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Illinois Senators to Vote “No” on Roberts

By Amy Hart in News on Sep 23, 2005 1:40PM


George Bush’s nominee to replace William Rehnquist as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate next week, but Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama will not be extending their support to Roberts’ nomination.

On Thursday Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted against the nomination, but Roberts was still confirmed by a vote of 13-5. Durbin’s no vote was expected, as he also voted against Roberts’ nomination as a federal appellate judge in 2003 after finding Roberts to be evasive on key issues such as abortion and civil rights.

Obama has expressed similar reservations about Roberts. While believing him to be a “humble” and “decent” man, he does not feel Roberts will use the bench to protect those who need protecting. Obama’s decision comes after meeting personally with Roberts earlier in the week to discuss such issues as civil rights and the right to privacy.

Senate Democrats as a whole have been split on the Roberts nomination, with some believing him to be too inexperienced, elusive in answering questions, and conservative to serve a lifetime appointment on the bench, while others believe his personal judicial philosophy cannot be ascertained through his past work for clients or his refusal to answer questions during his nomination hearings.

Chicagoist loves us some civil rights, and we have been frustrated over how little we have learned about Roberts during the hearings. We have a feeling that if we tried avoiding questions in a job interview, we would not be hired… although it might be fun to try it sometime.