07 October 2006

Weekend Update #6 - The NEW YORK TIMES

The almighty New York TIMES finally picked up on the story, and might I note that the journalists at the NYT are idiots.

They, in their condescending manner, manage to get it all wrong: An elephant is like a stick, said the blind man. And the KELO stuff is all about bucolic rage. Too bad they didn't notice that ... well, I shall bite my tongue. For shame, NYT. For shame:

October 8, 2006
Anger Drives Property Rights Measures

PICABO, Idaho — Cheeks chapped, patience thinned, Katie Breckenridge had no trouble making up her mind about an Idaho ballot measure that would make the government pay property owners if zoning rules reduce the value of their land.


The more far-reaching proposals in the West — in Idaho, Arizona, California and Washington State — are citizens’ initiatives supported by signature petitions, and they are often supported financially and logistically by national libertarian groups.

This House Is My Home, a group based in Boise that is sponsoring the Idaho measure, Proposition 2, is among groups in several states that have received strong financial help from Fund for Democracy, headed by Howard S. Rich, the New York real estate investor who is chairman of the libertarian group Americans for Limited Government. As of late June, Fund for Democracy had given at least $237,000 to This House Is My Home, about two-thirds of the money raised by the group. The next filing deadline is Oct. 10.

“We are essentially a ‘networking station’ that brings together grass-roots activists, donors and community leaders who share a common interest,” John Tillman, president of Americans for Limited Government, said in an e-mail message. “In this case, that common interest is in restoring property rights for the average citizen.”

Affluent outsiders have been drawn to Idaho in recent decades, lured by technology jobs, mountain recreation and abundant sunshine. Boise, the capital, has boomed, as has Sun Valley, where newcomers from California build second homes not far from ranchers who herd sheep over the Sawtooth Mountains. About two-thirds of Idaho land is under federal control, and frustration runs deep in rural areas with newcomers who, after buying their piece of paradise, try to restrict land use further in the name of preservation and environmentalism....
No. Anger drives bloggers when the NYT can afford to send reporters out for a "he said-she said" story and still not have a clue.


Weekend Update #5

I'm getting ahead of the curve. Here's an article from tomorrow's Arizona REPUBLIC, dated Sunday, October 8. And they don't even know about the breaking news yet. The editorial says, in part:
Prop. 207 is Trojan horse
Oct. 8, 2006 12:00 AM

A Trojan horse initiative has rolled into Arizona. Proposition 207 is tricked up to seem like a simple defense of property rights.

But look inside. It's really an assault on reasonable planning for a growing state.

Proposition 207 masquerades as protection for homeowners.


Like the famous horse, which the Greeks used against the people of Troy, Proposition 207 was brought here by outsiders.

Virtually every single dollar in the campaign comes from two libertarian groups, Americans for Limited Government and the Fund for Democracy, bankrolled by New York City real estate investor Howie Rich.

Rich and his organizations aren't aiming to improve Arizona's future. We're just one of eight states in which they financed ballot measures to spread their rigid ideology.

The Trojans opened the horse and were conquered. Arizonans can make a wiser choice on Nov. 7: Vote "No" on Proposition 207.
Yes. Howie's friends -- and ESPECIALLY Scott Tillman -- know about Trojan Horses. Perhaps that's what happened to the one Tillman was towing around Nebraska, Florida, et al, in 2005.

Oh, and by the by? The head of the campaign in Arizona is "consultant" Lori Klein*. Lori Klein married Laird Maxwell (Idaho's lead petitioner) July 29. Maxwell even traveled down to Arizona in the spring to help Klein get HER petition (HOPE) on the Arizona ballot. Then he went back home and got "This House is MY House" on the Idaho ballot.

[* The lead petitioners are listed as SPRINGER, CAROL and NORTON, JOHN R in the official Arizona documents online.]

Here's their wedding website: http://www.lairdandlori.com/

They met at a National Taxpayer's Union convention in 2005.

Lori Klein has the distinction of having made the only in-state Arizona contribution to the ballot measure during the petitioning process: $100 (2-23-06). Laird Maxwell has the same distinction in Idaho, contributing $50 on 3-15-06. Howie Rich supplied the other million dollars or so.

A unique couple in Western politics, one is compelled to note.

They're crabby. They're ideologues. And they threaten people: Modern day tax revolutionaries, say hello to the Libertarian Bonnie and Clyde. We wish all the happiness on the newlyweds that they would inflict on citizens whose states they seek to alter.

More as it happens.


Weekend Update #4

The Santa Fe New Mexican (the oldest newspaper in the West) was on the story Thursday. My apologies for slighting them.

By JOHN MILLER | Associated Press
October 5, 2006

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - With a month to go before the midterm elections, groups touting private property rights and limited government initiatives from Arizona to Idaho are putting the heat on....

"This is dark work," Maxwell said. "When they go out and campaign for or against the initiative, or give the illusion of campaigning for or against an issue, and when they do it on taxpayer dollars, there should be balance." ... Maxwell's request, under a law requiring public access to many government records, also demands all correspondence with phrases including "petition blockers" and "truth squad," as well as communications about possible student "sleepovers" at schools on election days.

Though Maxwell wants search fees to be waived, officials counter the sheer volume of research could swamp school and government employees already hard-pressed to do their jobs... Maxwell's request, he said, "Is at best a fishing expedition, and at worst a wild goose chase."

In Kimberly, the school district plans to honor the request, but Superintendent Garner says it's struggling to search its records in a timely way, while still protecting confidential information. The district must go through 400,000 e-mails, he added.

Maxwell says the information should be just a keystroke away.

"They're stonewalling us," he said. "Either we have transparent government _ or we don't."
More as it develops.


Weekend Update #3

The mighty Jackson Hole (WY) Star-Tribune is on the story:
Big-government foes seek records

Associated Press writer Saturday, October 07, 2006

BOISE, Idaho -- With a month to go before the midterm elections, groups touting private property rights and limited government initiatives from Arizona to Idaho are putting the heat on.

They've targeted nearly 2,000 schools and local governments in six states with sweeping public records requests, hoping to learn whether taxpayer-funded resources such as computers are being used improperly to fight their political campaigns.

"I hope it has a deterrent effect, that people will wake up and say, 'This isn't right,' so that it will prevent actions that are against the law," said Paul Jacob, a limited-government advocate in Virginia who heads Citizens in Charge.

Some school and city officials call it a disruptive fishing expedition aimed at taxing scarce resources... The records requests have landed in Montana, Nebraska, Arizona and Michigan, as well as Idaho. In Nevada, agencies could receive a request this week, Jacob said ... After raising $330,000 from limited-government groups earlier this year to help qualify Proposition 2 for Idaho's Nov. 7 ballot, Boise activist Laird Maxwell said he wants to prove educators and government officials have been campaigning on the taxpayers' dime.
So where is the rest of the press?

Stay tuned.


Weekend Update #2

The LAS VEGAS SUN has picked up the story from the AP wire:
... Altogether 484 state, county and city agencies in Oregon were blanketed with two separate requests by fax during the last week of September, Jacob said. Similar requests also have been sent to about 2,000 government bodies in Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska and Nevada, said Jacob.

Oregon state, city and school district officials said the mass-mailed requests would do exactly what Citizens in Charge says it is trying to prevent: eat up public resources.

"First question is, is this a real request or a scam?" said Gene Evans, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Education. "If it is real, it's certainly going to tie up our staff and computers for a while." Evans said he has never seen a request of this scope before.

But despite local governments' concern about the broadness of the records requests, Jacob said he "didn't think they would be too onerous" and that Citizens in Charge would pay for the records and staff time as needed.

He declined to say where the group's money comes from...
Where have we heard THAT refrain before. Hmmmm...

More as the story unfolds.


Weekend Update #1

As predicted:

This is Howie Rich's right hand man, Paul Jacob. Eric O'Keefe of LEAD and Parents In Charge is on the board of "Citizens in Charge."

Well, here we go.

This is the political version of a 'denial of service' attack on your ISP's servers (e.g. "Mailbombing.")

Click here for the Oregonian story.

print version:
Oregon, 6 other states blanketed in records bid
FOIA - A group wants e-mail pertaining to property rights and spending limits, an effort that will cost time and money

Saturday, October 07, 2006
The Oregonian

Close to 500 cities, school districts and state agencies in Oregon, and thousands more in six other states, have been hit with public records requests for all e-mails pertaining to any communication regarding measures on term limits, property rights or limiting spending, an undertaking most local municipalities say will take months and thousands of dollars to complete.

A Virginia-based group, Citizens in Charge, is mounting what its Web site calls "a study of public resource abuse" under the name CitizenFOIA (FOIA stands for Freedom of Information Act). Citizens in Charge is aiming its campaign, which also includes requests for Internet and e-mail use policies and their enforcement, at Oregon and other states where groups backed by Howard Rich, the head of Americans for Limited Government and U.S. Term Limits, pushed spending limits or property rights measures this year.

Citizens In Charge's president, Paul Jacob, says his group is nonpartisan. "Our goal is basically to find out to what degree public resources are being used for political campaigning and to make sure those resources are not abused," he said....
More as events progress.


06 October 2006

Unlimited Terms of Endearment Part XX: The Unedited PBS Interview

1. How did you first get alerted to this story?

I got a political mailing: bulk mail, grey envelope with a return address in Illinois. When I opened it, I saw that it was a letter and a petition and asked me to get signatures to put term limits on the ballot ... again.

I'm too much of a google monkey to let something like that go, and when I started to try and find out what that group in Illinois was, every answer raised ten more questions. I kept digging and here we are.

2. What were the initiatives being proposed in Oregon? What kind of local support did these ideas have?

Measure 39 - restricts use of Eminent Domain ("Government Can't Steal My Property And Give It To A Developer Act" -- original filing title)

Measure 45 - term limits for Oregon Legislative Assembly ("Reinstate Legislative Term Limits" -- original title)

Measure 48 - Spending Cap/Rainy Day Fund ("Constitutional State Spending Limit" -- original title)

a TABOR-style initiative called the "Rainy Day" initiative that doesn't, oddly enough, establish a "Rainy Day" fund.

To the best of my knowledge, there wasn't that much grassroots support: e.g. US Term Limits/Rich gave $350,000 in 2004 to run a term limits petition drive, and they didn't come up with enough signatures to get it on the Oregon ballot.

3. From your research, what have you been able to piece together about Howard Rich and the organizations he's connected to?

I've put together more than 150 pages on it, and I commend the reader to download the .pdf I made of the first fifteen parts of the report. It's really an octopus of organizations, foundations, 501(c)3s, 501(c)4s and a network of think tanks across the country. They have a definite agenda, and they've been pushing it everywhere they can. The term limits movement (and its inclusion in the 1994 GOP "Contract With America") has its genesis in this series of interlinking organizations. See below.

4. Why do you think Rich has shown such an interest in these particular issues?

Well, I have to take him at his word. He told an OREGONIAN reporter in Chicago last month: "It's all about the ideology." Rich and his wife were the first elected officers of the New York Libertarian Party in 1973, and they've remained consistent to Ayn Rand's "Virtue of Selfishness" philosophy over the years. They walked out of the LP in 1983 (when their presidential nominee lost) but this breakaway group has been a major force behind social security privatization, deregulation (one claimed credit for writing the airline deregulation bill in the Reagan Administration) and a whole slew of anti-government and anti-tax measures. Another one they're pushing is "School Choice" which is code for ending all public education and moving to all private schools. They believe that all taxation is theft at the point of a gun, and they're seemingly out to do anything they can to carry out the old Grover Norquist (with whom they've often worked) dictum about the bathtub.

5. How would characterize the press coverage that Rich's involvement in these initiatives has gotten across the country?

The local press coverage always stops at the state line. And it's always overwhelmed, but it's been professional, and it's been good, as far as it's gone. These people have been very good at covering their tracks, and time after time, by the time the press really figures out what's going on, the election is over and it's no longer "newsworthy."

I can't fault the press for what they've done. It's a national story, and the national press needs to look at it to connect the dots. When you've got a New York real estate tycoon sending money through an office in Chicago to an organization with offices in Idaho and Montana, who, in turn, send that money on to Nebraska and Missouri, something's going on that the local press just don't have the resources to dig into and follow up on.

6. Why do you care who funds initiatives in your state? Can't you just weigh the initiative on it's face and decide if it's a good idea or not?

There is a reason that we make laws in a deliberative body. The initiative process is MEANT to be an "IN CASE OF FIRE BREAK GLASS." There are always unintended consequences, and, as we've seen several times in the past, what you THINK you're voting for, and what you're actually voting for turn out to be two different things.

When -- as in Idaho and Arkansas a couple years ago -- Howie Rich and his people outspend the local opposition five to one and more, I can't see that anything other than hard-core used-car sales techniques have bullied the voters into taking up questions that legislatures are more properly constituted to address. This is just an "up or down" vote with very little to no real deliberation, and a lot of local political fisticuffs. There's no opportunity to fix an initiative, amend it, etc. That's why they should be used rarely.

You'd think that the people pushing it would have the good grace to live in the place that's going to face the consequences. And maybe even reveal who they actually are. Democracy is about accountability, and non-accountability is its antithesis.

In deciding on constitutional issues, knowing who's pushing it is not only important, but there is something fundamentally suspicious if they're hiding who they are, and don't even have a dog in the fight.

7. In the end, do you think that voters will care who's backing these initiatives?

I hope that they will. Everyone I talk to cares when they find out what's behind it. Maybe that is why there has been a conscious pattern of faking local support and hiding behind highfalutin' "group" acronyms.

I think that self-government and home rule are very precious rights, and the idea of a bunch of secretive zillionaires hiding behind any number of "fronts" and using my state as a petrie dish for their "democracy" experiments is not something that most people cotton to. As they say in that salsa commercial: "NEW YORK CITY!!?!?"

8. What's your take on the ballot initiative process itself? They're clearly controversial: many people love them for their ability to put the power of lawmaking directly into the hands of citizens, and many others hate them for the very same reason. Where do you come down?

The first ballot initiative was voted on here in Oregon in 1904. (South Dakota passed the first initiative law, which the Oregon "blue book" conveniently ignores). They were originally a necessary check on the power of a few powerful robber barons to block pieces of legislation that a clear majority of citizens considered necessary and proper.

When initiatives are used that way, I think they're a fine thing.

But in the past decade or so, we've seen that flipped on its ear: the robber barons use it to block the legislature instead. The whole thing is upside down. At the ALG 'conference' in Chicago last month, one speaker said that even if they lose, they still win, because they block people they disagree with in that (my) state from proposing measures of their own -- because they have to spend all their resources "playing defense."

Or to quote from High Country News reporter Ray Ring's amazing interview with Howie Rich (akin this season to interviewing a recluse on the order of J.D. Salinger), Rich himself states:

"I'm far more interested in initiatives. The initiative process enables you to bypass the legislature ...."

I think that says it all.

Hart Williams' bio:

Hart Williams grew up in Wyoming and graduated from Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He attended Texas Christian University and moved to Hollywood, California in 1976.

Mr. Williams has been a professional writer since 1976, published since 1973. He has written for newpapers and magazines from the
Washington POST to the Los Angeles TIMES and FREE PRESS, The Kansas City STAR, Portland OREGONIAN, NEW WEST, OUI, Los Angeles Magazine, the Santa Fe SUN, and more. A published novelist and screenwriter, he lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife - a science fiction author in her own right - her centenarian father and their manx cat.

05 October 2006


The ALG/Citizens FOIA sweep is, as predicted, not just limited to Montana. This is an all out assault in the states that Rich & Friends have their proposals on the ballot.
Big-government foes seek campaign records
John Miller
The Associated Press
Edition Date: 10-05-2006

Nearly 2,000 school districts and local governments in Idaho and at least five other states are being targeted by foes of big government, who think taxpayer-funded resources such as computers are being used improperly in political campaigns, including school funding and property-rights measures on the 2006 ballot.

Sweeping, three-page public records requests have also been made in Montana, Nebraska, Arizona and Michigan, said Laird Maxwell, a Boise activist involved with groups behind property rights or government limit initiatives up for a vote in the three states.

In Nevada, agencies could receive records requests this week, the groups said. Some officials call this a disruptive fishing expedition aimed at taxing scarce resources. They've done nothing wrong, they insist...
Are Washington, Oregon and California next?

Stay tuned.


Unlimited Terms of Endearment XIX: Breaking News

A new Howie Rich-affiliated group has launched a fishing expedition for teacher and other public employee records in Montana. I was tipped off by a source in Montana that teachers are receiving requests for all emails. The group in question is yet another new group, “Citizen FOIA” under an old group that we’ve seen before.

To see WHY such emails might be desired, keep reading. The reason is contained in their very sparse website -- e.g. the "About Us" page only states "TBD," and there are password login pages without any registration process on the site. The "guts" of the operation is a state-by-state information page that links directly to a respected website, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, http://www.rcfp.org, basically cloning it.

A few days ago, we were tipped off that the new website had appeared, called www.citizenfoia.org. The “Citizen FOIA” site (as opposed to “sight” in the letter quoted below) is under the aegis of “Citizens in Charge,” which we’ve already traced to Paul Jacob’s house in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. FOIA, of course, stands for “Freedom Of Information Act,” an open records law enacted in the aftermath of Watergate.

The domain itself was registered:

Domain ID:D127705718-LROR
Created On:23-Aug-2006 16:34:43 UTC

and the Paul Jacob letter is dated August 30, but the site doesn’t seem to have been up until mid- to-late September. Significantly, both come mere days after the August ALG "conference" in Chicago I've already reported on at length elsewhere.

Here’s part of Paul’s Letter on their homepage www.citizenfoia.org:
Thank you for your interest in our open records project. We are engaging in a study of public resource abuse, and are using state Freedom of Information laws to obtain information. This is an important study that aims to put citizens in the know about public sector employees and officers who would play fast and loose with electioneering rules. We hear anecdotes from across the country about government employees acting to abuse the initiative process, and engaging in election activities on the clock, using powerful resources intended only for public purposes: taxpayer funded computers, e-mail lists, and internet access. Now we intend to get the facts!

Government workers have lots of internet access, and have email contact lists that allow them to communicate with each other instantly and in broad strokes. In the hands of public sector officials and bureaucrats who might be willing to ignore the rules against using public resources to influence election results, internet access and email could be dangerous tools to push special agendas. Most of us are familiar with the old “vote yes” millage flyer copied on the school Xerox and delivered to you by your own school children under orders from their teacher. Imagine the instant access to flyers now enjoyed by public sector employees and the coordination of rallies and other electioneering efforts made easy by email messaging lists and internet sights. (sic) ...
I think the discerning reader can figure out WHAT the Citizen FOIA is looking for by launching a massive email and records request in Montana. I doubt that it will ONLY be in Montana. We shall see.

Additional breaking news: Rick Berman’s Center for Union Facts has begun a new round of anti-Union attack ads in Montana. Whether this is directed specifically at government employees or not is not yet known.

As has been reported previously, according to their publicly available tax return (form 990) this is their address:


This is the residence of Paul Jacob, as verified on other tax filings and publicly available information.

[If you want to verify this, plug the address -- 2617 Pheasant Hunt Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22192 -- into Google, click “Google Maps” on the first results page at the top, and then choose satellite. It is a new housing complex. You can tell, because the trees in all the yards are still very small. When there are no mature trees (except the uncut woodlot behind Jacob’s home) a neighborhood is newly built.]

Funny thing is, this new “Citizen FOIA” group is located, according to their website at:

Citizen FOIA
PO Box 371086
Milwaukee, WI 53237
Phone: 608-441-5748

When you plug in the phone number, it traces to:

Parents Incharge Foundation (sic)
10 E Doty St
Madison, WI 53703


Parents In Charge, along with LEAD Foundation are both official Howie Rich/Americans for Limited Government groups, linked on the ALG website at www.getliberty.org.

In 2004, Citizens in Charge was the vehicle for spending hundreds of thousands in an Arkansas ballot measure battle on term limits, with Paul Jacob’s brother, Tim Jacob as its official spokesman. So far this year, the group had been more or less inactive. As usual, it consists of two groups, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a 501(c)(3) completely tax-deductible “charity” like the Red Cross, your church, or the Girl Scouts. Guidestar notes:
This organization is a 501(c)(3) Private Nonoperating Foundation.
This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because its income is less than $25,000.
Contributions are deductible, as provided by law.
"Citizens in Charge" and "Citizens in Charge Foundation" are both presided over by Mr. Jacob.

And you will have to supply your own interpretation of this odd fact: if you Google "Citizens in Charge Foundation" most of your hits will be on a strange uber-petition to declare Rachel Carson wrong and bring back DDT. Paul Jacob is on the petition, SIGNIFICANTLY, putting the 'prestige' of his organization behind the petition, along with several other familiar names, including:


Paul Jacob
Citizens in Charge Foundation, Virginia

Howard S. Rich
President, U.S. Term Limits, Washington, DC

John Tillman
President, Americans for Limited Government, Illinois

Ed Crane
President, Cato Institute, Washington, DC

Eric O’Keefe
President, Parents in Charge Foundation, Illinois
Which just so happens to be the same “Parents In Charge Foundation” whose Madison, Wisconsin telephone number the ”Citizen FOIA” group shares. Extremely convenient coincidences, one and all.

As we have documented elsewhere, the Center for Union Facts were well represented at the ALG pep rally in Chicago in August, supplying the Al Capone quote and the explanation of their tactics. (See Part XV: Oregon, Chicago, ALG and Al Capone. )

It is well worth noting that Paul Jacob, Howard Rich, John Tillman and Eric O’Keefe were also in attendance.

More news as this story develops, but one might speculate that this portends an all-out attack on unions, and especially public employee unions (whose “political activism” would seem to be -- and is -- the greatest single stumbling block to the Rich & Friends ballot measures in the several western states.

Oh: also on the “Citizens in Charge” Board of Directors?

Eric O’Keefe.


01 October 2006

Faith of Our Fathers and Justice for All

We'll return to the tale of Howie and his Friends in a moment. But first, a short note on the day. You see, it's Red Mass Sunday in Washington, D.C. in a ceremony dating back to the 13th Century -- which, coincidentally was the SAME century that Habeas Corpus was first enshrined in law.

In Washington, DC, it's been going on since 1953, making this the 53rd annual Red Mass, which is held in the Cathedral of St. Matthew, usually with the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. delivering the homily.

from the Official Archdiocese Website:

This will be Archbishop Wuerl's first Red Mass in Washington. He became the leader of the Archdiocese of Washington in June 2006 after 18 years as the Bishop of Pittsburgh.
CNN Correspondent Joe Johns explains it:
This is a mass that is essentially organized by the John Carroll Society, a society of Catholic lawyers to, in essence, bless the legal profession right around the start of the Supreme Court term.
Last year, Bush and Rehnquist both attended. This year, Bush (allegedly a Methodist) and, significantly, newest justice Samuel Alito (a devout Catholic, nonetheless) were not present.

About a year ago, I wrote in this blog:
Monday, July 25, 2005

In yesterday's thrilling edition, we saw young John G. Roberts leave Indiana, attend Harvard and then Harvard Law School.

After rising through the profession, he married fellow lawyer Jane Sullivan in 1996.

According to the Los Angeles Times:
"Jane Roberts attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and graduated magna cum laude in 1976. In 1984, she graduated cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center."
They married in 1996, and a few years ago (both are about 50 years old) they adopted children in their early forties.

According to "LifeSite News"
Married in their forties John and Jane Roberts were unable to conceive children of their own, but have adopted a boy and a girl, and Roberts has consistently shown a deep love for his role as a father.
She is, by all accounts, a "devout Catholic" and is on the Board of Governors of the John Carroll Society (named after the first US Bishop), according to its webpage: "On February 15, 1953, O'Boyle celebrated the first Society-sponsored Red Mass. In succeeding years, the congregation has frequently included the President of the United States and leading federal jurists, cabinet officials, congressmen and diplomats. Today, the Red Mass is celebrated annually on the Sunday before the first Monday in October, prior to the opening of the Supreme Court's judicial year."

Here's a piece of the "homily" delivered at the most recent "Red Mass":
"In the face of the challenges at hand, we appeal to Catholic jurists and intellectuals and all people of good will to help rebuild consensus around the foundational principles necessary for democracy: the dignity of the human person who has both rights and responsibilities, the inalienable right to life, the relationship between truth and freedom, convictions about the common good, the centrality and importance of marriage and family, the need to nurture and protect the most vulnerable members of society, the need for solidarity among people."

The Most Reverend Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap
Archbishop of Boston
Homily for the 51st Annual Red Mass, St. Matthew's Cathedral
Washington, DC
October 3, 2004 (from their webpage)
Jane Roberts is also involved with "Feminists for Life" which had this to say from their webpage:
"Jane Sullivan Roberts currently serves as legal counsel to Feminists for Life of America (FFLA) on a pro bono basis. From 1995 to 1999 she served as Executive Vice President on the Board of Directors of FFL. Serrin Foster, President of FFL, said, "Jane is a brilliant attorney. We are very proud of her and appreciative of her service to Feminists for Life and women and children." Ms. Roberts is married to Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts, Jr.

"Established in 1972, Feminists for Life is a nonsectarian, nonpartisan, grassroots organization that seeks real solutions to the challenges women face. FFL's efforts are shaped by the core feminist values of nondiscrimination, nonviolence, and justice for all. FFL continues the tradition of early American feminists such as Susan B. Anthony who sought to address the root causes that drive women to abortion."
So, we have to surmise that Roberts is, himself a devout Catholic, else there would probably be hell to pay at home. You see, if Roberts is confirmed, the U.S. Supreme Court will have four Catholic Justices out of nine. So, one gets the feeling that Catholic beliefs just might be very important in the next few terms of the Court. And we should probably remember that while the United States government is built on a bedrock of separation of Church and State, the Church doesn't see it quite that way (from the October 6, 2002 Red Mass homily):
"All too often in recent years, it has been a sign of our time that some urge that the role of religion in public life be marginalized and even suppressed. And too frequently, men and women of faith have not challenged the assertion that religion is a strictly private matter and that faith in God, and its accompanying moral and social values, have no role to play in our national life. We are even told that our children should not utter God's name when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, as if that would do them harm or make them less fully Americans. Instead of accepting this claim, our faith in God leads us to another conclusion. As we face the signs of our times -- the moral decline in society, the threats against life both from abroad and from within, and the lack of trust in our leaders -- we recognize that this time, our time, is a time for religious renewal. It is a time for us to recover our sense of God, of the sacredness of human life and of doing what is right, whatever the cost and whatever the circumstance. It is a time for us to be not more reticent, but more courageous in professing our faith in God and acting upon it.

"Pope John Paul II, the outstanding religious and moral leader in the world today, had this to say to visiting Bishops from the United States in 1998, 'The survival of a ... democracy depends not only on its institutions, but to an even greater extent on the spirit which inspires and permeates its procedures for legislating, administering, and judging. The future of democracy, in fact, depends on a culture capable of forming men and women who are prepared to defend certain truths and values. It is imperiled when politics and law are sundered from any connection to the moral law written on the human heart.' (Address of Pope John Paul II to the Bishops of Region X, June 27, 1998)

The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Homily for the Red Mass, Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Washington, DC
October 6, 2002
Now, you should know that I'm leaving out the stuff about being a Good Samaritan, about how we should turn away from nuclear weapons and that sort of thing. I don't cast aspersions on the sincerity of the church fathers. But I think it's important to understand that Roe v. Wade is now going to go before four Catholic Justices, and how the Church is more than happy to tell those jurists what they should rule in such cases.

I will be curious to see how Roberts manages the tension between his religious and secular duties -- especially considering that his religion states clearly that they are one and the same. He should NOT separate them....
And now we'll see how well our five Catholic jurists deal with overturning Roe v. Wade (actually, now I think Rust v. Sullivan actually is the controlling case). But, tomorrow, in the most anonymous branch of the three branches of government, and for the first time in American history -- a post-Reformation protestant nation if ever there was one -- a majority of Catholic jurists will have to grapple with the command of the Church that there is no separation of church and state, and the US Constitution, which contends that there is.

Of course, the whole question of when life begins is, in essence a metaphysical one, and, therefore, deciding whether the moral government has an absolute duty to a theoretical child to command an actual woman to act as its brood mare*, well, that will be a very interesting case to watch.

* Don't laugh. That is PRECISELY what the South Dakota legislature enacted last year: You get raped, you bear the child. Your uncle and daddy gang-bang you with a couple of cousins? You bear the child.

And we say that we believe in women's rights. So, how come, on this "Red Mass" Sunday before the start of the new Supreme Court term on the First Monday in October, how come nobody's even talking about the Equal Rights Amendment, which a clear and overwhelming majority of Americans agreed with and supported and was only stymied by a well-timed smear campaign from the likes of Phyllis Schlafly and the Religious Right?

Oh. I seem to have answered my own question.

Here's the AP story the Washington POST is running today:
High Court Justices Attend Pre-Term Mass

The Associated Press
Sunday, October 1, 2006; 10:17 AM

WASHINGTON -- Four justices joined members of President Bush's Cabinet, foreign ambassadors and the capital's legal community for the worship service traditionally held the Sunday before the Supreme Court's new term.

Four of the five Roman Catholics on the high court _ Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas _ attended the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

Justice Samuel Alito, who gave Catholics a majority for the first time when he joined the nine-member court in January, was not seen at the service where Washington's archbishop, Donald W. Wuerl, was presiding.

The service has been held at the cathedral since 1952 by the John Carroll Society, a group of Washington professionals who are Catholic.

Cabinet members attending the service Sunday included Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

Celebration of the Red Mass dates to the 13th century and is conducted to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance for those who seek justice. The Mass takes its name from the red vestments, symbolizing the Holy Spirit, worn by the celebrants.

St. Matthew's is one of the better known Red Masses in this country and is traditionally held on the Sunday before the first Monday in October, when the Supreme Court convenes for the start of its term....
And here's another little AP piece that might prove interesting in the new Supreme Court, which we might term the "Anti-Warren Court."
Scalia Begins Third Decade on Court

By Nancy Benac
Associated Press Writer
Sun, Oct. 01 2006 09:21 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - There is something liberating about a lifetime appointment and a certainty in the correctness of one's ideas. Justice Antonin Scalia has both.

He travels the world as a sought-after speaker, snags White House dinner invitations and packs one of the most powerful pens on Earth as a leading conservative voice on the U.S. Supreme Court. More than once, he has looked over a crowd of Washington power-brokers and observed that there is no one in the group who can help him or hurt him.

Yet while Scalia's influence and presence are undisputed, there have been significant frustrations as well as victories for him during his two decades on the court. The year's new term begins Monday.

Early optimism that his affability would allow him to serve as a consensus-builder is long gone, buried under a heap of biting opinions and acerbic observations about the reasoning of fellow justices and others.

Now, with a judicial deck that has been reshuffled over the past year by the arrivals of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, Scalia has fresh hope of reinforcements for some of his most strongly held views.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gives the keynote speech during a debate over the role international and foreign law should play in American judicial decision-making at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington in this Feb. 21, 2006, file photo. Scalia, whose 20th anniversary on the court came and went quietly this week, was passed over by President Bush in favor of Roberts for the position of chief justice when William Rehnquist died a year ago. But at age 70, Scalia shows no interest in retiring, or signs of mellowing.