- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Pro-choice activists yesterday urged the Senate to block the confirmation of federal Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to the Supreme Court.

“As more light is shed on John Roberts’ record, it becomes clear that he has extreme views, far different from those shared by the majority of Americans,” said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation. “The more we know, the more we see that this is not the open-minded, fair and balanced nominee the current administration would like us to believe.”

Conservatives say pro-choice groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice America are distorting Judge Roberts’ record to make it appear he condones violence outside abortion clinics when he has stated that he doesn’t.

“The use of such outrageous accusations reveals how desperate NARAL is to smear a good man,” said Wendy Wright, senior policy director for Concerned Women for America. “This says a lot more about [abortion-rights proponents] than about John Roberts.”

While the National Abortion Federation and a number of other pro-choice groups have come out against Judge Roberts’ nomination, others such as Planned Parenthood Federation of America have “grave concerns” with the nomination, but have not yet outright opposed it.

Judge Roberts’ record “is tremendously troubling and could be an ominous indicator of his position on women’s rights,” said Karen Pearl, acting president of Planned Parenthood. The group has concentrated most of its efforts on getting the White House to release more documents from his past.

Along those lines, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, wrote President Bush yesterday asking for more documents.

“While the information we received from your Office of Legislative Affairs was useful, it did not address many of our questions about the handling, processing, and delivery of those documents to the Committee in time for Judge Roberts’s confirmation hearing,” Mr. Leahy wrote on behalf of Senate Democrats. “Timely cooperation from the Administration is essential to the Committee’s preparations for the upcoming hearings.”

The left wasn’t the only place Judge Roberts has taken some flak. Public Advocate, a conservative Virginia-based pro-family group will officially withdraw its support for Judge Roberts today based on his brief participation in a case 10 years ago that resulted in a major victory for the homosexual-rights movement.

Most conservatives, however, remain solidly behind the nomination.

This Sunday, many will tune in to Justice Sunday II at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., to mark support for Judge Roberts and remind worshippers of the importance of the federal judiciary.

In addition to religious leaders such as Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and James Dobson of Focus on the Family, speakers will include House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, and former Sen. Zell Miller, Georgia Democrat.

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