President George W. Bush this morning nominated John Roberts to succeed William H. Rehnquist as chief justice. The President also called on the Senate to confirm him before the Supreme Court opens its fall term on Oct. 3.
“I am honored and humbled by the confidence the president has shown in me,” Roberts said, standing alongside Bush in the Oval Office. “I am very much aware that if I am confirmed I would succeed a man I deeply respect and admire, a man who has been very kind to me for 25 years.”
“He’s a man of integrity and fairness and throughout his life he’s inspired the respect and loyalty of others,” Bush said. “John Roberts built a record of excellence and achievement and reputation for goodwill and decency toward others in his extraordinary career.”
Now let the escalation of political partisanship begin. Roberts who all but looked assured to pass as the next Supreme Court Justice as many democrats appeared to be on board with his nomination will now be pressured by the Democratic hierarchy.
Democrats said Roberts will now be held to a higher standard, although they had found little in his record to suggest they would thwart his nomination as associate justice.
“Now that the president has said he will nominate Judge Roberts as chief justice, the stakes are higher and the Senate’s advice and consent responsibility is even more important,” Democratic leader Harry Reid said Monday in a statement. “The Senate must be vigilant.”
Democratic NY Senator Charles Schumer, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee’s Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee, stated the following in a written statement:
“This nomination certainly raises the stakes in making sure that the American people and the Senate know Judge Roberts’ views fully before he assumes perhaps the second most powerful position in the United States.
The President in his announcement of Judge Roberts went on to say th following in praise of his nomination:
“It is fitting that a great chief justice be followed in office by a person who shared his deep reverence for the Constitution, his profound respect for the Supreme Court and his complete devotion to the cause of justice,” Bush said from the White House, with the judge by his side.
The Washington Post needing to bring in the religious side of the analysis.
Reuters: Bush picks Roberts to succeed Rehnquist.
U.S. Senate leaders agreed to delay the start of confirmation hearings for Roberts until at least Thursday and no later than next Monday, out of respect for Rehnquist. The hearing had originally been set for Tuesday.
Michelle Malkin with a nice round up of the nomination events that took place this morning.
Others on the story:
McGehee; Holy Guacamole. I really agree with the reasoning and analysis here. Kevin may be on to something. It is not as though Roberts was not on GWB’s list on SCOTUS nominees when he thought that Rehnquist would be the first to step down.
Wizbang; Bush Nominates Roberts As Chief Justice. Some doubts as to the not quite unprecedented, but surely it’s rare circumstances of the nomination.