[JURIST] 160 US law professors have signed a letter [text] declaring their opposition to Supreme Court nominee John Roberts [JURIST news archive]. The group of professors expressed concern about Roberts' record, claiming he favors expansion of government power and reduction of individual rights:
The record made available to date suggests that Judge Roberts holds a limited view of Congress' authority to enact key worker, civil rights and environmental protections and a similarly narrow view of the vital role our courts and our government play in safeguarding individual rights, especially civil and women's rights. In contrast, Judge Roberts holds an expansive view of presidential power and law enforcement authority. If transformed into decisional law, these views, taken together, could produce a government with little power to protect its citizenry and a citizenry with greatly reduced power to protect itself from the abuses of government and other powerful interests. In other words, they could produce a national order contrary to the promises of our Constitution and the rights it guarantees.The letter, distributed Thursday by Alliance for Justice [advocacy website], is addressed to Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Pat Leahy (D-VT), respectively chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Also Thursday, Republican members of the Judiciary Committee disclosed their list of planned witnesses [AP report] for Roberts' confirmation hearings, scheduled to begin next week. The list of 15 witnesses includes two commissioners from the US Commission on Civil Rights, Jennifer Braceras [official profile] and Peter Kirsanow [official profile], and three conservative law school professors. Friday's Washington Post has more.