by Steven Ertelt
July 19, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Bush named a federal appeals court judge to be his first selection to the Supreme Court and the first nominee to the high court in over 11 years. Judge John Roberts sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a traditional steppingstone to the Supreme Court.
Roberts is viewed as a very accomplished attorney and has won dozens of cases in which he has appeared before the Supreme Court. He won his D.C. appellate court seat in May 2003 and the current members of the Supreme Court have sat on that appeals venue.
Indicating he may have a chance to be confirmed without a filibuster, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic minority leader, said Bush had nominated someone "with suitable legal credentials."
Reid promised a thorough review in the Senate, though he did not say he or fellow Democrats would vote for Roberts.
A former clerk of pro-life Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Roberts is also a former legal counsel to President Reagan.
As Principal Deputy Solicitor General during the first Bush administration, Roberts played an active role in efforts to limit abortion.
Roberts argued in a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court that "[w]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled. [T]he Court’s conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion … finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."
In Rust v. Sullivan, the Supreme Court considered whether the Department of Health and Human Services could counsel women to have abortions. Roberts said regulations prohibiting that were constitutional.
Despite his views in legal briefs, Roberts has yet to rule on any abortion cases during his tenure on the bench.