- The Washington Times - Monday, August 15, 2005


During his time in the Reagan administration, Judge John G. Roberts argued for taking positions on all sorts of contentious issues, but one had him stumped — whether to back Prince or Michael Jackson in the 1980s pop wars.

Mr. Jackson, who had released “Thriller” the year before, was planning a concert in Washington in September 1984, and some in the administration wanted to send a letter thanking him for holding the concert and making tickets available to needy children.

But Judge Roberts, then in the White House counsel’s office and now President Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court, said, “Frankly, I find the obsequious attitude of some members of the White House staff toward Mr. Jackson’s attendants, and the fawning posture they would have the president of the United States adopt, more than a little embarrassing.”

Besides, he added in a memo released by the National Archives yesterday, it was premature to back Mr. Jackson.

“In today’s [Washington] Post, there were already reports that some youngsters were turning away from Mr. Jackson in favor of a newcomer who goes by the name ‘Prince.’”

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