Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sen. Hatch at the 2003 hearings

Allow me to quote at length, here are Senator Hatch's opening statements about John Roberts at his 2003 confirmation hearing,

"Our final circuit nominee today is Mr. John Roberts, who has been nominated for a seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He is widely considered to be one of the premier appellate litigators of his generation. Most lawyers are held in high esteem if they have the privilege of arguing even one case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Roberts has argued an astounding 39 cases before the Supreme Court. At least that as the last count I had. It is truly an honor to have such an accomplished litigator before this committee, and one of the most well-recognized and approved appellate litigators in history.

The high esteem in which Mr. Roberts is held is reflected in a letter the Committee recently received urging his confirmation. This letter, which I will submit for the record, was signed by more than 150 members of the D.C. Bar, including such well-respected attorneys as Lloyd Cutler, who was the White House Counsel to both Presidents Carter and Clinton; Boyden Gray, who was the White House Counsel for the first President Bush; and Seth Waxman, who was President Clinton's Solicitor General. The letter states, quote: ``Although as individuals we reflect a wide spectrum of political party affiliation and ideology, we are united in our belief that John Roberts will be an outstanding Federal Court of Appeals Judge and should be confirmed by the United States Senate. He is one of the very best and most highly respected appellate lawyers in the Nation, with a deserved reputation as a brilliant writer and oral advocate. He is also a wonderful professional colleague, both because of his enormous skills and because of his unquestioned integrity and fair-mindedness.'' This is high praise from a group of lawyers, who themselves have clearly excelled in their profession, who are not easily impressed, and who would not recklessly put their reputations on the line by issuing such a sterling endorsement if they were not 100 percent convinced that John Roberts will be a fair judge who will follow the law regardless of his personal beliefs.

Let me just say a brief word about Mr. Roberts' background before turning to Senator Leahy. He graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude in 1976, and received his law degree magna cum laude in 1979 from the Harvard Law School, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Following graduation he served as a law clerk for Second Circuit Judge Henry J. Friendly, and for then Justice William Rehnquist of the Supreme Court. From 1982 to 1986 Roberts served as associate counsel to the President in the White House Counsel's Office. From 1989 to 1993 he served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. He now heads the appellate practice group at the prestigious D.C. law firm Hogan & Hartson, and he has received the ABA's highest rating of unanimously well qualified.

I have to say that this panel represents the best, and I commend President Bush for seeking out such nominees of the highest caliber."

I have to commend the President for picking someone of such intellectual prowess, what we see of the man's record right now it doesn't appear that there is anyway he will not be confirmed.


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