Tuesday, July 19, 2005
US President George W. Bush today announced Justice John G. Roberts Jr. as his pick to fill the Supreme Court void caused by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Roberts is known as a strong conservative, but is nevertheless endorsed by many from both parties. At 50 years of age, if confirmed, he will be the youngest judge on the court, and is expected to be able to serve 30 years or more. He was appointed to the D.C. Court of Appeals in 2003 by the President.
Bush offered the nomination to Roberts during a phone call at 12:35 p.m. EDT today, with the intention to release the information to the public tonight, at a 9 p.m. EDT press conference. The Associated Press had already revealed the president’s pick at 7:45 p.m. EDT. Critics have already begun to voice complaints, including issues with free speech and religious freedom, along with reproductive rights. Supporters see Roberts as a conservative who cut his teeth with Nixon and Reagan — just the kind of nominee they were hoping for.
In 1990, Roberts wrote a brief on Roe v. Wade, which stated, “The court’s conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion … finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution.” Though, during his confirmation hearings for the appellate court in 2003, Roberts stated that “Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land… There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent.”