Wednesday, July 20, 2005

More on Roberts and education

The incomparable Education Week ran an excellent piece yesterday on Judge Roberts' history with education issues. Most of his history was as assistant solicitor general (under a solicitor general by the name of Ken Starr, by they way) writing position pieces for then President George H. W. Bush. Those positions -- in favor of prayer at graduation ceremonies, ending court-ordered desegregation, and against monetary awards for violations of Title IX funding for women's sports, to name a few -- were staked out for the Administration. According to Roberts' testimony during confirmation for the DC Circuit Court two years ago, those positions were not necessarily his.

Regardless, EdWeek makes some extraordinary claims regarding Roberts, vis a vis education issues. From the article:

If confirmed, he would bring to the high court perhaps the greatest firsthand knowledge of the concerns of district-level educators of anyone since Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., who had served on both the Richmond, Va., school board and the Virginia state board of education before his service on the Supreme Court from 1971 to 1987.

“Among the names that were floated, I think he was the best candidate for schools,” Julie Underwood, the general counsel of the National School Boards Association, said of Judge Roberts. She noted that before he became a federal appeals court judge in Washington in 2003, he had several times spoken or participated at NSBA school law events.

“I believe he is so thoughtful and even-handed,” Ms. Underwood added. “Liberals are slamming him for briefs he wrote representing a conservative [presidential] administration. But I don’t think those briefs necessarily represent his personal views.”
Much is also being made of the soon-to-be-infamous "french fry case" in which Roberts upheld an arrest of a 12 year old girl for eating a single french fry in a Washington DC Metro station. She was not warned. The Edweek article has some info on it. but for a more in-depth version, check out the Heritage Foundation's (yes, them) Overcriminalized website.

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