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August 17, 2005
The Next Roberts Smear

The AP has taken over where NARAL left off. In their report on John Roberts' upbringing, Tom Coyne and Ashley Heher do everything except paint a white robe and pointy little hat on his head while describing the neighborhood in which his parents raised him:

Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and '70s once banned the sale of homes to nonwhites and Jews.

Just three miles from the nearly all-white community of Long Beach, two days of looting and vandalism erupted when Roberts was 15, barely intruding on the Mayberry-like community that was largely insulated from the racial strife of that era.

It was here that the 50-year-old Roberts lived from elementary school until he went away to Harvard in 1973, and that decade as well as the rest of his life is receiving intense scrutiny as the Senate gears up for its Sept. 6 confirmation hearings on President Bush's first Supreme Court nominee.

If this last assertion proves true, it demonstrates how vile the Democrats will get in trying to trump up any kind of a smear against the Supreme Court nominee they desperately want to block. Now they want to hold Roberts responsible for a decision made by his parents about where they wanted to raise their children. How, exactly, did Roberts have any control over that decision?

The AP reports that the area had real-estate covenants about the resale of property to non-whites, a dodge used during the civil-rights era to keep minorities out of desirable suburbs. Long Beach, like a number of Lake Michigan towns during that era, had sales deeds that included these clauses, which legislation made illegal. So if the AP features them in a story like this, then Roberts' parents must have had one in their sales contract, right?

Uh ... no:

The family purchased land a few blocks from the beach in 1966 and built an unassuming tri-level house. The Roberts property did not include a racially restrictive covenant, according to LaPorte County deed records, and the restrictions had begun fading away by then.

Other homes built decades earlier in the town had covenants. Deeds on file from the 1940s in Long Beach ban the sale or lease of houses to "any person who is not a Caucasian gentile."

So not only did Roberts' house not include a covenant as part of its deed, neither did his neighborhood, and in fact the practice had mostly died out when he lived there. So, excuse me for asking this question, but what the hell is the point of bringing it up? Simply as an excuse to imply that John Roberts is a racist.

Hell, the Democrats elected a Ku Klux Klan recruiter to the Senate, and made him Majority Leader. He's served longer in his Senate seat than Roberts will likely serve on the Supreme Court. Why doesn't the AP cover the voluntary adult service of Robert Byrd instead of making the most ridiculous stretch I've ever seen to paint someone as a bigot?

Here's a more germane story from the AP, one that reports on something that has to do with what kind of jurist John Roberts will be on the court. The AP notes that the man they want to paint as a bigot just got the highest rating from the American Bar Association on a unanimous vote:

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts earned a "well qualified" rating from the American Bar Association on Wednesday, clearing one hurdle in his path to joining the high court.

The rating by unanimous vote of an ABA committee was disclosed as the Senate Judiciary Committee announced plans for the start of confirmation hearings on Sept. 6. Roberts will face almost an hour of questioning from each of the 18 senators on the committee. ...

This is the fourth time the ABA has rated Roberts. He was designated as well qualified in 2001 when he was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He earned the same rating in 2003 when he was nominated again for the appeals courts and then confirmed. He was rated as qualified as an appeals court nominee in 1992, but the Senate never took up that nomination.

Perhaps the AP should stick to reporting news instead of cooking up scurrilous smear jobs as a cover for the Democratic Party. Tom Coyne, Ashley Heher, and their editor owe the AP readers and John Roberts an apology, if not their resignations.

UPDATE: Radioblogger takes a closer look at Coyne and Heher.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 17, 2005 6:52 PM

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» http://patterico.com/?p=3479 from Patterico's Pontifications
The AP reports some blockbuster news: Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and ’70s once banned the sale of homes to nonwhi... [Read More]

Tracked on August 17, 2005 9:21 PM

» The Houses Hate JOOOOOOS! from Confederate Yankee
I could not make this up. The Dems are getting so pathetic they're accusing Mayberry of hosting a lynching, and we know Sheriff Taylor wouldn't stand for that. Seriously, this is more lame than the gay four-year old bit. It... [Read More]

Tracked on August 17, 2005 10:33 PM

» Now This Is Relevant, Investigative Reporting! from A Knight's Blog
This revealing article by Tom Coyne and Ashley M. Heher, Associated Press Writers: Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and ̵... [Read More]

Tracked on August 18, 2005 7:55 AM

» So let me get this straight. . . from JasonColeman.com
The Captain points me to this article from the AP about where SCOTUS appointee Judge John Roberts grew up. Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the... [Read More]

Tracked on August 18, 2005 12:03 PM

» The Battle for Supreme Court Nominations from QandO
The lesson to be taken away from Supreme Court nominations is this: no matter who the President nominatesno matter how inoffensive, intelligent, and well-qualified the nominee the opposition will work itself [Read More]

Tracked on August 18, 2005 12:50 PM

» Rip & Read #138 - 2005-08-19 from Rip & Read Blogger Podcast
Here's what I Ripped and Read in my Podcast today: Captain Ed at the Captain's Quarters has the latest. Here's what he said yesterday: The Next Roberts Smear The AP has taken over where NARAL left off. I [Read More]

Tracked on August 19, 2005 6:26 PM



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