View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Times uncovers Roberts' transgression

N.Y. Times Investigates Unpaid Library Fine of Supreme Court Nominee
By Don Key

The New York Times is looking into a report that Supreme Court Nominee John G. Roberts, a practicing Catholic, has an outstanding library fine dating back some 40 years.

The report has leading Democrats questioning his fitness to be a High Court Judge.

“This is a serious issue,” said Massachusetts Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy (D), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will examine Roberts’ nomination. “He has committed an infraction, an infraction stemming from lack of proper oversight, and has refused to provide restitution for four decades. I think this raises legitimate questions about how well and responsibly he will carry out his office of interpreting the law.”

The Times has obtained documents that show that the Catholic Roberts returned The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek by Evelyn Sibley Lampman to the Buffalo Public Library when he was first grader. He owed a .50 cent fine that was not paid.

A few months later, Roberts’ Catholic family moved Indiana. Roberts never paid the fine. The library made repeated attempts to contact the Catholic boy, but without success.

“We take fines very seriously,” said Buffalo library clerk O. B Sessive. “They help to support the system, and keep people from just keeping books as long as they please. Why without fines, we’d have all the books in our collection out and about without control.”

Roberts’ attorney issued a statement in response to reporters’ inquiries.

“Judge Roberts has no recollection of the fine, but will be happy to pay it,” the statement read.

“Certainly we will look at what seems an obvious disregard for the law,” said Senator Charles Schumer, (D-NY), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We have to hold him accountable for his actions. The actions of the Catholic boy could signal the thinking of the Catholic adult.”

White House spokesperson Ella Fant labeled the Times’ charges as part of a “liberal witch hunt.”

She noted that the book was about a talking dinosaur and was written by a woman, signaling Judge Roberts’ objectivity when it comes to such issues as evolution, racial discrimination and women in the workplace.

“Judge Roberts is a fair and thoughtful man,” Ella Fant said. “All we ask is a fair hearing.”

The library fine is just one of the areas being examined by the Times.

Other areas under investigation include:

· The adoption records of Judge Roberts’ two children.
· Reports thatRoberts under-tipped a waitress in a Washington restaurant in 1997.
· Judge Roberts’ contribution records at the Catholic Churches he has attended.
· A “B” he received on a test in a high school government class
· An embarrassingly outdated dress his wife once wore to a party.

“We will give him a fair and impartial hearing,” Senator Schumer said. “This is not like the Catholics' Spanish Inquisition.”


Blogger Jack Bennett said...

So tell me, its not clear from this article ;) but is John Roberts by any chance Catholic? [cue theme to Star Wars' Imperial Death March]

3:24 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Hmm. It's possible. I'll have to check the secret files at the Vatican. You know, the files stored in the tunnels between all the priests' residences and the convents....:)

4:47 PM  

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