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Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5

by TChris

The Senate Judiciary Committee, as expected, voted to send the nomination of Judge John Roberts for Chief Justice to the full Senate with a recommendation for confirmation. His confirmation vote will be held next week.

All Committee Republicans voted in Roberts' favor. Also voting for Roberts were Senators Leahy, Kohl, and (surprisingly) Feingold. Keep in mind, however, that Feingold voted to confirm John Ashcroft as Attorney General on the theory that the president's nominations are entitled to deference.

Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, said he had been persuaded because of the nominee's "sterling reputation as a lawyer and a judge" and was therefore voting with "my hopes, not my fears." Senator Russell D. Feingold, a Democrat also from Wisconsin, said he was voting yes because he considered the nominee "a lawyer's lawyer," not an ideologue.

Let's hope he's right. The Democrats voting against Roberts were Senators Feinstein, Kennedy, Biden, Schumer, and Durbin.

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  • Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:11 PM EST
    A constitutionalist. But the Constitution is a very broad document. It's his interpretation that we know nothing about, other than by his affiliations in the past. Anytime the controversial opinions came up, he was suddenly a nobody.

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    Who is a more qualified candidate than Roberts? Please, instead of attacking every facet of Judge Roberts career and qualifications, suggest an alternative candidate that conforms more closely with democratic ideals (ie. General Counsel for ACLU -- Oh wait, there is already one of those on the Court, confirmed with 96 votes nonetheless). But he might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade! You can't do that! The Supreme Court isn't allowed to overturn former decisions! Stare decisis! Follow precedent! Voting to overturn or uphold Roe v. Wade is not a "right" or "wrong" vote, but instead represents differing interpretations of the law and constitution. The S.C. would have no utility if, on sensitive issues like abortion, the vote was 9-0 every time -- that would suggest overarching uniformity -- a bad thing.

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#3)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    hannityiscrazy ties otisishungry for best moniker of the year, in my opinion.

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#4)
    by Lww on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    Was the dissenting opinion in BSA v Dale written by ideologues?

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    Anyone who cannot perceive the complex problems that would be associated with allowing open homosexuals to join "Boy Scouts", law aside, is an idealogue.

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    Feingold votes for Ashcroft and Roberts ... and he wants to run as a progressive presidential candidate in '08???

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#7)
    by nolo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    I must be an ideologue, hannityiscrazy. Why don't you enlighten me as to the nature of these "complex problems" of which you speak?

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    Posted by hannityiscrazy: "Who is a more qualified candidate than Roberts?" Anyone with more than two years of being a judge.

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:12 PM EST
    Posted by raatz: "Feingold votes for Ashcroft and Roberts ... and he wants to run as a progressive presidential candidate in '08???" A person running for president is hoping to be in power. Under circumstances like these, a coup, there isn't a whole lot of suicide voting to go around. Ordinarily, a Senator may vote like that in order to get an important bill for his constituents moved. Ugly, but necessary. IF you elect Feingold, then you get the value of Feingold's freer actions. His votes on moot affairs is almost meaningless. It would really help if people with political opinions actually understood something about how our government works. The US Senate is a damn strange institution, and a Senator is not free to simply throw themselves on their sword every ten minutes. Who knows why Feingold did it, but here's a clue: Senator Herb Kohl of Wisconsin DID NOT VOTE FOR ROBERTS because of the nominee's "sterling reputation as a lawyer and a judge."

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:13 PM EST
    Paul in LA -- does this answer your question? "If confirmed, Roberts would be following in the footsteps of former Chief Justice Warren Burger who was also elevated to the position of Chief Justice directly from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Roberts_Jr.

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:13 PM EST
    You dope: "In 1956 Eisenhower appointed Burger to a position on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where Warren remained for 13 years."

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#12)
    by Andreas on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:14 PM EST
    Leahy, the Vermont liberal who is the senior Democrat on the committee, signaled the capitulation of the “opposition” party in a tortuous speech on the Senate floor Wednesday. Leahy spelled out a series of reasons for voting against the nominee, including his record of opposition to civil rights protections, his unwillingness to answer questions on such key issues as abortion, and the White House refusal to release documents from Roberts’s service in the first Bush administration. Leahy then announced, at the end of this discourse, that he would vote for Roberts anyway, based on the judge’s personal assurances that he was “no ideologue.” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid set the stage for this spectacle of dithering and self-contradiction, announcing a day earlier that while he would personally vote against Roberts, he would not attempt to rally the Democratic caucus on the issue. There would be no pressure on individual senators, and no effort to mount a filibuster, as the Senate Democrats did against selected ultra-right nominees for lower-ranking judicial positions.
    Democrats cave on reactionary chief justice: Senate panel rubberstamps Roberts nomination By Patrick Martin, 23 September 2005

    Re: Roberts Committee Vote: 13-5 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:14 PM EST
    Sorry for calling 'hannityiscrazy' a dope. Reid opposed, but there isn't caucus discipline enough OR VOTES ENOUGH to block the candidate. What's the leader supposed to do, cry? Senators are the ambassadors of the states. They are not representatives of the whole people except as a body. And senators have to trade votes, especially in coercive majority like currently. If the senator doesn't find a way to yield to the coercion, they might lose a bill important to their state. Not recognizing that enables Andreas and his CWs to throw tomatoes at Reid for voting NAY. Way to go, Andreas.