This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 21, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: As we continue on "Hannity & Colmes," I'm Sean Hannity.

Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' (search) slim record on abortion has sparked widespread debate between liberals and conservatives across the country. Liberals seem convinced that Roberts abortion — seems anti- abortion to them, that he'd be willing to overturn Roe v. Wade (search).

Adding fuel to the fire is an article in today's Los Angeles Times (search). The piece talks about Roberts' wife and her active involvement in the antiabortion movement. But why even raise it as an issue? She isn't even being nominated for anything, and she won't even have the same sort of involvement as the first lady.

So is the liberal media just trying to portray Judge Roberts as an extremist and dragging his wife into the fray?

Joining us now, two friends — former colleagues of the judge are joining us now. Robert Knauss and George Soule are with us. Guys, thank you for being on the program.


HANNITY: I guess the biggest question we have is just sort of a little bit amazingly, why the wife?

SOULE: I have no idea why the wife. I think it's totally irrelevant. My wife is a politician in Minneapolis. If she got stuck with all of my beliefs, you know, she'd be in trouble. I think they're independent and he should be judged on the merits.

ROBERT KNAUSS, CLERKED WITH JUDGE ROBERTS: It seems to me in this day and age it's highly ironic and presumptuous to attribute the views of one spouse to the other.

HANNITY: Yes, it is pretty amazing, actually. And the fact the Democrats would want to do that. But does it not show the feeding frenzy mentality, the desperation of people to sort of demonize this man?

For example five minutes after he was announced, literally these left wing web sites had just destroyed him. Is that part of the culture? We have to expect that?

KNAUSS: Well, I think...


KNAUSS: Go ahead, Greg.

SOULE: George.

HANNITY: Go ahead, George.

SOULE: But you know, it was kind of a fill-in-the-blank type of deal, it appeared to me, if it comes up five minutes after the announcement.

But there's obviously a lot of partisanship on the federal level on judicial appointments the last couple of years, and you know, I think it's time to calm down and address John on his merits. He's an outstanding lawyer, an outstanding judge. And he deserves to be judged, not based upon politics but upon the type of judge he would be on the Supreme Court (search).

HANNITY: Robert, I guess the thing that is amazing to me and impressive to me — I did not know a lot about him but I've been reading an awful lot about him in the last couple of days. You know, to be so young, to have accomplished so much, to have, you know, obviously such a brilliant legal mind.

You heard David Boies. I mean, he and others and Lawrence Tribe (search) and a lot of Democrats are supporting him to this extent.

KNAUSS: Well, John is just a remarkable talent. He's had a stellar career. And he'd be easy to dislike. He's been so successful over the years. But he's just a charming, delightful person, very modest, with a great sense of humor. I mean, he's a star in many ways.

HANNITY: Yes. Now, should his personal views matter? Either whether he's pro-life or not pro-life, should that even matter? Shouldn't the issue be his judicial philosophy?

KNAUSS: I agree with that 100 percent. You know, I've tried a lot of cases around the country and done appeals. And the last thing that you want is to walk into a courtroom with a judge who's already decided an issue.

These cases come up in a particular context of facts and arguments. And to prejudge an issue in the Senate Judiciary Committee would not be serving our country well.


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: By the way, Rob, George, it's Alan. Welcome to the show. As I understand it, George, you worked with him on Harvard Review?

SOULE: Yes. John and I were classmates at Harvard Law School and we served on the Harvard Law Review (search) together, and we've been friends.

COLMES: Do you talk about issues? Do you talk about things like abortion or religion and things like that?

SOULE: Oh, my gosh, in law school, I mean, you talk about everything. There were raging debates every day.

But I don't really remember John as a partisan. I mean, it's pretty clear that he was a conservative, what I would call a mainstream conservative, which I think he still probably is. But you know, he wasn't an extremist. He wasn't a crusader. He was a hard worker and an incredibly bright guy who got along with people, you know, kind of all stripes.

COLMES: And Rob, isn't the issue not what your personal views are, which everyone's entitled to, but whether or not you allow your personal views to affect your interpretation of the law. Isn't that the key question?

KNAUSS: Well, I think that is the question. And I think John will be — is highly principled, and he'll be a judge. I think he'll be able to separate his personal views from his job as a justice.

COLMES: How do you know him, Rob? I mean, have you spent a lot of personal time with him? And can you shed any insight into his character and personality?

KNAUSS: Well, John and I clerked together for Justice Rehnquist back in 1980 and spent a lot of time with him then. And we've remained close, close friends since.

COLMES: What does he do in his spare time?

KNAUSS: Well, he works very hard. Right now he's got two delightful kids and a beautiful wife. And he spends, I think, his free time there. He used to play some golf before the kids came along. But the golf game has suffered.

COLMES: And George, you know, I agree, we shouldn't be looking at somebody's family, their wife and what their point of views are. Because husbands and wives disagree.

I do recall, though, a lot of Republicans looking at Hillary Clinton (search) long before she was a candidate and, granted a first lady may have more of a role than a Supreme Court justice, but I thought that she might have been unfairly smeared at certain times during Bill Clinton's career.

SOULE: Well, I think that there's partisanship on both sides and that may not have been appropriate then, either.

COLMES: What would you expect? I mean, I guess you both believe he will probably be confirmed. I don't see the Democrats having a lot of problems with him. I mean, there may be a few and he should get tough questions, but he'll probably get through, — you believe that, Rob?

KNAUSS: I do. I think he's just a stellar candidate. And you know, the one thing I would say is that if John Roberts can't get confirmed to the Supreme Court based on his record, his pedigree, his temperament, I think that says something very bad about the future of our country and how partisan this process has become.

HANNITY: Rob, George, thank you both for being with us. Appreciate your time tonight.

SOULE: Thank you.

KNAUSS: Thank you.

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