Thursday, September 29, 2005

Confirmed: Chief Justice John Roberts

The United States' 17th Chief Justice is John Glover Roberts, Jr. By a 78-22 vote, the Senate confirmed the President's nomination. All 55 Republicans and 23/45 Democrats noted in favor of the Roberts appointment.

The "nay" votes came from the following (full state contingent or Senator name if the contingent split its votes): Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii, Illinois and California, plus Debbie Stabenow (MI), Mark Dayton (MN), Evan Bayh (IN), Maria Cantwell (WA), Jack Reed (RI), Tom Harkin (IA), Harry Reid (NV) and Joe Biden (DE).

Notable liberals who voted for Roberts: Carl Levin (MI), Patty Murray (WA), Jay Rockefeller and Robert Byrd (WV), Max Baucus (MT), Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Pat Leahy (VT) and Chris Dodd (CT).

The support by the 10 very liberal Dems named above who voted FOR Roberts demonstrates that the opposition to Roberts is purely political and has nothing to do with his qualifications or track record. It also shows that liberal senators who come from conservative states (Baucus, Dorgan/Conrad, Johnson) know that their constituents don't want political point-scoring on nominations and will get in line with the most qualified lawyer to be appointed to the Supreme Court (albeit with a short stint on the DC Court of Appeals) since Thurgood Marshall.

And to salt over the wounds of the Left, Ed Whelan offers this riddle:

Q. Two months ago what would Senate Democrats have called a Supreme Court candidate who had argued that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and who had close personal ties to a pro-life activist, who favored school prayer, who strongly opposed racial and gender preferences, who criticized “fundamental rights” and “suspect class” analyses as engines of judicial activism, and who described judicial activism as the greatest threat to judicial independence?

A. “Extremist and unconfirmable.”

Q. From now on what will Senate Democrats call such a candidate?

A. “Chief Justice Roberts.”


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