Quote: “America can’t afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans.” Abortion rights group Naral Pro-Choice America, in a TV ad attacking Supreme Court nominee John Roberts.
Term: “Straw man” fallacy. Instead of dealing with the actual issue, find or make up something about your opponent that’s easy to attack.
As an administration lawyer under the first Bush, Roberts argued that the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 doesn’t apply to anti-abortion protesters. Naral says Roberts sided with “anti-choice extremists who use bombings and other forms of intimidation.” But the case had nothing to do with whether bombing clinics was a good thing. Besides, Roberts was representing the views of his client, the president, not necessarily his own.
Dredging up a single case from more than a decade ago creates a “straw man.” It diverts attention from the central issue: Will Roberts make a good Supreme Court justice?
Snappy Answer: "Good thing Bush chose John Roberts, then!"
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