Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he’ll meet with Supreme Court nominee John Roberts today. Harkin, a democrat, says he’s not sure yet if he’ll vote for Roberts. He says,”At this point a I remain generally open minded and undecided. We all know that barring some unforeseen development, Judge Roberts will be confirmed to the Senate. But I have an obligation to the people of Iowa, and as the author the Americans with Disabilities Act, I have an obligation to 54-million Americans with disabilities, to be cautious and probative to Mr. Roberts approach to justice.”
Harkin says he’s not convinced Roberts supports the rights of the disabled.
He says, “I am somewhat concerned about earlier writings of judge Roberts and a recent decision by him on the court of appeals that indicate to me that he has a very narrow view of the rights of people with disabilities. And I’m very concerned about his approach and I want to probe that further.”
Harkin says this is important because the Supreme Court has issued two important rulings regarding people with disabilities — one for them and one against. He says what this means is “that despite all the gains we’ve made under the A-D-A, the rights of people with disabilities continues to hang in the balance.” Harkin says he’s worried mixed decisions will create a patchwork where the A-D-A applies in courthouses, but not jails, in schools, but not public libraries. The Senate Judiciary Committee is voting on Roberts nomination today, and it’s expected they’ll sent the nomination to the full Senate for a vote next week.