Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - Nominee's stance less clear on key issues - Nominee's stance less clear on key issues: "Abortion/ women's rights

Rehnquist. Voted against the court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal nationwide. Opposed abortion rights in subsequent cases, including a 1992 dispute that affirmed Roe.

Roberts. As a lawyer in the George H.W. Bush administration, signed a brief that said, 'Roe was wrongly decided.' Roberts has never made public his personal views on abortion rights.

Affirmative action

Rehnquist. Voted against state and federal programs intended to give women and racial minorities a boost on the job or in public contracting. In 2003, he dissented when the court endorsed affirmative action in law school admissions at the University of Michigan.

Roberts. As a government lawyer, advocated scaling back of government affirmative action; as deputy solicitor general in the George H.W. Bush administration, argued against a federal program that favored blacks and other minorities in order to increase their ownership of broadcast licenses; personal views unknown.

Religion's role in government

Rehnquist. Voted for state and local laws that encouraged prayer in schools. Endorsed school 'vouchers' that allow parents to use public money to pay tuition at private schools. Supported other public funding of religious activities.

Roberts. As deputy solicitor general, sided with a public school that wanted prayer at a graduation ceremony. In his writings as a government lawyer he suggested a lower wall separating church and state."

The Supreme Court gets New Orleansed.


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