It Must Be The Robes


A few days ago, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick pondered several of the theories as to why so many Republican appointees to the Supreme Court–like Brennan, Warren, Blackmun, Powell, Stevens, O'Connor, Kennedy, and of course, Souter–wind up in the court's ideological center or left. Whatever the explanation, Ann Coulter may feel a touch of insomnia when she reads in today's LA Times that John Roberts worked pro-bono on behalf of gay rights activists seeking to strike down a Colorado law permitting employment and housing discimination against homosexuals. Jean Dubofsky, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, described Roberts' advice as "absolutely crucial," adding:

"John Roberts…was just terrifically helpful in meeting with me and spending some time on the issue," she said. "He seemed to be very fair-minded and very astute."

Conservatives fretful about another Souter might be comforted by LAT reporter Richard A. Serrano's reminder that Roberts "has stressed…that a client's views are not necessarily shared by the lawyer who argues on his or her behalf." On the other hand, Roberts' emphasis on the distinction between his and his clients' views came up when he was trying to distance himself from criticisms he made of Roe v. Wade while working for the first Bush administration.