Abortion will be an Important Issue in the Roberts Supreme Court
September 12th 2005
Roberts and the
Hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee opened today to
deliberate the next chief justice of the Supreme Court. Judge John
Roberts was nominated last month by President Bush to fill the
vacancy for retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. After Chief
Justice Rehnquist died last week Roberts is now being considered for
that top post.
is expected to receive strong support from the
committee. The agenda includes opening remarks by all 18 committee
members followed by introductory remarks by only three of the
senators. After Roberts is introduced he will give his own opening
remarks. He will need to answer a litany of questions from the 18
will be quizzed on his abortion position. For some members this
will be their primary concern, although chairman of the committee,
senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, is not expected to bring up
the abortion topic. Specter told NBC’s Meet the Press he will
question Roberts about his views on the right to privacy. "I think
that's a fair question," Mr. Specter said, "and I intend to ask
it." Many Pro-life advocates feel this is a fictitious issue
invented during the Roe v Wade court battle.
Other senators will jump right into the abortion topic. Senator
Diane Feinstein of California said she has an obligation to find out
where Roberts stands on this issue. "For me, one of the most
important issues that needs to be addressed by Judge Roberts is the
constitutional right to privacy." She went on to say "It would be
very difficult for me to vote to confirm someone to the Supreme
Court whom I knew would overturn Roe v. Wade."
are a couple issues that need to be resolved. The senators have not
agreed on a time limit of the hearings. Also they have not agreed
on an topical approach to the issue of abortion. Several of the
Democrats and at least one Republican plan to press Roberts on the
abortion issue. It is unclear how abortion will be broached.
committee has gone through many frustrating moments as they outline
the questions they regard as acceptable and the ones that are not.
Specter has said he is reluctant to ask questions appearing to
decide cases ahead of time. The questions should be about the
nominee’s extant writings according to Specter.
senators have expressed frustration with their inability to view all
of Judge Roberts personal writings, especially for some of his
controversial cases. The Bush administration, with the backing of
Specter, has blocked some of these requests.
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Keywords and misspellings: Rehnquist Renquest