August 05, 2005

John and Jane, Bedfellows?

Do long-term bedfellows have an effect on each other's thinking? on their political philosophies? especially if they are both lawyers and married to each other?

These are the questions Lisa Bloom asks about John Roberts and his wife Jane Sullivan Roberts, the bedfellows in question.

It seems that Jane has been pro bono counsel to Feminists for Life of America (FFLA) for ten years now, and also served as executive vice president on the board of directors at one time.

So what positions does FFLA take and why should Jane's inimate involvement with them matter in deciding whether her husband should be on the Supreme Court of the United States?

FFLA believes abortion is a cause of breast cancer.

FFLA opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, and does not think people ought to have the right to decide when they want to die.

FFLA sided with the feeding tube crazies on the Terry Schiavo issue.

The FFLA website tells a horrible story about a woman who writes about when she was a 12 year old victim of sexual abuse and incest. But the real horror story comes after, when she tells how she was abused by the people at Planned Parenthood, who are portrayed as uncaring, cold, baby killers. The story is reprinted from The American Feminist, which just happens to be the quarterly journal of FFLA.

But FFLA stakes its main feminist claim based squarely on the issue of abortion. It IS the litmus test.

Jane Sullivan Roberts has been giving everything in her life, professionally and personally, this litmus test. No doubt she has tested her husband. My bet is that he has passed with flying colors.

So, does her long-term, intimate involvement with FFLA matter when Senators consider the questions they want to ask John Roberts in his confirmation hearings? Lisa Bloom thinks it does. So do I.

John Roberts is a remarkably stealthy candidate, a man Dick Cheney vetted in early May, and a man George Bush spent enough time with to know. These men do not appoint someone they are sure of. They just aren't saying. And if asked, I believe John Roberts will prevaricate.

This man will be around a long time on the Supreme Court helping to decide issues vital to a huge number of Americans in the coming decades. Among other things, he will be responsible for deciding whether abortion is criminalized, whether millions of elderly baby-boom Americans are kept alive on feeding tubes, whether rape victims can have abortions, and whether impregnated children who are victims of sexual abuse and incest have rights.

There will be no filibuster. He will sail through. And Jane Sullivan Roberts will whisper in his ear when the time comes.

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