WASHINGTON, July 22 - Judge John G. Roberts has left little hard evidence of his views on abortion in recent years and is widely expected to try to avoid the issue in his coming confirmation hearings.
But there is little mystery about the views of his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, a Roman Catholic lawyer from the Bronx whose pro bono work for Feminists for Life is drawing intense interest in the ideologically charged environment of a Supreme Court confirmation debate.
Some abortion opponents view her activities as a clear signal that the Robertses are committed to their cause; supporters of abortion rights fear the same thing. Others say that drawing a direct line from her activities to how her husband might rule on the Supreme Court - assuming that he not only shares her views, but would also act on them to overturn 32 years of legal precedents - is both politically risky and in bad form.
No less a Democratic stalwart than Senator Edward M. Kennedy said, at a breakfast meeting with reporters on Friday, that Mrs. Roberts's work "ought to be out of bounds."
Ah, my blustering old senator. This is foolish on Uncle Ted's part. Democrats should rule out no line of questioning until they find out where it leads. We can't afford to ignore the evidence that exists, paltry as it is, that points to Roberts' real views on Roe v. Wade.
Do you think they could let a real trial lawyer question Roberts? I could clear my calendar.