Bozell: Roberts is a "devout Catholic," not a "John Kerry Catholic"July 26, 2005 7:31 PM EDT ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
On Fox News host Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated radio show, Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III stated that he believed that Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. opposes abortion rights because Roberts is "a devout Catholic," not a "John Kerry Catholic." Bozell was responding to Hannity's noting that some conservatives, including right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, are worried about supporting another nominee with an unknown record on abortion after Republican appointee Justice David H. Souter, who has voted to uphold Roe. In further support of his prediction that Roberts will "do fine" on abortion, Bozell cited a legal brief Roberts signed when he was deputy solicitor general that urged the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. He also cited Roberts's wife's position as a former vice president of Feminists for Life, an anti-abortion rights organization.
From the July 25 broadcast of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:
HANNITY: I mean, every time we think somebody -- in this sense, I think Ann Coulter's correct. Nobody ever turns out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives, so I mean, it is a moment to stop and pause, correct?
BOZELL: Well, except -- I'll give you the exception in a second. First of all, I agree completely where the Souter thing was concerned. You won't find me in any of that paper trail saying wonderful things about David Souter because back then, when his name was put up, Ann's position now with Roberts is exactly the position I took with Souter. I wouldn't endorse the guy, because I was just afraid of someone who didn't have an opinion on things, and I dissented from the wave of support for Souter. Now, why don't I feel the same way about Roberts? Because I think there are other mitigating factors. First of all, it's not completely true that a completely blank slate means that the person is going to move to the left. I'll give you the person who had another blank slate on abortion; his name was Clarence Thomas. Do you recall how, when his confirmation hearings in 1991, the left was taking out newspaper ads all over the country saying, "If you've ever heard Clarence Thomas talk about abortion, call this 800 number and let us know," because Clarence Thomas was taking the position that he didn't have a paper trail on abortion, and I think we know firmly where he stands on the right-to-life issue today. So it's not a done deal that Roberts would not be pro-life. When I look at three things: One, he's a devout Catholic, he's not a John Kerry Catholic, he's a devout Catholic. Secondly, he has defended the Roe v. Wade decision -- I mean, not the decision, but he has defended the right-to-life position on it. And thirdly, his wife was the vice president for Feminists for Life, and I don't think he wants to run afoul of his wife. I think -- I'm comfortable with the man, and I think he'll do fine.