U.S. Senate to start Roberts hearings

Sept. 12, 2005 at 8:11 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Supreme Court nominee John Roberts completed a series of mock confirmation sessions designed to prepare him for tough questions from Democrats senators.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is to take up Roberts' nomination to be the 17th chief justice of the Supreme Court this week. While the 50-year-old appellate court judge is expected to win confirmation, some Senate Democrats have promised to first ask about the nominee's stances on several controversial issues.

Thousands of papers of Roberts' papers have been made public but Democrats have been asking the White House for additional documents that could indicate the nominee's position on touchy subjects such as governmental balance of power, abortion rights and civil rights.

Roberts was nominated to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who said she wished to retire. But after Chief Justice William Rehnquist died Sept. 3, President Bush changed Roberts' nomination to the chief justice's spot. O'Connor is expected to stay on the court until another nominee is confirmed.

Bush has said he wanted Roberts' nomination process completed by the time the court convenes Oct. 3.

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