This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 10, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The battle over the president's Supreme Court nominee is getting ugly. The pro-abortion group NARAL (search) has launched a TV ad campaign to try to turn the tide against Judge John Roberts (search), ahead of next month's confirmation hearings.
The spot accuses Roberts of supporting violent anti-abortion fringe groups — abortion clinic bombers.
Let's bring in former Justice Department officer Victoria Toensing. She was deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Department of Justice.
VICTORIA TOENSING, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: In fact, I had the issue of abortion clinic bombings under me. We did the prosecution of these cases.
GIBSON: OK. So, what was it Roberts did that NARAL is latching on to? I mean, all kinds of people have decried this as a gross distortion of the truth. Seven years before a particular abortion bombing case, he wrote an opinion about what?
TOENSING: Well, see, John, the two things are not even connected at all.
The woman who was injured — and we all feel very bad for her — her injury in the bombing of that clinic had nothing whatsoever to do with the case that John Roberts argued seven years before that bombing.
And what he was arguing, that case had nothing to do with violence. It had to do with demonstrators and whether, in a 100-year-old law that was written to protect Blacks from discrimination could be applied to women who were getting abortions. John Roberts argued the case before the Supreme Court. And guess what? The Supreme Court agreed with him 6-3, so he wasn't off the wall at all. And he had the majority opinion.
GIBSON: So, Victoria, why is it NARAL is having a cow about Roberts? I mean, it is not as though they know anything that he is somehow going to overturn Roe v. Wade. What is this all about?
Well, they were going to be against anybody that this president nominated for the Supreme Court. You know, two seconds after the name was announced, they were out with their ads denouncing him and their press releases denouncing him. There was nobody that they were going to be pleased with.
What bothers me, though, John, is the fact that they are distorting a record by doing it. If they want to say, "Look, in this case, we really thought that that statute applied to women; we are really sorry; you know, they didn't rule that way," that's one thing.
But to accuse him of being involved in violence, when he didn't have anything to do with that, has gone so far beyond the pale that people — good people of goodwill — must speak out and denounce this, because good lawyers will not allow themselves to be nominated for judicial positions, because who needs your reputation ruined...
GIBSON: Yes. Victoria Toensing...
TOENSING: ... at this point in life?
GIBSON: Yes, at this point in life.
Former DOJ official Victoria Toensing. Victoria, thanks a lot.
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