* Roberts supported a restrictive interpretation of the scope of civil rights laws banning gender discrimination in publicly funded school programs, including athletics, a position that would have restricted the reach and enforcement of other important civil rights laws as well.
* Roberts played an important role in an unsuccessful Reagan Administration effort to make it harder to prove violations of the Voting Rights Act.
* Roberts referred dismissively to the "so-called 'right to privacy;'" his record strongly suggests that he does not believe that the Constitution guarantees or protects a right to privacy, a position that threatens reproductive choice, gay rights, and families' medical decision-making. He signed a brief on behalf of the first Bush Administration arguing that "[w]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled."
* Roberts' record indicates he would allow government endorsement of and favoritism towards religion. His confirmation could open the door to a range of activities that threaten religious liberty, including coercive religious practices in public schools.
* Roberts took the position that Congress could constitutionally strip the Supreme Court of the authority to rule on cases regarding school prayer, abortion, and other issues, a position to the right of that advanced by Theodore Olson and adopted by the Reagan administration.
* Roberts criticized the Supreme Court for overturning a Texas law designed to keep undocumented immigrant children from getting a public education.
* While in the White House, Roberts urged that the administration should "go slowly" on proposed fair housing legislation, claiming that such legislation represented "government intrusion."
* As a judge Roberts has signaled that he subscribes to the ideas of the new "federalism" that would limit the federal government's power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause to act on behalf of the common good. In Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, Roberts issued a troubling dissent from a decision upholding the constitutionality of the Endangered Species Act. Roberts's dissent suggested that Congress lacked the power under the Commerce Clause to protect endangered species in this case. The consequences of such a radical view, if held by a Supreme Court majority, would extend far beyond the Endangered Species Act to whole areas of Congressional authority, including such longstanding programs as Medicare and Social Security.
* Roberts has written that affirmative action programs were bound to fail because they required "recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates"; and as deputy Solicitor General he unsuccessfully opposed a federal government agency's affirmative action program designed to diversify media ownership.