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Monday, August 15, 2005

Roberts' Writings Released

According to the AP, the National Archives today released five-thousand pages of documents involving SCOTUS nominee John G. Roberts Jr's work as associate counsel to President Reagan.

Roberts Backed Efforts for School Prayer
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS in the New York Times
Published: August 15, 2005
Filed at 12:56 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As a young government attorney, John Roberts advised the White House to support congressional efforts to allow school prayer, arguing that a Supreme Court ruling striking down the practice ''seems indefensible.''

In a Nov. 21, 1985 memo released Monday by the National Archives, Roberts was responding to a move by Congress to permit ''group silent prayer or reflection in public schools.'' He said he would not object if Justice Department officials announced that President Reagan had no formal role in passing an amendment to that effect, but said he would support such a move.

The Supreme Court's conclusion that ''the Constitution prohibits such a moment of silent reflection -- or even silent 'prayer' -- seems indefensible,'' Roberts wrote in a memo to White House counsel Fred Fielding.

That material was part of nearly 50,000 pages of records related to Roberts when he served in the White House counsel's office. Before their release, the documents were reviewed by the National Archives staff to protect material deemed sensitive for national security, privacy and law enforcement reasons.