Thursday, September 22, 2005

Roberts gets a little closer

John Roberts cleared his first hurdle today as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13 to 5 to confirm him:

All 10 Republicans voted to approve Roberts, while three Democrats joined them -- the ranking Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Wisconsin Sens. Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold.

Conservatives were quick to praise the committee's vote.

"The vote by the Judiciary Committee reflects the fact that John Roberts is an exceptional nominee with a conservative judicial philosophy -- a philosophy that represents mainstream America," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, said in a statement.

"It's encouraging that several Democrats recognized his talents and capabilities by voting for his confirmation. At the same time, though, it's unfortunate that others chose to politicize a confirmation process by trying to turn it into some sort of election," said Sekulow.

"It's now up to the full Senate to move swiftly to confirm John Roberts so he can assume his duties and responsibilities as chief justice when the Supreme Court begins its new term in a matter of weeks. We call on the Senate to confirm John Roberts without delay," added Sekulow.

The full Senate will take up the Roberts nomination on Monday.