John “I Don’t Remember” Roberts met with the Connecticut Yankee in King George’s Court:

Roberts also visited yesterday with Joe Lieberman, who told reporters afterward that he has urged the White House to be “as cooperative as they possibly could” when it comes to releasing documents relating to Roberts’ work in past administrations. While acknowledging the ongoing document standoff in John Bolton’s nomination to the United Nations, Lieberman said he’d hate to see Roberts meet the same filibuster fate because the White House and Democrats couldn’t come to terms on which, if any, documents would be released. “That’s why I urge the Administration to stretch a bit on this question of documents.” From NBC First Read. (Emphasis mine.)

Nice finesse, Joe! (Once in a while …)

NBC First Read notes that it was the White House that denied Roberts’ membership in the Federalist Society, about which Roberts declined to answer a question yesterday. (More about that Rovian snafu at the end of the diary.)

U.S. News & World Report recaps the likely Fall 2005 SCOTUS cases — their fates more unpredictable if Roberts is confirmed. The cases include abortion rights-related and assisted suicide appeals. BELOW:
From U.S. News & World Report‘s “A Full Plate for the Fall.”

Should Judge John G. Roberts be confirmed by the Senate in time for the upcoming Supreme Court term, he will join a court that’s already facing a challenging fall docket of hot-button social issues. Among the cases to be heard:

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. The court’s first major abortion-rights case in five years will review a New Hampshire law prohibiting abortions for minors whose parents have not been notified. The law allows for exceptions if an abortion would prevent a mother’s death and if a judge says the minor is mature enough to make such a decision. The case doesn’t threaten to overturn Roe v. Wade, but the ruling might signal how the court will weigh other restrictions on abortion.

Gonzales v. Oregon
. The Bush administration has challenged Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, a law allowing physician-assisted suicide. The Justice Department has said doctors have no “legitimate medical purpose” in prescribing federally controlled drugs to help terminally ill patients commit suicide.

Rumsfeld v. FAIR. The court will decide whether the government can withhold federal money from colleges that restrict military recruiting on campus. Colleges argue that the military’s ban on openly gay men and women violates their own nondiscrimination policies. The government says that by limiting the military’s access, colleges have hampered recruiting, particularly at law schools.

House v. Bell. A Tennessee death penalty case will help determine the standards of proof that must be met for a prisoner to be granted a new trial. The case centers on DNA evidence that was not available when Paul House was convicted two decades ago; his lawyers say it proves he is innocent. -Silla Brush

About Roberts’ membership in the Federalist Society:

The AP says that Roberts yesterday declined to answer a question about why he was listed in the Federalist Society’s leadership directory, even though the White House insisted that he wasn’t a member.

The Boston Globe says some conservatives are angry with the White House for disassociating Roberts from the society, saying the society “should not be treated like a pariah.” “Conservative groups yesterday saw the unflattering focus on The Federalist Society as a self-inflicted wound after what had been a nearly flawless first week for Roberts’s nomination. And some worried that the White House had created a stigma that could attach itself to many leading conservative lawyers.”
From NBC First Read.

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