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COPY-Senate poised to easily confirm Roberts as next chief justice

CAPITOL HILL The Senate today will easily confirm John Roberts as the next Chief Justice of the United States.

Roberts is expected to be confirmed with the support of more than three-quarters of the Senate.

All 55 Republicans will vote to confirm him and at least 21 Democrats are expected to join them.

Roberts is expected to be sworn in shortly after the confirmation vote.

Even though Democrats are split on Roberts, they are united in warning the president not to nominate a conservative ideologue to replace retiring justice Sandra Day O'Connor. That nomination is expected soon after Roberts is sworn in.

Democrats say they might try to block that nominee should the president choose someone they believe isn't in the mainstream.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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