Thursday, July 21, 2005

Gang of 14: Roberts Confirmation Likely

As reported yesterday, the Senate's centrist Gang of 14 met this morning for breakfast to discuss the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. According to an AP account of their meeting, the group is united around "reserving official judgment until after Roberts' confirmation hearings," but also that "there was agreement that Roberts' resume doesn't show the 'extraordinary circumstances' that would meet the group's threshhold for a Democratic filibuster."

Some quotes:

- Mike DeWine (R-OH): "There's no indications so far that there will be a filibuster, and I think that was the consensus in the meeting. But I think people are reserving the right to see what comes out of the hearings."

- John Warner (R-VA): "This is a confirmation process, not a coronation," noting the right of individuals to wait until after the hearings to make a final determination. Warner used to work at the same D.C. law firm as Roberts.

- Joe Lieberman (D-CT): "This is a credible nominee, and not one that - as far as we know now - has a record that in any sense could be described as extremist."

- Ben Nelson (D-NE) said he thought Bush "made a wise choice." Of a possible filibuster, Nelson said "I think it's fair to say I don't see anything coming out right now."

- Mark Pryor (D-AR): "My sense is so far, so good."

Of course the senators ought not to prejudge the final determination of this nomination; I think all of us, particularly those in the center, are awaiting the hearings before we officially endorse Judge Roberts. But I have to say, from all I've read and heard since the announcement, I'm impressed so far, both with the conduct of the nominee and the conduct of those in the Senate. Of the interest groups on both sides ... well, I guess if I don't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say anything at all.

[Update: Some more Gang of 14 quotes here, from the Washington Post. An important one, from Susan Collins (R-ME): She said that Roberts as "extraordinary qualification" for the Court, but that "it would be premature to reach a final judgment prior to the completion of the hearing." -- 6:30 p.m.]


At 10:37 PM, Blogger mike said...

How can they confirm him when he helped Bush get into office from Florida. Doesent it seem like it is a gift for helping?


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