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More Good News About John Roberts

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Say what you will about what he “might” do, but now I come to find out that John Roberts fought for gay rights:

WASHINGTON � Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.

Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay rights activists as part of his law firm’s pro bono work. He did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the high court, but he was instrumental in reviewing filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers intimately involved in the case.

So does this make him an saint? Absolutely not. But it does support the buzz that Roberts’ does the right thing, regardless of his feelings about it:

There is no other record of Roberts being involved in gay rights cases that would suggest his position on such issues. He has stressed, however, that a client’s views are not necessarily shared by the lawyer who argues on his or her behalf.

The lawyer who asked for Roberts’ help on the case, Walter A. Smith Jr., then head of the pro bono department at Hogan & Hartson, said Roberts didn’t hesitate. “He said, ‘Let’s do it.’ And it’s illustrative of his open-mindedness, his fair-mindedness. He did a brilliant job.”

Very good stuff to read. I’m liking this guy more and more.