John Roberts on the issues Associated Press ABORTION: As a lawyer in the administration of President Bush's father, he helped write a Supreme Court brief that said, "We continue to believe that Roe (v. Wade) was wrongly decided and should be overruled." Roberts has greatly softened his stance on abortion rights over the last decade or so. In his previously confirmation hearing, Roberts promised to "uphold the laws of the land, whether they be abortion or any other issue." This will certainly be a key question asked during his upcoming confirmation hearing. If his stance remains moderate, he will find little resistance. RELIGION: Roberts unsuccessfully urged the Supreme Court to rule that public schools could sponsor prayer at graduation ceremonies. "We do not believe ... that graduation ceremonies pose a risk of coercion," said the brief Roberts helped to write on behalf of the first Bush administration. Further study of Roberts' cases and rulings find him to be surprisingly moderate on the issue of religion in schools. He advocated religious activities on a strictly voluntary basis, on the same level as other activities. He has avoided the issue of prayer in public schools. ENVIRONMENT: As a judge, he was sympathetic to arguments that wildlife regulations were unconstitutional as applied to a California construction project. The government feared the project would hurt arroyo toads. Has not been involved in a lot of environmental cases. It will be interesting to learn his opinions on these matters. CRIMINAL MATTERS: His votes on the bench have been mixed. He ruled in favor of a man who challenged his sentence for fraud, then said police did not violate the constitutional rights of a 12-year-old girl who was arrested, handcuffed and detained for eating a single french fry inside a train station in Washington. Roberts has consistently been a proponent of victims' rights. He is a hardliner who sticks more to previous cases and guidelines than attempting to re-interpret the law. This could raise concerns on both sides, since his stance has not consistently favored either. POLICE SEARCHES: Joined an appeals court ruling in 2004 that upheld police trunk searches, even if officers do not say they are looking for evidence of a crime. Again, Roberts is tough on criminals and crime. This will earn his votes on both sides. MILITARY TRIBUNALS: Roberts was part of a unanimous decision last week that allowed the Pentagon to proceed with plans to use military tribunals to try terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay. This issue could hurt Roberts more than abortion. Democrats (and even some Republicans) will want to know his opinions on the abuses at Gitmo and other military prisons. He will be face serious questions about military secrecy and adherence to the codes of wartime conduct.