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Senator Says Roberts’ Wife Not a Factor

July 25, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The fact that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts’ wife does free legal work for an anti-abortion group should not be relevant to his confirmation hearing, a Senate Republican leader said Monday.

Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said Jane Roberts’ work for Feminists for Life should have no influence on her husband’s decisions as a justice. Santorum is one of the Senate’s most outspoken abortion opponents.

``My wife has opinions on things that may or may conform with mine and I think most couples are in that situation,″ Santorum said on NBC’s ``Today″ show. ``I don’t think your wife’s activities should have any impact on what a judge is going to do. I certainly would think that he would tell you they don’t, nor should they. It’s the facts of a case and the law of a case.″

Mrs. Roberts, a graduate of Georgetown Law Center, is a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where she specializes in communications and technology law. She was on the board of directors for Feminists for Life from 1995-1999 and at one time was its executive vice president. She currently does pro bono legal work for the organization.

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