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Senate Panels Debate on the Confirmation of Judge Roberts
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Published: September 22, 2005
The following is the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the confirmation of Judge John G Roberts Jr, as provided by CQ Transcriptions.
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U.S. SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA) CHAIRMAN
U.S. SENATOR ORRIN G. HATCH (R-UT)
U.S. SENATOR CHARLES E. GRASSLEY (R-IA)
U.S. SENATOR JON KYL (R-AZ)
U.S. SENATOR MIKE DEWINE (R-OH)
U.S. SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS (R-AL)
U.S. SENATOR LINDSEY O. GRAHAM (R-SC)
U.S. SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (R-TX)
U.S. SENATOR SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS)
U.S. SENATOR TOM COBURN (R-OK)
U.S. SENATOR PATRICK J. LEAHY (D-VT) RANKING MEMBER
U.S. SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY (D-MA)
U.S. SENATOR JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR. (D-DE)
U.S. SENATOR HERBERT KOHL (D-WI)
U.S. SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA)
U.S. SENATOR RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD (D-WI)
U.S. SENATOR CHARLES E. SCHUMER (D-NY)
U.S. SENATOR RICHARD J. DURBIN (D-IL)
SPECTER: The Judiciary Committee will now proceed with our executive session.
The floor schedule has votes which will be starting shortly, but our committees going to go right ahead. There may be two votes or three votes, and if there are two votes, we will move to the 20-minute mark or so and vote and come back.
But we have a good bit of work to do this morning, so we will start right off with the committee action on the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to be chief justice of the United States.
We do not need a quorum for that, so we can start to speak.
At the outset, I want to compliment my distinguished colleague Senator Leahy for his courage in his vote yesterday. It is not easy to vote in a different manner with the thrust of the party. Some of us have had some experience at that.
And I think when you talk about a Supreme Court nominee youre talking about a vote of conscience and a vote of really great importance. Theres no vote more important in the Senate, except for a declaration of war or the practical equivalent, which is a resolution for the use of force, than a vote for a justice on the Supreme Court.
And that is magnified even further when were talking about chief justice. And that is magnified beyond that when you have somebody whos 50 years of age who has the potential to serve to the year 2040 or perhaps even beyond.
When the roll is called, prospectively next Thursday, I intend to vote aye for Judge Roberts to be chief justice.
He comes to this position with an academic and professional career second to none: Harvard College, Harvard Law, magna cum laude, summa cum laude, 39 cases argued before the Supreme Court of the United States.
And during the course of his extensive testimony, I believe he acquitted himself well.