Senate Set to Confirm Roberts Today

John Glover Roberts Jr. is set to be confirmed today as 17th chief justice of the Supreme Court by over three fourths of the nation's senators, capping off two months of an intense but expedient nomination process that may place him in one of the most influential offices in the nation.

The vote will take place today, where at least 77 senators, including a unanimous Republican Party and a significant Democratic contingent is expected to vote in support of the President Bush nominated judge that will fill the role of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Roberts, 50, would be sworn in before the start of the Oct. 3 opening day of the new court session.

“We are diligently praying for Judge Roberts as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,” said the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition in a released statement. “The faith community is praying that he will honor God, the Constitution and the founding principles of our nation.”

Christian conservatives have been monitoring his nomination closely, with most being favorable to the nominee. In campaign promises, the President had promised to choose strict constructionist judges who would not turn to “judicial activism” to decide cases but judge according to law. Some Christians have had reservations about the judge for the perception that he is not as conservative as the two most conservative Justices on the bench: Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Many senators who decided to vote for him trusted the nominee when he said he would not be “an ideologue” but judge each case fairly as it came to him without a predetermined agenda. Some opponents to his nomination have said that he was not sufficiently forthcoming in answers to controversial issues, including abortion and prayer in schools.

Roberts defended his position to not give his opinion about specific cases, saying it would be improper to prejudge cases before he had seen all the evidence presented to him.

Since his nomination, Roberts has been under constant watch by senators and the news media who have delved deeply into many aspects of his professional life. Most have lauded his excellent credentials for the position, including his run as a top student at Harvard, his clerkship for a Supreme Court Justice, his work as an attorney for two presidential administrations, an active private practice and his 39 argued cases before the Supreme Court.