Wednesday, July 27, 2005

SCOTUS Watch: Stealthy John Roberts—"Made Man" 

Looks like The Man in the Grey Turtleneck got it right from the start: Stealthy John Roberts is a Made Man.

Of course, the standard hagiography is that Roberts is not only a brilliant writer of briefs, a lawyer's lawyer, but a human being whose modesty, nay, whose humility... Oh God. My B.S.S. is spiking again. Anyhow, you know the line by now; say it once, why say it again?

Fortunately for the reality-based community, farmer did a LexisNexis search—don't Pravda on the Potomac and Izvestia on the Hudson have Lexis? Or are they so anxious bang out at five to go have dinner with each other and the rest of the Beltway 500 that they don't have time to check their own archives?—and he came up with a lot of interesting information. We'll share all of it, but tonight I have to put out the candle in my tiny room under the stairs at The Mighty Corrente Building, so I'll just share this one tidbit:

It turns out—and, hard to believe though it may be, the hagiography almost seems designed to conceal this—that Stealthy John has been a stone Republican operative all along:

Copyright 1989 The Washington Post
The Washington Post
September 22, 1989, Friday, Final Edition
HEADLINE: Starr's 'Political' Deputy
BYLINE: Maralee Schwartz, Al Kamen
Solicitor General Kenneth W. Starr is expected to name Washington attorney John G. Roberts Jr. to be the "political" deputy in the solicitor's office, the government's advocate before the Supreme Court.

Roberts, 34, a former clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, met Starr when both worked as aides to Attorney General William French Smith in the early Reagan years.

The job, counselor to the solicitor general as well as deputy solicitor general, was created in 1982 after strong conservative criticism that the traditionally independent office was not forceful enough in pushing the administration's social agenda at the high court. Of the five deputies in the office, the political deputy is the only non-career appointee.

Well, well, well. Stealthy John, the "political deputy." And here I thought he was the Son that Mother Theresa could never have had...

So—leaving the [shudder] "social agenda" aside for a moment—what I would like to know is what advice Stealthy John the "political deputy" gave when Bush the First decided to give Caspar Weinberger a Christmas present in the form of the pardon that enabled Weinberger to avoid trial in the Iran-Contra affair—a trial at which Bush the First would have been called as a witness. (back) After all, we know how Bush the Second feels about his Dad.

We'll just have to ask Stealthy John, won't we? And since his memory is so bad, we'll need documents to help him out... And whaddaya know? It's the documents from Stealthy John's tenure as Ken Starr's "political deputy" that Bush isn't willing to release.

I wonder why?

NOTE Of course "political deputy" Roberts will vote against Roe. He, and the theocrats who deputized him, have been working for twenty years to do exactly that. You think they're going to let a doctrine like stare decisis stand in their way?

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