This seems to be a pretty unfair portrayal of events:
A prominent abortion rights group launched a television ad yesterday that accuses Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. of siding with violent extremists and a convicted clinic bomber while serving in the solicitor general’s office, an accusation that Roberts’s supporters immediately condemned as a flagrant distortion.
The ad, sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice America, focuses on Roberts’s role in a case involving whether a 19th-century anti-Ku Klux Klan statute could be used to shut down blockades of health clinics by abortion protesters. The solicitor general’s office filed a friend-of-the-court brief siding with the clinic protesters, including Operation Rescue. The high court ruled 6 to 3 against the health clinics in January 1993.
The NARAL ad, set to begin airing tomorrow on local channels in Maine and Rhode Island and nationally on the CNN and Fox News cable networks, features Emily Lyons, a clinic director who was badly injured when a bomb exploded at her clinic in Birmingham in 1998. The ad ends by urging viewers to call their senators to tell them to oppose the federal appellate judge’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
“Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber,” the ad states. The ad concludes by saying, “America can’t afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.”
It is just going to go downhill from here.
*** Update ***
Sebastian Holsclaw writes:
We can put aside the question of whether or not Operation Rescue really supports clinic bombings (I always thought it was a splinter called something like “The Lambs of God”). The ‘unlawful behavior’ in question for the court case was not clinic bombings, but rather political expression. And it was found by the Supreme Court not to in fact be unlawful under the Ku Klux Klan act–the question in the case. Now Terry and Bray were indeed among the defendants in the case, but so were every other pro-life demonstrator. Spinning that into excusing violence against other Americans is exactly like saying that the ACLU was pro-terrorist because it protected the free speech rights of Muslims. It will be interesting to see if Democratic leaders take up this line of attack when the confirmation comes around.