Monday, July 25, 2005

John Roberts Has Memory Problems

The Washington Post reports today that John Roberts completely forgot he was a member of the ultraconservative Federalist Society. In fact, in 2001, after Roberts had been nominated for his federal circuit court position, he made a Post reporter write a correction saying Roberts "is not and never has been a member of the Federalist Society, as previous reported in this column." After George W. Bush nominated him to the Supreme Court, the Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Associated Press published corrections to articles that had mentioned Roberts' membership in the Federalist Society, after being told by the White House that Roberts "could not recall" having been a member.

Interesting word choice, that. It's not like Roberts or the White House were saying, "Judge Roberts is not a member of the Federalist Society, and never was." Let's just assume for the sake of argument that Roberts and Bush know damn well that Roberts was a member. If any problems come up (like the press finding out), the White House doesn't have to worry that people will think they lied, for heaven's sake. Roberts just forgot about that particular membership.

Of course, damage control is beginning. The Federalist Society's executive vice-president, Leonard Leo, told the Post that Roberts may not have been a real member of the group.

[Leo] said that either he or another official of the organization recruited Roberts for the committee. Roberts's task was to serve "as a point of contact within the firm to let people know what is going on" with the organization. "It doesn't meet, it doesn't do a whole lot. The only thing we expect of them is to make sure people in the firm know about us," Leo said.

Membership in the sense of paying dues was not required as a condition of inclusion in a listing of the society's leadership, Leo said. He declined to say whether Roberts had ever paid dues, citing a policy of keeping membership information confidential.


No comments: