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Is Supreme Court Nominee Roberts Lying Already?

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Judge Roberts wants to be a Supreme Court justice, but apparently it's rude of us to expect to learn a little something about him and his judicial philosophy before giving Roberts that lifetime appointment. I've already commented on how absurd it is that nominees are apparently supposed to pretend they're incapable of discussing cogently and directly their views on landmark Supreme Court decisions made 10, 20, 30 or even 100 years ago -- that's something every first year law student must do, but apparently it's impossible for the best and brightest minds in the country.

Now we're already getting hints that Roberts and the White House are trying to stonewall any info that points to Roberts being a fringe radical rather than the moderate, mainstream judge that most Americans want on the Supreme Court.

The first snafu? The Federalist Society. Someone is lying -- either the White House or Roberts. When he was announced, it was immediately mentioned by some press outlets that Roberts belonged to the Federalist Society, a far right group devoted to attacking what it saw as "liberalism" on the bench. It is certainly a sign of someone who belongs on the fringes of judicial philosophy.

Here's the problem. We were immediately told Roberts wasn't a member and -- taking the White House at its word -- numerous media outlets ran corrections. Per USA Today:

Roberts has acknowledged participating in Federal Society events and giving speeches for the organization.

But on Monday, presidential press secretary Scott McClellan said, "He doesn't recall ever paying dues or being a member."
That's Scotty in another tight bind and saying the info came directly from Roberts.

But the Washington Post reported this:
The Washington Post reported Monday that it had obtained from a liberal group a 1997-98 Federalist Society leadership directory listing Roberts, then a partner in a private law firm, as being a steering committee member in the group's Washington chapter.
I'm gonna make a crazy guess and imagine that the Washington chapter of the Federalist Society is probably their biggest and most influential one. It beggars belief that someone could be on a steering committee of a group but downplay their involvement and act as if they'd just gone to a few functions. (Did other non-members serve on this committee? Do they usually use outsiders who don't even belong to the Federalists on this committee? How often did he attend meetings? How many meetings do they hold? Are there meetings monthly? Semi-annually? How often do most members attend meetings? We're sure Roberts will ask the Federalist Society to release any relevant info.) Fees or not, if you serve on a steering committee, you are an ACTIVE member of that group.

How does it feel to know that on the very first issue surrounding this nominee, the White House has either been duped by their guy or knowingly spread disinformation. Perhaps, PERHAPS it is technically true that Roberts never paid dues. But no one could think they were forthcoming or honest. Unless it depends on what your definition of "member" is.

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