July 27, 2005


Documents Show Roberts Aiding O'Connor (GINA HOLLAND, 7/26/05, Associated Press)

As a young Justice Department lawyer, John Roberts helped guide Supreme Court nominee Sandra Day O'Connor through the Senate confirmation process he now confronts as the choice to replace her.

Roberts was just six weeks into his job when he drafted a memo to Kenneth Starr describing his work with O'Connor. The young Roberts said he helped ready O'Connor for her confirmation hearing, preparing draft answers to questions she was likely to be asked.

"The approach was to avoid giving specific responses to any direct questions on legal issues likely to come before the court, but demonstrating in the response a firm command of the subject area and awareness of the relevant precedents and arguments," Roberts wrote in the Sept. 17, 1981, memo to Starr, who later became solicitor general and then served as a special prosecutor investigating President Clinton.

The document was among thousands of pages released Tuesday at the National Archives in College Park, Md., covering part of Roberts' tenure as a lawyer in the Reagan administration.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 27, 2005 12:00 AM
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