TV & Radio
A transsexual man Rei Saruta, 27, runs for Japan's House of Representatives (Lower House) as the Social Democratic Party's candidate for a single-seat constituency of District 3 of Ibaraki, about 50 kilometers north-east of Tokyo. He is also one of the three candidates on the 1st place of the SDP's proportional representation list of the North Kanto block, which comprises 4 prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gumma and Saitama.
If Mr. Saruta wins the general election on September 11, he will become the world's second transsexual MP after Ms. Georgina Beyer of New Zealand.
郵政 年金 政権選択… 県民の審判は？ 各候補 最後まで走る 訴える (読売・茨城版 2005/09/10)
茨城：決戦－注目区を行く ■２ 都市部で攻防激化 ３区 (茨城新聞 2005/09/07)
茨城３区・候補者の横顔 - 毎日・読売 茨城版2日付
猿田玲さんの激励 (山本蘭の活動日誌 2005/08/29)
猿田玲OFFICIAL SITE / 福島瑞穂・どきどき日記より
Minority candidates to run in Lower House poll - Mainichi
猿田玲氏に関する記事 - 23日付朝日・毎日
茨城：決戦－選挙区情勢 ■３区■ 過去最多、５人激戦 (茨城新聞 2005/08/23)
衆議院茨城3区：社民がGIDの候補者擁立 / Japan: Trans man runs for MP as Social Democrats' candidate
gid.jp総選挙対策室 - 茨城３区 社会民主党 猿田 玲 さんのアンケート回答
gid.jp総選挙対策室 - 茨城３区 社民党立候補予定者 猿田 玲 さんよりのメッセージ
総数 前回比 ▼は減
龍ヶ崎市 ６１８７１ １３０２
取手市 ９４１９３ ▼３０４
牛久市 ６２４２０ １２２９
守谷市 ４１６５９ １４８０
稲敷市 ４０３８３ ▼２６
美浦村 １４７５１ ９
阿見町 ３８０１４ ６３９
河内町 ９３４３ ▼７９
利根町 １５９４６ ▼１１３
区計 ３７８５８０ ４１３７
Voting for a new Japan
Sep 8th 2005
From The Economist Global Agenda
EDITORIAL/ Female candidates
09/08/2005 - Asahi
Japan's cookery candidate says politics about love
Thu Sep 8, 2005 7:47 AM BST
By Olivier Fabre
NAGOYA, Japan (Reuters)
Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Koizumi's 'assassins' get set for poll
By Sarah Buckley
Japan's prime minister, with his penchant for waltzing with movie stars and dressing down, is already known as something of a maverick.
Why Japan Seems Content to Be Run by One Party
By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: September 7, 2005 - New York Times
Loyalties to party, candidates put to test
Tokyo No. 10: swing vote may hold key as LDP outsider faces veteran
By ERIKO ARITA
The Japan Times: Sept. 7, 2005
Japanese seen voting for Koizumi's low-risk reform
Tue Sep 6, 2005 10:07 AM BST170
By Linda Sieg
Koizumi 'assassin' targets sell-off rebel
By David Pilling
Published: September 5 2005 03:00 | Last updated: September 5 2005 03:00 - Financial Times
Japan: Political Theater
Koizumi has stirred excitement by recruiting a dynamic new group of LDP candidates.
By Christian Caryl
Sept. 12, 2005 issue
September 04, 2005
Japanese PM keeps lost son at bay
Michael Sheridan, Far East Correspondent The Sunday Times
In Japan, the Lipstick Ninjas Get Out the Vote
Koizumi Fields Women in Upcoming Elections in Bid to Transform Ruling Party
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, September 3, 2005; Page A28
September 02, 2005
TV pastry chef offers voters a lighter brand of politics
From Leo Lewis in Nagoya The (London) Times
August 31, 2005 latimes.com
Japan Election Campaign Kicks Off With Color, Heat
Koizumi is putting his office on the line, recruiting high-profile political novices in his effort to privatize the postal service.
By Bruce Wallace, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Koizumi, rival stress Japanese reform as campaign starts
Tue Aug 30, 2005 1:41 PM BST
By George Nishiyama and Teruaki Ueno
M. Koizumi espère faire des élections japonaises un plébiscite
LE MONDE | 30.08.05 | 13h26 • Mis à jour le 30.08.05 | 13h26
TOKYO de notre correspondant
Le "libéral-populisme" du Koizumi bouleverse la politique
LE MONDE | 30.08.05 | 13h26 • Mis à jour le 30.08.05 | 13h32
TOKYO de notre correspondant
L'Archipel est le plus en retard des pays développés pour la féminisation de sa vie politique
LE MONDE | 30.08.05 | 13h26 • Mis à jour le 30.08.05 | 13h33
TOKYO de notre correspondant
Face à Junichiro Koizumi, l'opposition japonaise ouvre le débat sur le système des retraites et sur l'Irak
LE MONDE | 29.08.05 | 13h57 • Mis à jour le 31.08.05 | 10h05
TOKYO de notre correspondant
Elections in Japan: Koizumi's $3 trillion gamble
By Jeff Kingston International Herald Tribune
TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2005
Voting for reform
Monday August 29, 2005
Japan's Koizumi sticks to his guns on postal reform
Mon Aug 29, 7:49 AM ET
Polls give Japan opposition flicker of hope
By David Pilling in Tokyo
Published: August 29 2005 03:00 | Last updated: August 29 2005 03:00
Face à Junichiro Koizumi, l'opposition japonaise ouvre le débat sur le système des retraites et sur l'Irak
LE MONDE | 29.08.05 | 13h57 • Mis à jour le 29.08.05 | 13h57
TOKYO de notre correspondant
Japan PM makes postal reform pitch in TV debate
Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:30 AM BST
By George Nishiyama
August 29, 2005
Celebrity candidates may hold election in the balance
By Leo Lewis
Replacement of Japan rebels with rich and famous is testament to a party at war with itself - The (London) Times
In Japan, the samurai election
By Martin Fackler International Herald Tribune
MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 2005
The Financial Times
Comment & analysis / Editorial comment
Japan's small world
Published: August 29 2005 03:00 | Last updated: August 29 2005 03:00
Koizumi counting on his 'female ninja'
By Maya Kaneko (Kyodo/Japan Today 2005/08/29)
Choice is no longer choice when showbiz 'assassins' terminate voters' rights
By NORIKO HAMA
Noriko Hama is an economist and a professor at Doshisha University School of Management.
The Japan Times: Aug. 29, 2005
Koizumi takes aim at party rebels
Saturday, August 27, 2005 Posted: 0237 GMT (1037 HKT)
TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- It was almost certainly the biggest blunder of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's political career. His pet project, a sweeping reform of Japan's huge postal delivery and savings system, was shot down in Parliament by rebels within his own party.
Rural Japan voters eye Internet CEO with hopes, doubts
Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:19 AM IST
By Masayuki Kitano
ONOMICHI, Japan (Reuters)
Forecasts of new age in Japan politics coming true
Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:14 AM BST
By Linda Sieg
Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 22:40 GMT 23:40 UK
Japan Post grabs election spotlight
By Duncan Bartlett
BBC World Service business reporter
Japan's general election on 11 September is likely to be the most exciting one for decades.
Koizumi's Big Idea - the Other Half of Japan: William Pesek Jr. (Bloomberg News 2005/08/24)
Madonnas of reform
Junichiro Koizumi has surrounded himself with colourful characters, many of them women, in an effort to win next month's election, writes Justin McCurry
Wednesday August 24, 2005 - The Guardian
Posted to the web on: 25 August 2005
Koizumi’s Amazons capture headlines
JAPON A quinze jours d'élections législatives anticipées
Koizumi secoue le paysage politique japonais
Tokyo : Régis Arnaud
[26 août 2005] Le Figaro
La vie politique nippone prend des airs de film de samouraïs
LE MONDE | 22.08.05 | 12h56 • Mis à jour le 22.08.05 | 12h56
TOKYO de notre correspondant
国民審査を受ける最高裁判事６人――「憲法の番人」を審査 (日本経済 2005/08/31朝刊)
The Washington Post
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Marriage 'Equality' in California
Saturday, September 10, 2005; Page A22
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced that he will veto legislation passed by both houses of the California legislature allowing same-sex marriage because he "thinks the matter should be decided by California's courts or its voters" [news story, Sept. 8].
Did he forget that the state legislature is elected by the people of California expressly to pass laws and govern on their behalf? Or did he forget that letting the courts decide is anathema to his Republican philosophy?
It sounds as though the governor is acting on political grounds rather than heeding his conscience. I guess it's easier and more politically expedient for him to dodge his responsibility, but his action reminds me of a line from the great John Prine song "That's the Way the World Goes 'Round":
"He's got muscles in his head that ain't never been used."
JON S. OLSON
The Sept. 7 news story "California Legislature Approves Gay Marriage" said that in the absence of a state marriage equality law, same-sex couples are denied only a "few" of the state or federal rights and responsibilities that marriage brings.
To the contrary, despite California's comprehensive domestic partnership laws, more than 1,000 federal marriage protections are denied to families headed by same-sex couples.
Same-sex couples pay an onerous federal tax on health benefits, which can make private insurance unaffordable and increase the burden on taxpayer-funded programs. When a partner dies, the survivor pays federal tax penalties on retirement savings. And the federal government, the nation's largest employer, excludes same-sex couples from health and pension plans.
Domestic partnerships and civil unions are a step forward, but it's only with full marriage equality that every man, woman and child will get what all Americans deserve: equal treatment under the law.
Human Rights Campaign
Time favors gay-marriage proponents
- C.W. Nevius
Saturday, September 10, 2005 - San Francisco Chronicle
Social conservatives in California are feeling pretty cheerful now that the governor has said he will veto the same-sex marriage bill. And yes, across the country, 11 states, including California, have passed bans on same-sex marriage.
But here's some advice: Enjoy it now. It isn't going to last.
The right wing is missing a powerful, building undercurrent. Simply put, at this point, much of the younger generation has probably gone to school with openly gay peers. They also see them in the workplace and even in their neighborhoods. And they don't seem that scary.
Last spring, a friend of Eitan Bencuya, a third-year student at UC Berkeley and reporter for the Daily Californian student paper, told him that he was gay. Bencuya's reaction? Hum, that's interesting.
"It's not even a distinguishing factor any more,'' says Bencuya, who is straight. "It is much more common and acceptable, and less something to feel guilty about.''
Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who wrote the same-sex marriage bill, says polls bear out what Bencuya is saying.
"Those over 65 oppose same-sex marriage,'' Leno says. "But those under 35 support it -- and more strongly than those over 65 oppose it.''
While the battle for legal same-sex marriage may rage for years, it seems clear there is a general shift toward support of committed relationships between same-sex partners.
Gay-Straight Alliance clubs, once a focus of controversy in high schools, have become commonplace. Riley Snorton of the national Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network in New York, which helps sponsor the clubs, says there are some 3,000 chapters nationwide and more than 400 in California, including in such seemingly conservative communities as Fresno, Clovis and Visalia.
In the Bay Area, chapters range from exclusive Bishop O'Dowd in the East Bay to Lowell High in San Francisco and Palo Alto High on the Peninsula. Basically, a school that does not have some sort of gay-awareness organization is the exception.
That's not good news for conservatives.
It isn't just that the under-35s are moving up while the over-65s are moving out. The real problem is that if the anti-gay marriage faction can't count on people being shocked and horrified by gays, they really don't have much to fall back on. There's no economic or public safety reason to keep two people who love each other from getting married. It just comes down to "I don't like the idea so you can't do it.''
Which, when you think about it, was pretty much the argument against interracial marriage.
But wait, it gets worse for the right. It isn't just Generation X and Y who support same-sex couples and families. This is happening in that outpost of traditional values -- the suburbs.
Michael Phillips sells real estate in Silicon Valley. He is listed on gay real estate Web sites but sells to straight buyers, too. His point is, when it comes to houses, neighborhoods and schools, there isn't much distinction.
"Once you get those kids and a house and a mortgage,'' Phillips says, "people say, you know, they're not that much different from us.''
Phillips has been with his partner for 22 years, and they are raising a teenage son. Confirmed Catholics, they go to Mass once a week and volunteer in the parish.
"People are very nice to us. I have never had anyone say we don't belong,'' says Phillips. "I mean, we aren't in there holding hands, but I also don't think people are stupid. They know what is going on.''
And that's another point. The face of the person who is gay has changed -- or at least the perception. Ellen DeGeneres, virtually drummed out of television when she revealed she was lesbian, is now hosting a national talk show. Her audience, which looks like moms from Middle America, whoops wildly when she steps on stage. They love Ellen.
And in December, Ang Lee, Academy Award-nominated director, will premier "Brokeback Mountain.'' It is the story of two ranch hands who unexpectedly find a mutual attraction. Or, as one reviewer put it, "Cowboys in love -- with each other.'' Is there a more powerful icon of American masculinity than the cowboy? And this is not a cheap independent release, but a full feature from Paramount Pictures.
To someone like Cal student Bencuya, it is an example of how the current climate is " ... changing the stigma. Gays actually fall in love and have committed relationships. It is not like (the movie and play) 'Birdcage' with the guy in the feather boa.''
Instead, they may be the neighbors down the street. Phillips says he and his partner got to know a married couple while attending youth sports events. The pair ended up divorcing with the wife taking the kids. Later, the father learned that his son was gay. He told Phillips it was a surprise, but he was getting through it.
"But I would never have been in a position to accept it,'' the father said, "if I hadn't known you two guys.''
That's no surprise to Leno.
"Every poll shows that people who know someone who is gay or lesbian are much less discriminatory,'' he says.
Now take that experience and multiply it across the country. Tell me a law is going to overcome it.
C.W. Nevius' column appears Tuesday and Saturday in Bay Area and in East Bay Life on Friday. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page B - 1
September 10, 2005 latimes.com : Opinion : Commentary
Marrying the law and leadership
By Tobias Barrington Wolff, TOBIAS BARRINGTON WOLFF teaches law at UC Davis and is on the Equal Justice Society's board of directors. - Los Angeles Times
IF GOV. ARNOLD Schwarzenegger follows through with his planned veto of the historic "marriage equality" bill enacted by the California Legislature, it will be a defining moment in his legacy.
A public official who acts as a mere cipher for public opinion has not met the test of leadership. Leadership sometimes calls on officials to challenge us all to recognize principle, and to overcome fear and prejudice in favor of what is right. On Tuesday, the Legislature showed such leadership when it passed the first law in the nation extending marriage equality to gays and lesbians. The governor has yet to answer the call. Instead, his unconvincing initial statement abdicates leadership and takes cover in rhetoric about the "will of the people."
There is no question that the legal situation is complicated, a fact that Schwarzenegger is using to avoid the real issue. First, there is Proposition 22, enacted by the people of California in 2000 (hence the governor's reference to "the will of the people"). The proposition reads: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." It was a response to fears that the issue of marriage for gay couples would be decided in other states, with California forced to recognize marriages performed elsewhere with no chance for local input. Because it was passed by popular initiative, it is a "super statute": The Legislature cannot touch it.
The bill enacted, in contrast, seeks to amend the laws that govern who can form a civil marriage in California, making those laws equally available to gay couples. Proponents of the bill contend it does not violate Proposition 22 because it deals only with local marriage policy, not California's treatment of out-of-state couples.
This position is the subject of debate. Proposition 22 uses language that could apply to Californians (when it speaks about which marriages are "valid") as well as couples from elsewhere (speaking about which marriages are "recognized"). Proposition 22, however, was described to voters as a way to prevent other states from imposing their laws upon California, not a way to prevent our own Legislature from setting state policy. Consistent with that purpose, Proposition 22 is codified in our statutes as an exception to the provision governing how California treats marriages from other states.
Finally, there is a constitutional challenge pending in state court. A Superior Court has ruled that the exclusion of gay couples from civil marriage amounts to unconstitutional discrimination. The court found that California's marriage laws must be available to everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality. And because Proposition 22 discriminates against gay couples from out of state, the court found that it also violates the state Constitution. The case will probably come before the California Supreme Court within several years.
Many of the legal questions swirling around marriage equality will have to be settled by California courts, as the governor has said. But they are irrelevant to his decision on the marriage bill. He is not faced with a question of legal interpretation. He is faced with a question of principle. He should sign the bill because it is the right thing to do. The million-plus gay and lesbian citizens of California should not have to prove the humanity and dignity of their relationships in every new election cycle.
Californians have already come a long way in recognizing these principles. The governor must now help lead them the rest of the way.
BILLBOARD ALBUM CHARTS
The Billboard 200TM
Issue Date: September 17, 2005
HOT SHOT DEBUT
This Week 1
Last week -
Weeks on chart 1
Artist, "Title" Kanye West, Late Registration
Imprint | Catalog No. | Distributing Label
Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam | 004813* | IDJMG | (13.98)
Peak Position 1
郵政 年金 政権選択… 県民の審判は？ 各候補 最後まで走る 訴える (読売・茨城版 2005/09/10)
Female ex-con writes of US prison horrors (Mainichi Daily News 2005/09/10)
Shukan Post (9/16)In 1998, Tomomi Arima, then 21, set off to experience life in the United States and study English. Now seven years later, she is back in Japan, an ex-con and author of the recently published "Purizun Gaaru" (Prison Girl, Popura-sha), a 332-page account of her two-year experience as an unwilling guest of the American penal system.
As Shukan Post (9/16) reports, while working part time as a waitress at a Japanese restaurant in New York City, Arimura began to cohabit with Alexis, a Russian immigrant heavily involved in drug running. In the early morning hours of November 1, 2002, her apartment was raided by a team of FBI agents in search of drugs believed to be in Alexis' possession and she was placed under arrest.
Although Arimura insists she merely shacked up with the Russian and never dealt in drugs, the state felt it had a strong case to send her away for a long stretch, and her defense attorney advised her to accept a plea bargain. From January 2002 she began serving a two-year sentence at the Federal Penitentiary for Women in Danbury, Connecticut.
Upon her arrival, Arimura writes, the new inmates were lined up in a row, and a burly female guard ordered them to strip naked.
"We were escorted to the showers, completely naked," she relates. "Then the guard ordered, 'Turn your butts toward me. Okay, now squat down and cough.' This was to make sure we were not concealing anything in our vaginas."
After this initial "baptism," Arimura donned a gray inmate's uniform and was led to her cell, passing by rows of other inmates, their hands grasping cell bars and eyes glittering in what appeared to be eager anticipation.
"The world seemed to be turning black before my eyes," she recalls.
Compared with Japan's total prison population of 75,280 (in 2004), the U.S. has over 2.13 million prisoners serving time in federal, state and county lockups and a clear social structure exists on the inside. In the Danbury facility, according to Arimura, about one third of the women were "studs," masculine females with lesbian tendencies.
"The showers and toilet cubicles were rooms where inmate 'love' encounters took place," Arimura writes.
Not surprisingly, one "stud," a 33-year-old black woman named "Lupita" soon began showing a rapt interest in the new Japanese arrival.
"Every morning around 7:30, when she went off to the workshop, she would come to my room and while I slept, gently pat my crotch. But she never got rough with me."
Among the more memorable residents who Arimura encountered was "Latisha," a 2-meter tall "woman" who had, before a sex-change operation, once been a man.
"She looked like F1 fighter Bob Sapp," Arimura writes. "She couldn't get her estrogen injections while in prison, and when the other women teased her because her beard began growing, she would look at herself in the mirror and pout like a girl."
One prisoner, a woman in her 40s named "Jackie," had murdered five people with an axe. Another, "Caroline," a 64-year-old Italian-American woman, had obtained anthrax spores shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attack and attempted to murder the family of a man who had been harassing her son.
Violent confrontations between African-American and Hispanic gangs were regular occurrences. When one gargantuan black behemoth weighing over 200 kilograms put several Hispanics in the hospital ward with serious injuries, she and others were confined to punishment cells.
"She was so big, they couldn't restrain her hands in front of her using a single pair of cuffs," says Arimura. "They had to join two sets of cuffs together. She just smirked."
Avoiding both sexual predators and the wild melees, Arimura proved a model prisoner, and obtained release two months before completion of her two-year sentence --- upon which she was immediately deported to Japan. Because of her criminal record, she can never return to the United States. But after what she went through at the hands of that country's penal system, any fondness she felt for the red, white and blue, writes Shukan Post, is gone for good.
(By Masuo Kamiyama, People's Pick Waiwai contributor)
September 10, 2005
Will Roberts move left?
The ideological migration of other justices is instructive
- Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, September 4, 2005
Judging John Roberts from his record, his writings and the near- unanimous opinion of both supporters and opponents, the Supreme Court nominee is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative whose confirmation would tilt the court further to the right.
But is it conceivable that within Roberts' chest, waiting to emerge within a few years under the mysterious influence of serving on the high court, beats the heart of a closet moderate?
With Roberts' confirmation hearings coming up on Tuesday, it's worth noting that this ideological migration has happened to others. Consider Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whom Roberts would succeed.
On abortion, O'Connor was quoted as telling President Ronald Reagan before he appointed her in 1981 that the practice was "personally repugnant" to her and an "appropriate subject for state regulation." She told the Senate Judiciary Committee at her confirmation hearing, "I'm opposed to it, as a matter of birth control or otherwise."
On the court in 1983, she wrote in a dissent that the framework of Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion, had "no justification in law or logic." In a 1986 opinion, she referred to Roe vs. Wade as "the court's unworkable scheme for constitutionalizing the regulation of abortion."
But in 1992, when a seemingly conservative-dominated court was again squarely faced with the question of whether the Constitution protects a woman's right to an abortion, O'Connor was part of a 5-4 majority that said yes -- observing that, after 19 years, a generation of women had come to rely on that right and that the legitimacy of the court was at stake.
Another member of that majority was Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had appeared ready to scuttle Roe three years earlier when he voted to give states broad authority to regulate abortion. The 1992 ruling was also signed by Justice David Souter, who had been opposed by abortion-rights groups at his 1990 confirmation hearings and had cast the deciding vote in 1991 to uphold federal regulations that prohibited doctors at federally funded family planning clinics from even mentioning abortion as an option.
O'Connor also had a conservative record on racial issues. In a 1989 ruling, which struck down a city's program of setting aside a percentage of its contracts for minorities, O'Connor said all racial classifications, whether they were meant to benefit blacks or whites, were equally suspect. Granting preferences based on "unmeasurable claims of past wrongs,'' she wrote, was anathema to "the dream of a nation of equal citizens in a society where race is irrelevant to personal opportunity and achievement."
But in 2003, O'Connor, for a 5-4 majority, wrote a ruling that allowed a law school to consider applicants' race as one factor in admissions. "Effective participation by members of all racial and ethnic groups in the civic life of our nation is essential if the dream of one nation, indivisible, is to be realized," she said.
Meanwhile, Kennedy, a Reagan appointee with conservative credentials, became an unlikely hero to lesbians and gays -- and a pariah to his onetime admirers on the religious right -- when he wrote the two most important gay- rights rulings in the court's history. One, in 1996, overturned a state law that would have barred local anti-discrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation, holding that private moral objections to homosexuality could not justify unequal treatment. The other, in 2003, struck down laws against private sexual conduct between consenting adults.
Souter, who had been recommended to the first President Bush by an adviser as a "home run" for conservatives, soon became a member of the court's (relatively) liberal wing. Its leader, Justice John Paul Stevens, was a 1975 Gerald Ford appointee whose early record was far from liberal:
He led the conservative bloc in the 1978 Allan Bakke case that outlawed quotas for disadvantaged minorities at the University of California and wrote a dissent in another affirmative action case in 1980 in which he argued that racial preferences "foster intolerance and antagonism against the entire membership of the favored class" (a view that seems at odds with O'Connor's 2003 ruling, which Stevens endorsed).
Will we be making the same observations about Justice Roberts' drift to the left 5 or 10 years from now?
His record -- at least, as much of it as can be gleaned from incomplete government documents spanning a quarter-century -- suggests conservative roots at least as deep as those of Justice William Rehnquist, for whom he once worked as a law clerk. (Since he joined the court in 1972, Rehnquist's biggest apparent change has been to add gold chevrons to the sleeves of his robe after becoming chief justice in 1986).
While the court was re-examining its abortion doctrine, Roberts was preparing a brief for the first Bush administration in 1991 saying Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. If that argument can be discounted as merely representing his client -- and it's a position that Roberts, a high-ranking deputy, probably could have shunned if he had found it offensive -- it seems consistent with his writings as a Reagan administration lawyer a decade earlier, when he referred to the "tragedy" of abortion and urged appointment of judges who "respect the sanctity of innocent human life."
Perhaps most revealing was his reference in a 1981 memo to "the so-called right to privacy," a view that would align Roberts not only with the current court's two arch-conservatives, Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, but also with Robert Bork, whose 1987 Supreme Court nomination was derailed partly over his rejection of the court's privacy doctrine.
Privacy, a right first declared by the court in a 1965 contraception case, became the foundation of both Roe vs. Wade and Kennedy's 2003 ruling on sexual conduct.
On other rights-related issues, Roberts has expressed similarly conservative opinions. During the Reagan administration, he argued that Congress could prohibit judges from ordering busing for school desegregation and that proof of intentional discrimination should be required for Voting Rights Act violations, two views that did not become law.
In 1981, he wrote that affirmative action violates "the bedrock principle of treating people on the basis of merit" and that such programs have failed because they "required the recruitment of inadequately prepared candidates.'' He also referred disparagingly in a 1983 memo to states' efforts to address "perceived problems of gender discrimination."
The thread that seems to bind all these arguments together is Roberts' view of the limits on judicial power to step between the government and private citizens. Judges, he recently told the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to written questions, "do not have a commission to solve society's problems."
Two decades earlier, he questioned the propriety of federal court review of state criminal convictions and sentences, and suggested that the Supreme Court could lighten its caseload if it abandoned "the role of fourth or fifth guesser in death penalty cases."
During his two years as a federal appeals court judge, he has disavowed judicial authority to intervene on behalf of veterans seeking damages for torture in Iraq, a Guantanamo prisoner claiming rights under the Geneva Conventions, and a 12-year-old girl arrested for eating a french fry in a Washington rail station.
On the other hand, friends and colleagues of Roberts have described him as open-minded, willing to be persuaded and anything but an ideologue. At Hogan & Hartson, the bipartisan Washington law firm where he spent half of his professional career, Roberts represented not only business clients but also an environmental agency, an office defending a preferential voting system for native Hawaiians, a group of welfare applicants and at least one prison inmate. He also helped gay-rights lawyers prepare for the 1996 Supreme Court case that resulted in Kennedy's landmark opinion -- a task that Roberts surely could have declined if the cause had repelled him.
Roberts' record as a litigator in 39 Supreme Court cases, plus his statements about respect for legal precedent, has convinced one court observer that President Bush is in for an unpleasant surprise.
"I'm expecting Roberts to look a lot like O'Connor, much to the disappointment of some people in the administration," said Craig Bradley, a law professor at Indiana University and, like Roberts, a former Rehnquist clerk. He said the institutional tug at the Supreme Court isn't so much toward the ideological left as it is toward the center -- in the direction of upholding precedent.
Alan Morrison, a fellow Supreme Court litigator and a lecturer at Stanford Law School, said Roberts won't be driven by ideology.
"John Roberts is a very careful and good lawyer, and I think the facts (of each case) will matter to him," Morrison said.
Conservative commentator Bruce Fein, who worked with Roberts in the Reagan administration's Justice Department and has known him for 25 years, has a different view of the forces at work within the court and how Roberts will withstand them.
"I've talked with him for hours. His philosophy is pretty solid," Fein said. "I would be stunned if John ended up resembling a Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in his approach to constitutional interpretation."
The justices most susceptible to transformation, Fein said, are those who have not thought deeply or written extensively about judicial philosophy or the role of a judge. He said O'Connor came to the court with "relatively soft or uncrystallized ideas about the law" and had published just one article in a legal journal. By contrast, he said, Rehnquist and Scalia were prolific writers before their appointments, had well-defined views on the judicial role and haven't changed since taking office. Fein puts Roberts in the same category.
But one liberal commentator said the court itself can have a liberalizing influence.
"There's a certain romanticism about the court's role in American life, the ability of the court to be a moral beacon for the country, that drives justices to take progressive stands," said Los Angeles attorney Edward Lazarus, who clerked for the late Justice Harry Blackmun in 1988.
Blackmun may have been the clearest example of a right-to-left shift in recent decades. Universally viewed as a down-the-line conservative -- the "Minnesota Twin" of Chief Justice Warren Burger -- when President Richard Nixon appointed him in 1970, Blackmun wrote Roe vs. Wade three years later and gained the undying fury of the political and religious right. Blackmun also voted to uphold death penalty laws in his early years on the court, despite personal opposition to capital punishment, but became a death penalty abolitionist before his retirement in 1994, declaring that he would "no longer tinker with the machinery of death."
Blackmun "would often talk about it being the people's court," a reflection of the institution's effect on him, Lazarus said. He said the justice may also have dug in his heels, ideologically, in response to the attacks on him over the abortion case, a theme explored by New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse in her recent book "Becoming Justice Blackmun."
Another liberal analyst, University of Chicago law Professor Cass Sunstein, scoffs at the idea of the court as a liberalizing institution and says the concept that justices change in office is both overrated and dangerous.
"It makes people think the stakes (in a confirmation) are much lower than they are," said Sunstein, like Lazarus a former Supreme Court clerk and the author of a book on the court, "One Case at a Time." With occasional exceptions, like Blackmun in his stance on the death penalty, he said, "they are what they are and they're not going to change."
In fact, some of the apparent shifts on the current court can be explained in ways that make the justices look more consistent:
-- O'Connor's early critiques of Roe vs. Wade were not absolute, instead suggesting a more limited right to abortion that the court eventually adopted.
-- Kennedy showed some sympathy for gay rights before his 1988 appointment by Reagan, in a 1980 federal appeals court decision that upheld the military ban on homosexual conduct but did not rule out constitutional protection for private sexual activity, the basis of his Supreme Court ruling in 2003.
One statistical study suggests that both Kennedy and O'Connor have stayed closer to the conservative camp than their high-profile opinions would indicate. Between 1994 and 2003, the Harvard Law Review found, Kennedy, followed by O'Connor, had the highest overall rate of agreement with Rehnquist.
Lee Epstein, a professor of law and political science at Washington University in St. Louis and coauthor of the forthcoming book "Advice and Consent: The Politics of Judicial Appointments," said justices usually reflect the philosophies of the presidents who appointed them, particularly in their first five to 10 years on the court.
Among the current justices, Epstein said, O'Connor has probably changed the most, with the 2003 affirmative action case being the strongest evidence of a liberal shift. But she said O'Connor still remains at the ideological center of the current court, to the left of Kennedy, based on their voting records. Further to the right are Rehnquist, then Scalia and Thomas. To O'Connor's left are Justice Stephen Breyer, then Souter and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and finally Stevens.
The chart varies a bit depending on which pundit you ask. Professor Arthur Hellman of the University of Pittsburgh puts O'Connor to the right of Kennedy, based on her record in the court's most recent term, including her dissent from a Kennedy opinion that barred executions of murderers younger than 18. Fein ranks Rehnquist to the right of Scalia, based on their opinions in criminal cases.
But the prevailing view seemed to be that Roberts -- at least at the outset -- would land firmly on the right side of the current court and fairly close to Rehnquist, his former boss. Based on his writings and judicial opinions, Epstein puts Roberts slightly to the right of the chief justice.
Where the 50-year-old nominee will line up in 5 to 10 years is anybody's guess. But Santa Clara University law Professor Gerald Uelmen says he's not likely to migrate leftward in the near future, for at least one reason: Roberts, once confirmed, will instantly become a candidate to succeed the cancer-stricken Rehnquist as chief justice.
"I'm sure the potential to be chief will be very much on his mind the first year on the court," Uelmen said. "That means he really can't antagonize the base that put him there."
Some justices defy expectations, some don't
E-mail Bob Egelko at email@example.com.
Page B - 1
映画で活躍、オダギリジョー 「メゾン・ド・ヒミコ」、「ＳＨＩＮＯＢＩ」公開 (読売・大阪版 2005/09/09)
◆「メゾン・ド・ヒミコ」 立ち姿だけで 感情伝えたい
◆「ＳＨＩＮＯＢＩ」 愛の葛藤から 生き方を模索
A Chinese University Removes a Topic From the Closet
September 08, 2005
By HOWARD W. FRENCH
New York Times
Ryan Pyle for The New York Times
A class on gay and lesbian studies at Fudan University in Shanghai has attracted an overflow crowd. The class is the first of its kind in China, which only recently began allowing discussions of homosexuality.
SHANGHAI, Sept. 7 - As the class got under way, the diminutive teacher standing before an overcrowded lecture hall in this city's most exclusive university handed out a survey. The first of several multiple-choice questions asked students what their feelings would be if they encountered two male lovers: total acceptance, reluctant acceptance, rejection or disgust?
Ryan Pyle for The New York Times
Prof. Sun Zhongxin is teaching the gay and lesbian studies class. "The attitude toward homosexuality in China is changing," she said.
As a way of breaking the ice, the teacher, Sun Zhongxin, 35, with a Ph.D. in sociology and a fondness for PowerPoint presentations, read aloud some of the answers anonymously. In her survey, most of the 120 or so students said they would reluctantly accept gay lovers in their midst.
The Fudan University class, Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Studies, is the first of its kind ever offered to Chinese undergraduates, and Ms. Sun briefly wondered why it was so well attended, before providing her own answer. "The attitude toward homosexuality in China is changing," she said. "It is a good process, but it also makes us feel heavy-hearted. What's unfortunate about such heavy attendance is that it indicates that many people have never discussed the topic before."
"Not only are people hiding in the closet," she concluded, "but the topic itself has been hiding in the closet."
A class like this would be unremarkable on most American university campuses, where many students are quite open about their homosexuality and the curriculum has long included offerings reflecting their interests. But among China's gay and lesbian population, which may be as large as 48 million by some estimates though it remains largely invisible, the new course is being portrayed as a major advance.
Less than a decade ago, homosexuality was still included under the heading of hooliganism in China's criminal code, and it was only in 2001 that the Chinese Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
"This is definitely a big breakthrough in the contemporary society, because for so many years, homosexuals, as a community, have lived at the edge of society and have been treated like dissidents," said Zhou Shengjian, director of a gay advocacy group in Chongqing, an inland city far from Shanghai's cosmopolitanism. "For such a university to have a specific course like this, with so many participants and experts involved, will have a very positive impact on the social situation of gay people, and on the fight against AIDS."
However much they welcomed the academic breakthrough, which is likely to spur similar courses on other campuses and perhaps eventually give rise to a gay and lesbian studies movement, many of today's gay and lesbian activists say they are no longer willing simply to wait patiently for the society to accept them.
In particular, gay activists have been able to leverage the rising alarm over the spread of AIDS to win more maneuvering space, including more acceptance from the government. Today, for example, by some estimates there are as many as 300 Web sites in China that cater to the concerns of gay men and lesbians.
Some of the sites focus strictly on health issues. Others tread into the delicate area of discrimination and human rights, and these are occasionally blocked temporarily or shut down by the government. Others feature downloadable fiction by gay writers, who deal candidly with matters of sexuality in ways that few publishers in China's tightly controlled book industry would allow. One of the most popular sites (www.gztz.org) includes detailed maps of gay entertainment areas, from saunas to nightclubs, in China and overseas.
"In each provincial capital there is at least one gay working group that is active on H.I.V.-AIDS prevention," said Zhen Li, 40, a volunteer for a gay hot line based in Beijing. "AIDS is not the main focus of our lives, though. We use the discussion of AIDS as a way of coming together on other issues, from getting coverage of gay life in the media to starting a discussion with the society."
For the most part, activists say, the government's attitude has been pragmatic. Groups that say they want to work on AIDS get official support. Those that focus on equal rights for gay people generally do not.
In almost the same breath, though, many also acknowledge that their strategy of using AIDS to create greater freedom carries a risk that they will be blamed for the spread of the disease.
"This is a very sensitive issue among homosexuals, thinking that outsiders are equating them with AIDS," said Gao Yanning, a professor in the school of public health at Fudan University, whose course on homosexual life for the medical school was a precursor of the new undergraduate class. "But we, the professors, have been very careful about this. When I was first thinking of a course called the theory and practice of homosexuality, I was approached by another professor who told me I should call the class 'Homosexuality and AIDS.' "
Mr. Gao said he would have refused to teach the class if he had been forced to use such a name.
Many gay and lesbian Chinese say that it is social conservatism more than the government, whose policies during the Communist era have veered from repressive to prudish, that has discouraged gay people from publicly acknowledging their sexual orientation.
Chinese are hard pressed to name a single celebrity or notable person from their country who has lived an openly gay life, meaning that except for foreigners, young gay men and lesbians have no prominent role models. Explicitly gay literature or cinema and television roles are equally scarce.
A 52-year-old lesbian in the northeastern city of Dalian, who gave her name as Yang, said she had discovered her sexual identity only at age 36, after marriage, when she had her first relationship with another woman, a factory co-worker.
"When we were together, people would talk about our relationship behind our backs or sometimes ask outright whether we were gay people," Ms. Yang said. "I was just ashamed and didn't know what to say, so I avoided my girlfriend in public occasions. The young gay people in Dalian today, though, seem to live in a very comfortable time."
"They're not forced to get married," she said, "and they take new partners one after another."
Many others, however, said the issue of marriage continued to weigh heavily.
"If you tell your parents you have a boyfriend, that may be O.K., but you've still got to get married," said Wang Xieyu, a junior at Fudan University. "The parents have their own concerns, their friends and their reputations. China today is like the U.S. in the 1960's, but we are changing faster. What took 40 years in the States may only take 10 years in China."
中国：名門大で「同性愛」講座 上海、差別解消目指す (共同 2005/09/08)