The Note: Just Born That Way

WASHINGTON, Aug 4

NEWS SUMMARY

Officially still mysterious to 4 out of 5 Googling monkeys and dentists:

1. What does the Right know about John Roberts to be so very, very sure he doesn't have Souterian tendencies? Today's para-blockbuster Los Angeles Times story about Roberts' work on behalf of gay rights in one of the biggest gay rights cases ever to reach the Supreme Court will now reverberate. Did the White House know about Robert's work in advance of nominating him? What will Dobson, Brownback, etal. have to say about it? Will the "he was just defending his client" defense work on this one? (For more on this, read the story here LINK , the already-vibrant Free Republic boards LINK , and our section below.) 2. What, if anything, does the Ohio 2 special election result mean to the future of the Republic(ans)? (See our section below, where some of the finest minds in American political journalism weigh in.)

3. Will the Republican Party ever pay a political price for its big-spending ways? (The voices out there today on this are interesting. And, yes, see below.)

4. Does the Democratic Party have anything real going for it at this point? (Note, yet again, to Rush: that question is analysis, not a "warning" or "advice.")

(Preliminary Note answers -- after much thought: dunno, dunno, dunno, and it appears not.)

At 11:05 am ET, President and Laura Bush welcome Colombian president Alvaro Uribe and his wife to Crawford, TX. At 12:30 pm ET, the two leaders have a joint press avail.

At 1:00 pm ET, there will be a teleconference hosted by Peter D. Hart Research discussing the latest poll data on the John Roberts nomination to the Supreme Court. The Alliance for Justice folks host.

Faith groups hold an 11:00 am ET news conference calling for public prayer and fasting for the confirmation hearings of Judge John Roberts. Expect an appearance by the National Clergy Council's Rev. Patrick Mahoney. Wonder what they'll say about the Los Angeles Times article.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean delivers remarks to the National Association of Black Journalists at 1:00 pm ET in Atlanta, Georgia.

Roberts:

Perhaps because he didn't argue the case or play a leading public role, Judge Roberts neglected to include in the Judiciary Committee questionnaire a mention of the gay rights pro bono case to which he contributed some time. The Los Angeles Times' Serrano looks at Roberts' involvement in helping prepare Romer v. Evans. LINK

Let's be clear: he worked with gay rights activists on their brief. And this was THE major gay rights case of the 1990s.

Was he a senior enough partner to decline to do the pro bono work?

Or did he accept the assignment with relish? Or somewhere in between?

We are breathless in wondering why the Times article does not include reaction from conservative activists or the White House or Sam Brownback? (We are trying to get us some reax our own ourselves.) Which conservative legal groups who support Roberts for the SCOTUS slot filed amicus briefs in that case against his side?

This thing could explode or go nowhere.

Actually, let's be more precise: this thing WILL explode on the blogs, but it is unclear if it will make the broadcast networks or even cable.

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