Molly Ivins on Judge Roberts

By Molly Ivins

The White House is shielding Roberts' public record, and now he's conveniently 'forgotten' his involvement with the ultra-right-wing Federalist Society.

My first reaction to Roberts was: "Sounds like that's about as good as we can get. Quick, affirm him before they nominate Bork, Bolton or Pinochet." A conservative with good manners and no known nutball decisions or statements on his record? Hey, take him. At least he's not (whew!) a member of the Federalist Society. No such luck. Cornyn, who I would have sworn is not this stupid, apparently signed off on having the nominee "forget" he was a member of the Federalist Society, and Roberts obliged, which is strange considering his reputation for brilliance and a spectacular memory. Turns out the guy is listed in the society's 1997-98 "Leadership Directory" as a member of its steering committee in Washington. How many steering committees have you been on that you've forgotten about?

The reason that matters is that the Federalist Society is the alpha-primo ultraconservative legal group in the whole country. Since we have only two years worth of Roberts' decisions on the bench (in itself unheard of for nominations to the Supremes), the information about how this society plans to steer the country can be very revealing of his positions.