- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2005

The following are quotes from yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Judge John G. Roberts Jr.’s nomination to be chief justice of the United States:

• “I come before the committee with no agenda. I have no platform. Judges are not politicians who can promise to do certain things in exchange for votes. I have no agenda, but I do have a commitment. If I am confirmed, I will confront every case with an open mind.” — Judge Roberts in his opening remarks

• “Just because we are curious does not mean that our curiosity should be satisfied. You have no obligation to tell us how you will rule on any issues that might come before you if you sit on the Supreme Court.” — Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican

• “Unfortunately, Mr. Chairman, there are real and serious reasons to be deeply concerned about Judge Roberts’ record. Many of his past statements and writings raise questions about his commitment to equal opportunity and the bipartisan remedies we have adopted in the past.” — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat

• “Hearings for a Supreme Court nominee should not have a political tilt for either Republicans or Democrats. They should, in substantive fact and in perception, be for all Americans.” — Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican

• “This hearing is the only opportunity for the American people to examine what kind of justice John Roberts will dispense, if promoted to the Supreme Court, and the direction in which he would lead the federal judiciary.” —Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat

• “There are a number of qualities that I’ve looked for in a Supreme Court nominee. I believe that the nominee should be someone who knows he or she is not appointed to impose his or her views of right and wrong.” — Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican

• “For me, one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed by Judge Roberts is the constitutional right to privacy. … It would be very difficult for me to vote to confirm someone to the Supreme Court whom I knew would overturn Roe v. Wade.” — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat

• “This is a confirmation proceeding … not a coronation. It is the Senate Judiciary Committee’s job to ask tough questions.” — Sen. Russell D. Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat

• “We must use a judicial, rather than a political, standard to evaluate Judge Roberts’ fitness for the Supreme Court. That standard must be based on the fundamental principle that judges interpret and apply, but do not make, law.” — Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican

• “To me the pivotal question, which will determine my vote, is this: ‘Are you within the mainstream — albeit the conservative mainstream — or are you an ideologue who will seek to use the court to impose your views upon us?’” — Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat

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