NARAL Pro-Choice America could find so little reason to oppose Supreme Court nominee John Roberts it made something up. They released a TV ad that was promptly declared “false” by the independent FactCheck.org. and was pulled on Thursday.
The ad features Emily Lyons, who was injured in a 1998 clinic bombing perpetrated by the now-convicted Eric Rudolph. An announcer says: “Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber. ??¢â???¬ ¦ America can’t afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.” Lyons adds: “I’m determined to stop this violence, so I’m speaking out.” The implication is that Roberts not only supported clinic bombers, but defended the man who bombed Lyons’ clinic. He did neither. In 1991, seven years before Lyons’ clinic was bombed, Roberts, as assistant solicitor general, argued for the government in the case of Bray v. Alexandria Clinic. The issue: Did an 1871 anti-discrimination law aimed at the Ku Klux Klan give abortion clinics the right to sue Operation Rescue in federal court for blockading abortion clinics on the basis that this was discrimination against women. Roberts said, “No.” The Supreme Court agreed, 6 to 3. Even David Souter took Roberts’ side.