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Senate Confirms John Roberts as Chief Justice of United States

The 17th chief justice succeedes the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist

Posted: September 29, 2005 Related material:   > John Robert's Senate Testimony  
> Biography of John Roberts

President George W. Bush looks on as Judge John G. Roberts is sworn in by Justice John Paul Stevens. Roberts' wife Jane is holding the Bible. The U.S. Senate voted 78 to 22 to confirm Roberts as the 17th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, succeeding the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. (© AP/WWP)

Washington -- Judge John Roberts, President Bush’s pick for 17th chief justice of the United States, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 29.

The Senate, after a lengthy judicial confirmation process, voted Roberts as chief justice in a 78-22 vote, with all Senate Republicans and about half of the Democrats voting to confirm him.

“Across the nation, Americans have grown in respect and admiration for this good man,” Bush said of Roberts participation in the two-month Senate confirmation process. “From the day of Judge Roberts' nomination, the Judiciary Committee and senators of both parties have received him with courtesy and fair mindedness.”

Roberts was sworn in as chief justice by senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens at a brief ceremony at the White House on September 29, and will take the bench with the other eight justices as the 2005-2006 Supreme Court term begins Monday, October 3.

“All Americans can be confident that the 17th chief justice of the United States will be prudent in exercising judicial power, firm in defending judicial independence, and above all, a faithful guardian of the Constitution,” President Bush said at the ceremony.

Roberts, 50, will be the youngest chief justice since 1801, when President John Adams appointed John Marshall to be chief justice at the age of 46.

“I will try to ensure, in the discharge of my responsibilities, that with the help of my colleagues, I can pass on to my children's generation a charter of self-government as strong and as vibrant as the one that Chief Justice Rehnquist passed on to us,” Roberts said at his swearing in ceremony.

Roberts replaces the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, one of his mentors, who died in early September.

With Roberts now confirmed, President Bush is poised to name a replacement for Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who announced her retirement on July 1. O’Connor has said that she will remain on the court until her replacement is confirmed.

"The president will nominate someone that all Americans can be proud of, someone who is highly qualified to serve on the highest court in our land," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan on the subject of O’Connor’s replacement.

A transcript of remarks by Bush and Roberts at the swearing in ceremony is available on the White House Web site.

Alexandra Abboud
Washington File Staff Writer




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