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Reading the Same Tea Leaves

By ThinkProgress on July 25, 2005 at 1:14 pm

"Reading the Same Tea Leaves"

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Conservatives have gone on attack against anyone trying to put together the puzzle pieces to figure out John Roberts’ ambiguous stance on reproductive rights. The major talking points are:

Opposition to Roberts is opposition to those of faith:

Opponents will undoubtedly argue that Roberts is hostile to abortion rights based on a pair of briefs on which Roberts appeared while Deputy SG The unspoken undercurrent of these charges, and the likely basis for a whispering campaign against Roberts, is that he is a practicing Catholic and therefore predisposed to advancing the social policies of the Catholic Church through judicial opinions.

The anti-abortion stance of Roberts’ wife should not reflect on Roberts:

My wife has opinions on things that may or may conform with mine and I think most couples are in that situation.

Rush Limbaugh jumped into the argument:

Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman for the Center for American Progress, which is, it’s a lib group, it actually should be called the Center for American Regression. “It’s unclear how all of this will affect her husband,” said Jennifer Palmieri. “It’s just that in the absence of information about this guy, people are looking at her, trying to read some tea leaves.”…But the bottom line here is, folks, that you have wholesome family right, cut right from the mainstream, and the heartland of this country and that is invoking fear, palpable fear in the minds and hearts of the American left and it’s just pathetic.

Not matter what Karl Rove says, an individual’s wife should not be “fair game” nor should religious belief be used to prejudice against someone. The problem is that it is actually conservatives who originally set up both Roberts’ faith and his wife as a way to judge which way he will vote on key social issues:

When the White House began testing the name of Judge Roberts on a short list of potential nominees, many social conservatives were skeptical…Judge Roberts’s family life and religious convictions helped sell him to Christian conservatives as well. Both he and his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, were observant Catholics, Mr. [Leonard] Leo [chairman of Catholic outreach for the Republican Party] told other allies…“For people like me who are reading the tea leaves, it is another marker that we can breathe easy,” said Austin Ruse, president of the Culture of Life Foundation, a conservative Catholic group.

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