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Statement By Mayor Bloomberg On Supreme Court Chief Justice Nominee John Roberts

September 16, 2005

“In July, following the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court, I stated clearly that I wanted to hear a clear indication that Judge Roberts accepts Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.  After days of testimony and intense questioning at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Americans have had a glimpse into the thinking of Judge Roberts.

“While I am impressed with the deep intellect and understanding of the law that Judge Roberts has shown and believe him to be a man of integrity, I am unconvinced that Judge Roberts accepts the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling as settled law.  What I was waiting for, as were many Americans, was a clear affirmation that the life-altering decision as to whether or not to have a child must be a woman’s decision.  Unfortunately, Judge Roberts’ response did not indicate a commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose.

“At the hearings, Judge Roberts spoke with clarity and, of course, correctly, that he agreed with the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education.  And this most important decision, which ended the evil practice of segregation, is now considered settled law.

“What I was hoping to hear was the same simple affirmation of Roe v. Wade, a decision which has had a long-lasting, profound impact in improving women’s health and lives.  There can be no turning back and for that reason I oppose the nomination of Judge Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”

Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz

(212) 788-2958