Roberts’ Nomination Hearings Off to a Rousing Start

The Roberts’ Supreme Court nomination hearings are off to a rousing start today. As expected, “Republicans advised Roberts against responding to probing questions on controversial topics.”

Some have said that nominees who do not spill their guts about whatever a senator wants to know are hiding something from the American people,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “Some compare a nominee’s refusal to violate his judicial oath or abandon judicial ethics to taking the Fifth Amendment. These might be catchy sound bites, but they are patently false.”

But in her remarks, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., gave an indication on whether she’d vote to confirm Roberts.

“For me, one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed by you is the constitutional right to privacy. … It would be very difficult — I said this to you privately and I say so publicly — for me to vote to confirm someone to the Supreme Court whom I knew would overturn Roe v. Wade,” she said.

Senator Kennedy stated “the Senate was not a rubber stamp for the president’s judicial choices and the hearings amounted to a job interview for the American people.” He also said, the Senate must determine whether Roberts “has demonstrated a commitment to the constitutional principles that have been so vital in advancing fairness, decency and equal opportunity in our society.” Senator Kennedy’s full statement is available here.

Sixteen Democratic senators, including potential presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and John Kerry of Massachusetts, reiterated the Democratic party’s call for the Bush administration to release documents from his tenure as principal deputy solicitor general in the first Bush administration.

“The people deserve to know the complete truth about Judge Roberts, the good and the bad alike,” they said in a letter to the White House.

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