Multifaceted picture of John Roberts


He's not the heartless conservative as have some on the left have depicted. The Los Angeles Times reveals that

Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay rights activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. He did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the high court, but he was instrumental in reviewing filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers intimately involved in the case.

This means that his firm's team of lawyers working on the case got the benefit of his insights as they shaped their filings and worked on their arguments. They came to him and he helped them out on their case. That is the way a law firm draws on its resources for the benefit of its clients.


We don't know if Roberts had a voice in the selection of this group as a pro bono client. But once they became a client, the law firm put its considerable resources, including John Roberts, to work for them. Representing the legal interests of someone or some group does not imply agreement with or aproval of them.


The same principle applies to the work Roberts did for the government. This story helps establish the point. All of this can be explained in detail during Senate hearings. I don't think conservatives will abandon him over this.


Plus, it makes it much harder for the left to demonize him.


Hat tip: Ed Lasky



Thomas Lifson   8 4 05