My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Just For Grins . . .

Let's see what some of the key Senators are saying.

Robert Byrd: "I thank President Bush for reaching out to Senators on both sides of the aisle as he worked to select a nominee for the Court. I hope that this bipartisan cooperation will continue as the confirmation process begins.

"The confirmation of a new Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States is a significant responsibility and requires each Senator to have a good understanding of the nominee and his judicial philosophy. I look forward to learning more about Judge Roberts, talking with him, reviewing his record, and listening to the testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Hillary Clinton: Now that the President has nominated Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, the Senate must initiate a thoughtful and deliberate process of closely examining and scrutinizing Judge Roberts’ record. Not only does a thorough examination ensure that Judge Roberts is qualified to serve a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court, it also allows the Senate to fully discharge its constitutional mandate of providing the President with meaningful “Advice and Consent” on his nomination.

In the coming weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin the process of studying Judge Roberts’ record. I look forward to the Committee’s findings so that I can make an informed decision about whether Judge Roberts is truly a guardian of the rule of law who puts fairness and justice before ideology.

John Kerry: Americans deserve a Supreme Court that is fair, independent, ethical and served by justices committed to our constitutional freedoms rather than an ideological agenda. Justice O'Connor refused to use her position as a means to advance a political agenda. In replacing her, we must be confident Judge Roberts will do the same.

“We know Judge Roberts is no Sandra Day O’Connor, and the White House has sent a clear signal. There are serious questions that must be answered involving Judge Roberts’ judicial philosophy as demonstrated over his short time on the appellate court. The Senate must learn whether he has clear consistent principles upholding Constitutional standards like civil rights, the right to privacy and Roe v. Wade.

“The American people expect the Senate to fulfill its duty to conduct a thorough, independent review of any nominee, and I intend to do exactly that. I hope Judge Roberts and the White House are forthcoming about his qualifications, background and constitutional philosophy so the Senate can act with all the facts. There’s too much at stake to do anything less.”

John McCain: Senator John McCain today expressed his strong support for President Bush’s nomination of Judge John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Courts:

“I am pleased that the President has chosen Judge John Roberts as his nominee to the Supreme Court. Judge Roberts would bring a wealth of experience to the nation’s highest bench having served as an attorney in private practice, as an advisor and Deputy Solicitor General at the Department of Justice and as a federal appeals court judge. I look forward to a smooth confirmation process and a swift up-or-down vote for Judge Roberts.”

Ben Nelson: With the nomination of Judge John Roberts, the President has initiated the confirmation process. I am looking forward to being constructive as the Senate considers and deliberates on the qualifications of Judge Roberts.

“Now remember, the nomination will be referred to the Judiciary Committee, not the ‘Gang of Fourteen.’ The Judiciary Committee should take as much time as it needs to conduct its hearings and consider the nomination. The best case scenario for Judge Roberts, the President and the country is for Judge Roberts to emerge from these proceedings with broad appeal. There’s always a danger in being defined as an activist judge with an agenda and a willingness to legislate from the bench. The confirmation process will shed light on Judge Roberts’ and what kind of Justice he might become.”

There are several notables--most of the "Gang of Fourteen"--who, for some unknown reason--did not have a statement ready for their websites tonight.

But I think you can see several patterns developing. One, the Dems were caught completely off guard by this nomination and had nothing prepared. Their fallback position is "we'll wait and see and take this process very seriously." But I think the lack of early attacks is a good sign for the nominee. And I know Chuck Schumer had some mindless things to say tonight, but he had to. He was the rebuttal witness to the prime time drama and he had to lay the groundwork for a fight. But it doesn't sound like there are too many people in his corner.

Two, I think the GOP will hold together on this. There was no statement yet on Arlen Specter's site, but John McCain came out quickly and forcefully to support Roberts, and that's a very good sign. I think that will also be a bit of a shot across the bow of the Dem "Gang"-ers: Roberts IS NOT an extraordinary circumstance.

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