Roberts Confirmed As Chief Justice - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/29/05-Washington, D.C.

Roberts Confirmed As Chief Justice

The Supreme Court has a new Chief Justice, the Senate confirmed John Roberts to succeed the late William Rehnquist as the nation's top judge.

The final vote was 78 to 22.  The vote to confirm John Roberts went pretty much as expected, making Roberts only the 17th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

The 50-year-old Roberts becomes the youngest chief justice in over 200 years and as such, is likely to serve in this lifetime post for decades-- having a major impact on the American judiciary for generations to come. This morning his supporters were enthusiastic. Sot sen.

Senator Bill Frist , (R) Texas said, "Judge Roberts is an exceptional candidate who possesses keen intelligence, character, and sterling credentials to serve as Chief Justice of the high court."

Judge Roberts legal credentials went largely unchallenged, but those who oppose him question his commitments to civil rights and abortion rights.

Senator Edward Kennedy, (R) Massachusetts said, "He left too many fundamental doubts, and it puts the nation at risk for decades to come."

Final preparations are already underway at the white house, where the new Chief Justice will take the oath of office later today. 

The President is expected to announce his next Supreme Court nominee, the one who would replace Sandra Day O'Connor, as soon as tomorrow. Speculation centers on a number of women candidates and several hispanics.

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