Another Document Shows John Roberts’ Input on Abortion Issues

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 15, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Another Document Shows John Roberts’ Input on Abortion Issues Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 15, 2005

Washington, DC ( — As officials sift through tens of thousands of documents related to Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, they continue to find new materials discussing his views or input on abortion issues during the Reagan and former Bush administrations. Most of the documents thus far have upheld the general view that Roberts is a nominee who favors judges who are not activists from the bench.

The latest document has Roberts correcting a speech written for President Reagan in which the writer says the Roe v. Wade decision overturned all of the laws regarding abortion.

The proposed speech, for Reagan to give at an address to a pro-abortion group, would have had the president say the ruling "made void all our laws protecting the lives of infants developing in their mothers’ wombs."

Roberts suggested changing "all our laws" to "many of our laws" and he advised that the proposed wording was "legally inaccurate." He pointed out that the Roe decision did allow virtually unlimited abortions, but states could regulate abortions in the later parts of pregnancy.

The memorandums did not say whether Roberts’ suggestions were incorporated into the speech.

Meanwhile, Roberts and deputy White House counsel Richard Hauser responded to a letter from a former Congressman who wanted President Reagan to condemn abortion related violence. They wrote back and said Reagan strongly oppose violence to stop abortion.

"The president unequivocally condemns such acts of violence and believes that those responsible should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," their draft reply said.

Roberts also corresponded with doctor Philip Dreisbach, secretary of the California Pro-Life Medical Association. Dreisbach sought to bury 17,000 aborted babies in Arlington Memorial Cemetery after authorities discovered the remains of the babies. Roberts wrote back that the cemetery is for military use only.

Abortion advocates want President Bush to authorize the release of more documents about Roberts related to Roberts’ work as deputy solicitor general under former President Bush. The Justice Department has rejected the request citing attorney client privilege and pointing to a bipartisan agreement by former solicitor generals against releasing sensitive documents.

They want to know whether a brief Roberts filed calling the Roe decision bad law and saying it should be overturned represents his views, only the views of former President Bush or both.