I think it's a free country where people can make up their own minds about issues like these. To say NARAL's ad is a smear because Roberts didn't act out of sympathy for the goals of Operation Rescue is to beg the question.
8.11.2005 5:54pm
To make the jump from the fact that Robert's filed this particular brief to the conclusion that he supports "terrorist tactics" is illegitimate because there is no evidence to support it.
If the someone files a brief supporting Rush Limbaugh's right to privacy it does not logically follow that they support Rush's abuse of pain medication. If anyone made that conclusion they would be acting completely irrationally just like you are Steve.

You have no evidence to make that jump and the only reason you are making that conclusion is because you want to hate Roberts and you are going out of your way to make up a reason to do so.
8.11.2005 6:28pm
David M. Nieporent (www):

NARAL's ad would merely be baseless if it claimed he acted out of sympathy for the goals of Operation Rescue. It's a smear because not only does it do that, but it links him to clinic bombings, which is outrageous for many reasons, not least of which that this case had nothing to do with clinic bombings. If NARAL wants to argue that Roberts is pro-life, that's fine. It requires inference rather than fact, but it's a reasonable inference. But the idea that he "excuses," "condones," or "supports" clinic bombings is not.

Just as it would be unreasonable to suggest that the ACLU "supports" Nazis because of the Skokie case.

And it's disingenuous to call this "discretionary." Yes, it was discretionary -- to an extent -- but the discretion didn't lie with Roberts. If you want to condemn the administration for submitting an amicus brief, that's one thing -- but not Roberts.
8.11.2005 7:15pm
I do not hate Roberts. That's just silly. I think he will make an excellent Justice. I do hate Operation Rescue, on the other hand, and I think the Ku Klux Klan Act was enacted to prevent exactly the type of activities they engage in.

I never said Roberts supports "terrorist tactics" and if you think I did, then you missed my point completely. I think there are many people who are personally opposed to abortion and yet would not support the tactics of Operation Rescue, as stated by Justice Stevens:

Petitioners' intent to engage in repeated violations of law is not contested. They trespass on private property, interfere with the ability of patients to obtain medical and counseling services, and incite others to engage in similar unlawful activity. They also engage in malicious conduct, such as defacing clinic signs, damaging clinic property, and strewing nails in clinic parking lots and on nearby public streets.

However, I think that many people who do not "support" Operation Rescue's tactics nonetheless tend to excuse those tactics because they happen to sympathize with the group's underlying anti-abortion agenda. I believe that the only conceivable reason why Roberts and the Bush Administration would volunteer to submit a brief arguing that Operation Rescue had not violated federal law is that they sympathized with that anti-abortion agenda. And I don't think they should have taken the side of such an organization under any circumstances.

I have no evidence of anyone's internal thought processes, obviously, but I find it laughable to suggest that the decision to submit an amicus brief in this case was made without any consideration of the underlying issue of abortion and the fact that the petitioning groups opposed abortion. And while I respect the right of individuals to oppose abortion through legal and political means, when that opinion leads them to support groups who employ violent and offensive means, I think that is a bridge too far.
8.11.2005 7:22pm