by Steven Ertelt
September 22, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Leading abortion advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Thursday she plans to vote against the nomination of John Roberts for the Supreme Court when the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on him later today.
"I cannot in good conscience cast a ‘yea’ vote,” Feinstein said, adding that Roberts didn’t assure her during his committee hearings that he would uphold the Roe v. Wade decision that ushered in an era of 44 million abortions.
"I’m the only woman on this committee, and when I started I said that was going to be my bar, and he didn’t cross my bar," Feinstein explained.
Before the hearings, Feinstein said she would vote against Roberts if he did not back abortion and said that she had a special duty to vote against him as the committee’s only woman.
Pro-life groups disputed Feinstein’s contention that she represented women in light of polls showing more women are pro-life than support abortion.
Connie Mackey, vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council said Feinstein doesn’t represent most American women.
"For too long, far-leftist organizations consumed with only one agenda, the pro-abortion agenda, have claimed they represent all women in general … they do not."
Despite Feinstein’s vote against Roberts, he has already earned the support of the committee’s top Democrat, pro-abortion Vermont Sen. Pat Leahy. Combined with votes from Republican members of the committee, Roberts should expect at least a 11-7 vote in his favor.
"Judge Roberts is a man of integrity,” Leahy said yesterday in a Senate floor speech. "I can only take him at his word that he does not have an ideological agenda.”
Other Democrats not on the committee have said they will back Roberts, including Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Max Baucus of Montana and Tim Johnson of South Dakota. Two others, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, are likely to vote for him as well.
That would give Roberts 61 votes on the Senate floor and possible more if additional Democrats join Republicans in supporting his nomination. The 61 votes would also exceed the threshold needed should a senator decided to launch a filibuster against him.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has said he would vote against Roberts next week when the full Senate considers the nomination but he indicated he will not filibuster.
Democrats Jon Corzine of New Jersey, Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts have said they will vote against Roberts.