Senate Confirms Roberts As Chief Justice
As widely expected, John Roberts was easily confirmed by the Senate as the next Chief Justice of the United States, 78-22.
John Glover Roberts Jr. won confirmation as the 17th chief justice of the United States Thursday, overwhelmingly approved by the Senate as the jurist to lead the Supreme Court through turbulent social issues for generations to come.
The Senate voted 78-22 to confirm Roberts Ã¢€” a 50-year-old U.S. Appeals judge from the Washington suburb of Chevy Chase, Md. Ã¢€” as the successor to the late William H. Rehnquist, who died earlier this month. All of the Senate’s majority Republicans, and about half of the Democrats, voted for Roberts.
Underscoring the rarity of a chief justice’s confirmation, senators answered the roll by standing one by one at their desks as their names were called, instead of voting and leaving the chamber.
Roberts watched the Senate vote on television from the White House’s Roosevelt Room. He and his wife Jane, were to have lunch with President Bush and first lady Laura Bush, followed by a swearing-in ceremony with the president at the White House, so Roberts could take his seat in time for the new court session Monday. Justice John Paul Stevens was administering the oath.
Not surprising–AP had a report several hours ago written in the past perfect tense–but nonetheless noteworthy.
The real fight–that for Sandra Day O’Connor’s successor–will begin any day now.