John Kerry Opposes Roberts’ Nomination for Chief Justice

Breaking news: John Kerry Opposes Roberts’ Nomination for Chief Justice

Below is a statement by Senator John Kerry on the upcoming vote on Judge John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the United States:

“I can’t in good conscience vote to confirm Judge Roberts to a lifetime leading our third and co-equal branch of government when his confirmation hearings contained no genuine legal engagement, no real exchange of information, and no substantive discussion. The confirmation exercise has become little more than an empty shell. I cannot vote to confirm someone to lead the very branch of government responsible for ensuring equal opportunity and justice when he refuses to say where he stands on things as fundamental as how he would interpret our Constitution.

“The White House’s refusal to release documents presented a significant obstacle to getting the facts, but the biggest roadblock has been Judge Roberts himself. He has evaded serious and legitimate questions and forced the Senate to exercise its Constitutional responsibility of advice and consent virtually in the dark.

“What little we do know about Judge Roberts’ record gives me real concern. We need a Chief Justice who respects our Constitution and also considers the real-life implications of his decisions. Whether it’s voting rights, Title IX, affirmative action, the Geneva Conventions or choice, Judge Roberts has consistently worked to put such high legal hurdles in place that they are virtually impossible for even the most worthy cases to overcome. America deserves a Chief Justice who will ensure that every single one of us – man or woman, rich or poor, black or white – will be treated with dignity, respect and fairness under the law.”

Remarks by Senator John Kerry on the Senate Floor on His Opposition to Judge Roberts’ Nomination for Chief Justice

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13 Responses to John Kerry Opposes Roberts’ Nomination for Chief Justice

  1. Samurai Sam says:

    Way to go, Senator! Now please stop over at Pat Leahy’s office and smack him upside the head.

  2. Susan Moe says:

    Thank you Senator Kerry for speaking up.

  3. Indie Liberal says:

    Thanks Senators Kerry, Kennedy, and Obama. 🙂

  4. Marjorie G says:

    So many points that needed to be said, like Robert’s conservative and narrow interpretation without regard to world realities (although he claims only the client’s/administration views). I, for one, don’t want to go back to feudal times.

    Kerry put down markers on the importance of this role, and how troubling the warning signs. Everyone needs equal access to representation and justice.

  5. Ron Chusid says:

    From Roberts testimony, I don’t know whether his intrepretation of the Constitution would be too narrow, and to what degree he would move us towards feudal times. That’s the problem. Before someone is appointed to a lifetime term, the public should have answers to these questions. As Roberts failed to answer important questions, I don’t see how people could vote for him.

    My other fear is that while Roberts didn’t answer questions before the Senate, he did answer questions for Bush, and Bush knows what he is getting in Roberts.

    I wonder if Bush, now politically weaker, will delay a second choice with O’Connor being willing to stick around a bit longer.

  6. Ian says:

    Thank you senator Kerry, now go give coffee to the rest of the sleeping democrats!

  7. Judy says:

    Thank you John Kerry! Keep it up…please continue to speak out forcefully and often!

  8. Todd says:

    Ron writes: “Before someone is appointed to a lifetime term, the public should have answers to these questions. As Roberts failed to answer important questions, I don’t see how people could vote for him.”

    Unfortunately that’s the nominating process post-1987 and Bork. The last three nominees (Souter, Ginsberg & Breyer) wouldn’t answer any questions either. Luckily they’ve ended up being 3/4 of the liberal block on the court, but it’s unfortunate that the political process of SCOTUS justice selection has gotten down to this.

    It will be interesting to see where Bush goes for the next nominee, which I think is more important than Roberts. I doubt he’ll go to the mat in his weakened condition, but with this guy you never know.

  9. Marjorie G says:

    Ron, did Sandra D. give an open-ended agreement until a replacement?

  10. Ian

    I love that! They do need coffee and swift kick!

  11. Ron Chusid says:


    It sounded pretty open-ended, and I’m hoping it lasts a long time. At least until we have a Democratic Senate in 2006 (something which is still going to be difficult, but I’m more optimistic about).

  12. Ginny in CO says:


    Great idea,:) I do occasionally joke about the slapping and kicking. My thought is –
    he should have sent them Starbucks BEFORE the comments :0

    Go John,, We are with you.

  13. Todd Says: September 21st, 2005 at 11:37 am

    Todd I posted some talking points about whether Ginsberg answered questions last week when the Judiciary hearings started. They were from Uncle Teddy’s office, and showed that Ginsberg did.