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NYT: For the Senate, the Strategic Dance Begins

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:03 AM
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NYT: For the Senate, the Strategic Dance Begins
For the Senate, the Strategic Dance Begins
Published: July 20, 2005

WASHINGTON, July 19 - President Bush's selection of Judge John G. Roberts as the nation's first Supreme Court nominee in 11 years set off an immediate round of partisan maneuvering in the Senate on Tuesday night. Republicans praised Judge Roberts as a distinguished, intelligent jurist who deserved quick confirmation, while Democrats voiced reservations, even as they acknowledged the judge's strong legal rsum.

"The president has chosen someone with suitable legal credentials, but that is not the end of our inquiry," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader. "The Senate must review Judge Roberts's record to determine if he has a demonstrated commitment to core values of freedom, equality and fairness."

Although they conceded that Judge Roberts had "an appropriate legal temperament and demeanor," in the words of Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, Democrats sought to push the debate toward Judge Roberts's scant judicial record - he has been an appeals court judge for just two years - and his unwillingness to answer certain questions in his earlier confirmation hearings....


Republicans said that Judge Roberts's earlier confirmation vote would make it difficult for Democrats to use the filibuster to block him from ascending to the Supreme Court, but Mr. Schumer would not rule out the tactic.

His comments came as members of the two parties tried to set the stage for what will be one of the most closely watched events in recent Senate history. In the Capitol, scrutiny of Judge Roberts will begin in earnest on Wednesday, when he is expected to meet with leading senators, including Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the panel's senior Democrat....
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