Should Roberts Be Confirmed As Chief Justice?

Most readers think John Roberts, the nominee to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, should be confirmed and that he will be confirmed.

Should John Roberts be confirmed as Chief Justice of the United States?

Will he be confirmed? readers, most of whom are active or retired federal employees, have concluded the answer is “yes” to both questions. 69% of readers responding to the question of whether he should be confirmed said “yes” he should be. 24% answered “no” and 7% were undecided.

On the question of whether he will be confirmed, 90% of readers responding said he would be confirmed. 4% think he will not be confirmed and 6% were undecided.

Here is a sampling of comments from readers on these issues.

Most readers offered positive comments on the nomination.

An Internal Revenue Agent from the IRS in Vancounver, WA commented: “Roberts is not being evasive. Ginsburg in her confirmation hearings was directed by Sen Biden not to answer questions on her position on issues that could become cases that might come before the supreme court. Ginsburg also told the confirmation hearings panel that she would not give any previews. Roberts was wise to qoute Ginsburg’s responses.”

An HR specialist from the Department of Defense wrote: “Overall – he’s smart, cool under pressure, and comes across as innocent as milk, motherhood and the flag – there isn’t enough dirt on Roberts not to confirm him so he will pass muster-unless an Anita Hill comes out of the closet and accuses him of some sort of depravity-he will be our next Chief Justice!”

An area specialist from the USDA in South Carolina said: “We have a Republican President and he has the right to choose a Supreme Court Justice that reflects conservative views.”

A self-described “civil servant” from NASA Headquarters in Washington thinks highly of the nominee: “Judge Roberts is a very strong choice. He is a highly skilled appellate attorney, and brings years of Supreme Court, government, and private practice experience. He’s also a good man. This is a slam dunk.”

A property examiner from GSA in Ft. Worth opined: “We’ve had enough Bush bashing! Now let’s get on with the business at hand. This is one of the most important jobs in this country, and George W. has picked the very best man for the job. There should be no doubt about this one!!! Not even from Mr. Kennedy!”

Not all readers were approving of Judge Roberts.

This management analyst with DoD in Seaside, California wrote: “He should not be confirmed because he is mean spirited. Brandeis held that people’s rights are more important than the rights of property. I don’t think this man agrees with that philosophy.”

An IT specialist from the Internal Revenue Service in Maryland opined: “I feel he would reverse the little progress this country has made with regard to race relations.”

Several readers offered their views on the Senators conducting the hearings.

This comment from a DCAA auditor reflects the sentiments of a few readers: “Roberts will and should be confirmed. Kennedy, Biden, and Schumer were shown to be the [partisan] political hacks that they are.”

And a chief procurement officer from San Francisco had these thoughts: “Notwithstanding the tone and demeanor of virtually all minority members of the committee, which could best be characterized as “dripping with sarcasm” (Senators Feinstein, D-CA and Kohl, D-WI as notable exceptions), I don’t see how any member of the committee could justify a ‘nay’ vote (Senators Biden, D-DE and Kennedy, D-MA as notable exceptions…they need no rationale for their rapid form of partisanship).”

For an historical perspective, of the 16 men who have served as chief justice, only three were elevated from associate justice to the top spot. Two others were retired justices brought back to become chief justice. One, Justice John Rutledge, was a 1795 recess appointment by President Washington who failed to win Senate confirmation. The remaining 10 were chosen from outside the court.

Nevertheless, several readers thought the concept of seniority in the job should be applied and that the President should have selected an existing associate justice to become the next chief justice.

An examiner from the Office of Workers Compensation in Chicago commented: “It is an insult to the other justices to even consider Roberts for the chief position.”

An employee of the USDA in New York City said: “While I think he should be confirmed as a Justice to the Supreme Court. He should not be going in as Chief Justice as there are several individuals already on the Supreme Court he should have been nominated.”

A human resources specialist from Oak Ridge, TN said: “I feel that one of the current Supreme Court justices should be ‘promoted’ to the Chief status. One must pay their dues to become the head. Anyway, I’d take it as a slap in the face for them to pull someone else in that’s never served on the Supreme Court in that capacity before!”

And a human resources specialist from Customs and Border patrol in Washington wrote a comment that summed up the general tenor of the hundreds of comments we received: “Based on everything I have heard and read about Mr. Roberts up to this date has all been positive to me. Even though his previous decisions have tended to be more conservative than liberal, I believe he believes strongly in the constitution and previous court precedence and will be a fair and honest judge and Chief Justice.”

Thanks to all the readers who took the time to express their opinion in this survey.