The Note: Case By Case



NEWS SUMMARY Ask yourself (or ask Dick Keil): What is Bob Novak doing today? What might be making him feel out of sorts lately? Are any of us truly impervious to pressure?

Ask yourself (or ask Mike Allen): Why did no news organization get reaction from United States Senators on the Roberts/gay rights news? Did the White House even have to send out talking points to keep the Right in line yesterday? Is there a client in the world who John Roberts would have refused to help win a Supreme Court case?

Ask yourself (or ask Tom Davis): Which is more likely -- the positive economic news driving the President's poll numbers up or the negative news out of Iraq driving them down?

In Pittsburgh, the general session of the RNC summer meeting gets underway at 9:15 am ET with RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman taking the stage for remarks shortly thereafter. Later in the day Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and RNC Co-chair Jo Ann Davidson will address the members' luncheon.

President Bush remains with the First Lady in Crawford, TX, with no public events scheduled. Also in Texas: DNC Chairman Howard Dean attends a meet and greet rally with Hidalgo County Democrats at 10:00 am ET. Later, the doctor heads off to a 7:30 pm ET "Welcome Reception" sponsored by Congressman Charlie Gonzalez before gearing up for the 3rd Annual DNC Hispanic Summit. If you find yourself in the neighborhood of San Antonio, be sure to catch Dean's keynote address at 1:15 pm ET.

Roberts: his record:

Will the right please explain to us why information like this can be sensibly ignored?

"Walter A. Smith Jr., the partner at Hogan & Hartson who ran the firm's pro bono program, said that Roberts took part in the firm's initial meeting to consider accepting the case and that his participation, as in all of the firm's pro bono cases, was voluntary," writes Maura Reynolds in her follow-up to yesterday's Los Angeles Times para-blockbuster. LINK

"'Anyone who didn't want to work on a case for whatever matter, they didn't have to,' Smith said. 'He was in on the takeoff and he was in on the landing and was helpful in both.'"

"Some conservative lawyers said they were surprised by Judge Roberts's role in the case," writes Josh Gerstein in the New York Sun. "'If in fact he did this, this would be contrary to everything I've read about him thus far,' Mathew Staver, the president of a conservative legal group, Liberty Counsel, told the Baptist Press. 'For the court to strike that down, I felt, was judicial activism.'" LINK

Gerstein helpfully summarizes conservative reaction for all of us:

Limbaugh: "It is driving a wedge...Conservative Sens. need to do their job, too." Sheldon: Nothing for us to worry about."

Schlafly: "I guess it shows he's not a Scalia. We were hoping to get a Scalia. Maybe he's a Rehnquist."

We'd add: Bill Kristol (on board) and Dr. Dobson (largely on board, but maybe troubled).

The New York Times' Stolberg/Kirkpatrick get above the A1 fold with their pro forma follow, which says this, but with not so many specifics: "The White House immediately sought to reassure Judge Roberts's conservative backers…but it appeared that not all of them had been convinced." LINK

John Roberts might find his headshot put on the body of another on some Bay Area refrigerator magnets. LINK

The Washington Times' Charles Hurt buries Roberts' work for a "gay rights" group in the eleventh paragraph of his story about Rehnquist. LINK

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