Aug 7, 2005

Link to Rocky Mt.News article on Roberts and gay rights case heard before the Supreme Court

All I want from the man is to be impartial when hearing cases..I DO NOT have to be impartial..he does...this seems to show that he can be impartial..lets hope...

Rocky Mountain News

John RobertsRoberts helped foes of gay law
Nominee advised Dubofsky on appeal of Amendment 2
By Karen Abbott, Rocky Mountain NewsAugust 5, 2005
When Colorado lawyer Jean Dubofsky argued before the U.S. Supreme Court against a law banning legal protections based on sexual orientation, she had an especially helpful behind-the-scenes coach.
"He was probably the most helpful person I spoke with about the argument itself," Dubofsky said Thursday.
He was John Roberts, now President Bush's nominee to replace retiring Sandra Day O'Connor on the nation's highest court.
He has the backing of some groups that supported Amendment 2, which Roberts helped Dubofsky defeat.
Dubofsky won her case, persuading the justices to rule 6-3 in 1996 that Amendment 2, which prohibited cities from enacting laws protecting homosexuals against discrimination, was unconstitutional.
Dubofsky, who had never appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court, said she went to Washington, D.C., in advance of oral arguments to seek the advice of a lawyers who had experience before the high court.
"I really wanted to talk to people who either had clerked for conservative judges or had been involved in arguing before the court many times," she said.
Many people told her she had to talk to Roberts.
At the time, he was a partner in the law firm Hogan & Hartson, which assisted with the case against Amendment 2 as "pro bono" work - a charitable donation of time and labor.
Roberts had clerked for Chief Justice William Rehn-quist. And, as an appellate specialist, he had argued numerous times before the justices.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Roberts did not include his work on the case against Amendment 2 in his written response to a Senate Judiciary Committee request that he describe his pro bono work.
Dubofsky said Roberts was particularly helpful in two ways.
He warned her to be prepared to explain in detail how the Colorado Supreme Court had ruled on Amendment 2. And he told her to be ready for Justice Antonin Scalia to ask for specific cases the state's high court had cited when it ruled Amendment 2 unconstitutional.
Scalia did ask for specific case citations, Dubofsky said.
Roberts also urged her to remember that she needed five votes, which meant she had to think not only of how the liberal justices might view the case, but also how the conservative justices likely would look at it.
"It was such clear advice that turned out to be so correct, it sort of pales beside a lot of advice I got from other people with respect to the argument itself," Dubofsky said.
Roberts didn't help draft pleadings or devise legal arguments. But he was part of a mock court that fired questions at Dubofsky to help her prepare for the real thing.
During the mock court session, Roberts asked her a question that Rehnquist asked during the real argument, Dubofsky said.
He also asked her tough questions in the style of Scalia, she said.
"So what he was doing for me was giving me a very realistic view of what the Supreme Court would think about this case," she said.
In the end, Rehnquist, Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas voted to uphold Amendment 2.
Dubofsky said Roberts never disclosed his own view of Amendment 2, and that his help on her case didn't mean he would have voted to overturn it had he been on the Supreme Court at the time.
"I think he's very good at arguing whatever side of a case his client wants him to argue," she said.
Judicious counsel
U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts helped Colorado lawyer Jean Dubofsky successfully argue before the high court against a state law banning legal protections based on sexual orientation.
Copyright 2005, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

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