The Note: Case By Case

The Los Angeles Times' David Savage takes a long front-page look (sans much new information) at Roberts' time as Ken Starr's deputy in the Solicitor General's office. Perhaps these three graphs will help reassure some conservative leaders who may have been a bit unsettled yesterday. LINK

"They [Roberts and Starr] argued for limiting the scope of civil rights laws, ending race-based affirmative action, restoring some prayers to public schools and overruling Roe vs. Wade, the case that established a woman's right to abortion."

"They sought to make it harder for environmentalists to challenge the government in court. They intervened on the side of Operation Rescue to shield abortion protesters from being sued. And they joined Texas state lawyers in arguing that new evidence of a death row inmate's 'actual innocence' did not entitle him to reopen his case in federal court."

"In the first right-to-die case to reach the Supreme Court, they intervened on the side of then-Missouri Gov. John Ashcroft to argue that state officials may keep a comatose woman alive over the objections of her family."

Roberts: White House strategy:

"In recent days, the White House and its allies have grown concerned that the documents released so far have painted Roberts as a rigid ideologue, and they have sought to provide a more complete portrait," the Washington Post's Becker and Grunwald report. LINK

"Yesterday, the Bush administration released two Reagan-era documents sought by The Washington Post and others under the Freedom of Information Act. The Post request included thousands of other documents, which were not released."

"In one memo, Roberts argued that Reagan should not interfere in a Kentucky case involving the display of the Ten Commandments on public property. In the other, he wrote that the bomber of an abortion clinic should not receive any special consideration for a pardon. 'No matter how lofty or sincerely held the goal, those who resort to violence to achieve it are criminals,' Roberts wrote."

"Advisers to the White House have been urging the Bush team to be more aggressive about providing its own narrative of Roberts."

The Washington Times' Bill Sammon reports that White House operatives and the RNC are quietly working to get regional interest groups to pressure Democratic Senators in places like Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado and Florida to support Roberts. LINK

Roberts: interest groups:

Jeanne Cummings's must-read in the Wall Street Journal today is a wonderful, detail-laden big-think on the state of Washington interest groups -- masquerading as a story about women's groups trying to influence the SCOTUS fight.

"The troubled state of women's rights groups is shared by many of their traditional allies. Big Labor is falling apart as unions defect from what they claim is a wasteful and antiquated AFL-CIO. Civil-rights groups are fighting a conservative pushback on affirmative action and other issues. And the NAACP, the nation's leading African-American organization, is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service."

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