To no ones surprise, John Roberts moved closer to his new position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court today. 13 voted against his nomination, the hard left of the democratic party; Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), Joseph Biden (Del.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) , Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.). The Democrats that voted for Roberts were Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) , Herb Kohl (Wis.) and Russ Feingold (Wis.).
Nothing that happened today changed the overwhelming view that he will be confirmed in the Senate and available for swearing in before Oct. 3. The only remaining question is the margin of victory for Bush’s first Supreme Court nominee.
With little doubt about the outcome, the Roberts nomination has become more of a preliminary round to what may be a greater controversy over the president’s so-far-unannounced choice to replace O’Connor.
The assumption of Democrats and Republicans alike is that Roberts’s votes on the court will be comparable to Rehnquist’s, the conservative for whom Roberts clerked as a young man, and will therefore not immediately alter the disposition of cases.