A conservative group in Virginia said Tuesday it was withdrawing its support for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts’ confirmation because of his work helping overturn a Colorado referendum on gays.
The group, Public Advocate of the United States, is one of the first conservative organizations to announce anything but support for the judge
Eugene Delgaudio, the president of the group, said in an interview that he hopes his stance will prod others.
“I know that others feel the same way. I know they believe as I do. They’re just not going to act,” the 50-year-old Northern Virginia man said. “But once I’ve done it, then they can’t claim that no one’s opposing Roberts.”
“We can’t take our limited resources and put it toward a candidate who is not a strict constructionist when we were told he is,” Delgaudio said.
The stance by his group, which describes itself as a pro-family organization, puts it in opposition to conservative groups that have endorsed Roberts. A number of liberal groups already oppose President Bush’s high court nominee…
Delgaudio said then: “‘Freedom’ is not embracing perversion.”
Public Advocate helped, and continues to help, educate the public on various policy issues by numerous communications to its supporters.
Public Advocate worked on the following three federal legislative issues:
the enactment of Defense of Marriage Act
the repeal of the Marriage Penalty Tax
the defeat of Ted Kennedy’s Thought Control Bill (so-called Hate Crimes legislation)
Public Advocate used news conferences, interviews, post card mailings and street theater to attract public support. To support this legislation, Public Advocate staff traveled to 40 cities in 7 states (Pennsylvania, New York, California, Florida, Vermont, Virginia, New Hampshire) and Washington, D.C.
Public Advocate used “street theater” in Washington, D.C. to defend Dr. Laura’s Radio program against the gay rights lobby, which was attacking her religious and moral beliefs and seeking to have her program barred from radio stations.
Public Advocate successfully worked for the passage of the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act in the House and Senate Education Conference Committee, where it became part of the Education Bill signed by the President. Public Advocate fought a strong movement to strike it quietly from the legislation. As part of this effort, Public Advocate staff went to more than 30 Senate offices and presented 100,000 petitions, postcards, and letters in favor of this legislation in the Senate.
Here is a Public Advocate protest in front of the Supreme Court regarding Clinton/Paula Jones:
Their methods may be odd and at sometimes in your face (and, in the above case, funny), but again, their beliefs are fully within the mainstream of the Focus on the Family/Family Research Center right. On virtually every issue, they adopt the exact same rhetoric and the exact same position as the AFA, the FRC, Focus on the Family. And let’s not forget the initial statement by Tony Perkins upon learning that Roberts had done pro-bono work for gay rights groups:
“Judge Roberts was an attorney with a large firm where helping colleagues when called upon was expected,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said yesterday after researching the matter. “I have verified that his involvement was limited to about five hours of participation in a moot court as he played the role of one of the high court’s conservative members asking tough hypothetical questions of the attorneys who actually prepared and argued the case.”
Mr. Perkins said his initial reaction to the news was concern that Judge Roberts had been “aiding and abetting” the groups. But after discussions with the White House and surrogates, Mr. Perkins urged caution in reaching that conclusion.
First he was afraid, he was petrified. But then he was reassured that he could live with Judge Roberts by his side.
In other words, when you hear people distancing themselves from Delgaudio and Public Advocate over the next days, recognize that it isn’t because their beliefs are extreme or offensive. Rather, the unforgivable sin committed by Delgaudio was that of insufficient political savvy.