by Steven Ertelt
August 30, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday that it is "appropriate" for members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask Supreme Court nominee John Roberts about his views on abortion. Members of the committee hope to pin down Roberts’ views on abortion and Roe v. Wade in light of memos he wrote while working for the Reagan and first Bush administrations.
"I suppose that might be a question that would certainly be appropriate to ask, and he may choose to answer that question," Gonzales told USA Today about an abortion question.
Gonzales warned, however, that Roberts views on the controversial topic may not reflect how he would rule once on the Supreme Court.
"I would caution everyone to remember that a judge’s personal view about an issue may tell you absolutely nothing about his or her views about that issue as a legal member," Gonzales added.
Gonzales also said members of the committee should not ask Roberts about cases that may come before the nation’s high court.
When asked if Roberts should discuss whether Roe v. Wade was correctly decided, Gonzales said Roberts "may be in a position" to answer the question.
He also said that Roberts "will seek to assure the American people that he will be fair and open-minded, that he understands what his role is as a judge in our system of government: not to legislate, not to execute laws but to apply the law."
As an appeals court judge, Roberts has never had an opportunity to rule on the issue of abortion. However, he wrote a memo during his service as deputy solicitor general for the former Bush administration in which he said Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overturned.
Meanwhile, groups supporting and opposing Roberts have increased their campaigns on the airwaves and on the ground.
Progress for America on Tuesday announced a $400,000 national television ad campaign set to begin Wednesday that supports Roberts. The ads defend Roberts’ right to refuse to answer certain questions, including those on the issue of abortion.
Alliance for Justice on Tuesday announced its formal opposition to Roberts’ nomination after releasing a report criticizing the nominee’s record on issues like abortion.
Roberts’ nomination hearings are slated to begin September 6 and he will deliver an opening statement then. On successive days, Republica and Democrat members of the committee will grill the nominee on numerous legal issues.