Fox's Kendall misconstrued Roberts's "settled law" comment as "his own view on Roe "


Fox News general assignment reporter Megyn Kendall provided another example of Fox reporters' misconstruing Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.'s pledge, made during his 2003 appellate court confirmation hearing, to "fully and faithfully apply" Roe v. Wade as the "settled law of the land." Kendall described Roberts's pledge as "his own view on Roe," suggesting he would uphold the landmark 1973 abortion-rights decision if confirmed to the Supreme Court.

But Roberts's description of Roe as "settled law" in the context of an appellate court nomination indicates nothing about whether he would vote to uphold the decision if confirmed to the Supreme Court, as Media Matters for America has noted. Rather, that assertion during his appellate court hearing merely amounted to a pledge to do his job. As Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said in a July 26 interview with the Associated Press: "If you're asking a circuit court judge, like Judge Roberts was asked, yes, it is settled law because you're bound by the precedent. If you're a Supreme Court justice, that's a different question because a Supreme Court justice is not obliged to follow precedent if you believe it's wrong."

From the August 19 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

KENDALL: On abortion, too, groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America say they need more information. But Roberts's files do offer some clues as to the nominee's views on this issue. While in the solicitor general's office, Roberts argued that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, a view promoted by the administration for which he worked at the time. Years later, Roberts offered his own view on Roe, telling senators at his confirmation hearings to the appeals court that it is, quote, "settled law." His personal views remain unknown. But in documents released just this week, Roberts refers to the, quote, "abortion tragedy." His supporters maintain his personal opinion is entirely irrelevant.

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