Sarbanes to oppose confirming Roberts


Senate votes tomorrow

Nation Digest

September 28, 2005|By GWYNETH K. SHAW

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes said last night that he would oppose the confirmation of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to be chief justice, saying Roberts left too many questions unanswered.

"Nomination does not constitute an entitlement to hold the office," said Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat who plans to retire after next year's elections. "Given the importance of the position of chief justice, in deciding whether to give consent to this nomination it is essential that it be an informed consent."

Sarbanes said Roberts declined the opportunity, during his confirmation hearings, to resolve questions about his judicial philosophy.

Sarbanes' announcement brings to 19 the number of Democrats opposing Roberts' nomination. Seventeen Democrats have said they would vote for him, and eight have not said how they plan to vote.

All 55 Republicans are expected to support Roberts when the full Senate votes tomorrow.

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