Pro-Abortion Republicans Back John Roberts for Supreme Court Chief

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 19, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Republicans Back John Roberts for Supreme Court Chief Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 19, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Two leading pro-abortion Republican senators say they will vote to confirm Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts. Roberts already appeared headed for a sure confirmation vote and the pledges of support indicate Roberts may be able to expect unanimous support from the 55 Senate Republicans.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter announced Monday he will support President Bush’s first high court pick.

Specter said Roberts has “impeccable credentials" and the temperament to lead a highly divided Supreme Court, which favors abortion by a 6-3 margin.

"Given the unusual combination of his qualifications and experience, including extensive personal contact with the other justices, he has the unique potential to bring consensus to the court and to reduce the numerous repetitions and confusing opinions," Specter said in a statement Monday.

Meanwhile, pro-abortion Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said she, too, would back Roberts’ nomination.

"He possesses impeccable legal credentials, a brilliant intellect, and outstanding character," Collins said Monday.

"My personal discussions with Judge Roberts, as well as his responses during the Judiciary Committee hearings, have convinced me that he respects precedents and will apply the law and Constitution fairly. He is extraordinarily well-qualified to serve as chief justice," Collins added.

Despite his intense questioning of Roberts on the issue of abortion, Specter said he’s not sure whether Roberts will vote to uphold Roe v. Wade or overturn the landmark decision that ushered in an era of 44 million abortions.

"Notwithstanding … my efforts to glean some hint or realistic expectation from his words and body language, candidly it is not possible to predict or have a solid expectation of what Judge Roberts would do," Specter explained. "If there is a rule on expectations, it is probably one of surprise.

Roberts would not reveal whether he would vote for or against Roe while on the high court, but he laid the foundation for overturning the decision by outlining numerous instances where the Supreme Court might overturn a long-standing precedent.

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on Roberts Thursday and the full Senate vote will take place next week.