Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he was pleased the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the United States. The vote in committee was 13-5 with Graham voting in support of the nominee.
“Judge Roberts is a well-qualified nominee and may be the best legal mind in the country today,” said Graham. “There’s no doubt President Bush chose wisely when he nominated him for this important position. I’m pleased Judge Roberts received bipartisan support in the committee and confident he will be confirmed by the full Senate.”
Graham did note some disappointment in the fact Judge Roberts, who has an impeccable legal background and credentials for the position, did not receive a unanimous vote in committee like some previous nominees.
He cited Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative nominated by former President Reagan, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a liberal nominated by former President Clinton, as being examples of nominees who were qualified for their positions and received unanimous votes -- even though all Senators did not agree with their legal philosophies.
“When a President campaigns on picking Supreme Court nominees of a certain mold and wins the election, we should give deference to them,” said Graham. “If the nominee is well-qualified and of good character and integrity, they should be confirmed in an overwhelming fashion. Unfortunately, I’m afraid some Senators are now trying to create political tests with their votes.
“I’m very concerned about what I see happening in the Senate,” said Graham. “We appear to be getting away from judging a nominee’s qualifications and beginning to administer political allegiance tests. This new standard will be bad for the judiciary and bad for the country. It’s not something I support.”
Graham also noted that even after Roberts is confirmed President Bush still has one vacancy on the Supreme Court to fill.
“I urge the President to fulfill his campaign promise and pick another well-qualified strict constructionist for the Supreme Court,” said Graham.