Conservatives wary of new SCOTUS pick

From the time George W. Bush first began speaking about the kind of justices he would nominate to the Supreme Court if he were elected as President of the United States, he declared his intention to nominate “strict constructionists,” which would be conservatives, “in the order of Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia.”

Soon after conservatives made early endorsements for the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts, several privately muttered about late reservations that he wasn’t as conservative as they had thought he would be. Perhaps it is for this reason that many conservatives later withheld an immediate endorsement for Harriet Miers until they could consider whether she matched the President’s description of a model nominee. Many were glad they had learned from their ealier mistake.

In July of 2005, when the President announced his nomination of Judge John Roberts to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, conservative leaders were confident that Bush had fulfilled his promise. However, before Senate hearings on his nomination could began, it was revealed that Roberts played a pivotal role in preparing liberal attorneys for the landmark Supreme Court case known as Romer v. Evans. Roberts, then a partner in a private law firm, eagerly volunteered his time without remuneration by playing the devil’s advocate part of a conservative justice in moot court with the pro-homosexual attorneys from the Lambda Legal Defense Fund.

During his confirmation hearings, Roberts caused conservatives to shudder when he expressed his belief that the Constitution protected the “right to privacy,” which pro-lifers know is the legal basis for the Supreme Court’s decisions legalizing abortion. Concerns among pro-lifers increased when Roberts claimed that the Court’s Roe v. Wade decision “deserves respect” under the guise of “stare decises,” which is a Latin legal term that essentially means “what is decided is already decided.”

Dr. Rick Scarborough, a prominent evangelical activist from Texas, expressed the sentiments of conservative Christians in the Washington, D.C. newspaper The Hill when he said, “We don’t know whether he recognizes that the judiciary is subject to checks and balances by the other branches of government. We don’t know whether he believes that the Roe v. Wade abortion decision was wrongly decided and should be overruled, or whether the court’s homosexual “rights” cases were wrongly decided and should be overruled.” He added, “In short, we don’t know whether a Chief Justice Roberts would be more like Justice Scalia, who is regularly faithful to the Constitution, or like Justice Souter, who regularly betrays the Constitution.”

Time will tell whether President Bush’s selection of John Roberts fulfilled his promise to nominate strict constructionists to the High Court. Until then, many conservatives are fearing the worst.

(NOTE: The stories below were written before Roberts’ confirmation to the Supreme Court.)HUMAN EVENTS column by Don Feder: “W’s Souter?” “No on Roberts” COULTER: “Fool me 8 times, shame on me” COULTER: “No New Liberals”

LIFESITE: “Who is John Roberts, Really?”

NEWSMAX: “John Roberts Helped in Gay Rights Case”

AGAPEPRESS: “Conservatives Wonder About Roberts’ Role in Romer Ruling”

CAPITOL HILL BLUE: “Right-Wingers Back Away from Roberts”