Delight among the Republicans, discomfort in the Democrat ranks – as the US president nominates a man with impeccable conservative credentials to fill a vacancy at the Supreme Court.
In one of the most significant announcements of his tenure, George W Bush has chosen appeals court judge John Roberts for the job.
“The decisions of the Supreme Court affect the lives of every American and so a nominee to that court must be a person of superb credentials and the highest integrity,” Bush said.
If confirmed, 50-year old Roberts will put Bush’s stamp on the court for decades to come, as judges are appointed for life.
That is an uncomfortable prospect for many Democrats. Senator Charles Schumer said:
“It is vital that Judge Roberts answer a wide range of questions openly, honestly and fully in the coming months. His views will affect a generation of Americans and it is his obligation during the nomination process to let the American people know those views.”
It may not be difficult to guess where the former Reagan presidency official stands on volatile social issues. For example, earlier in his career, he successfully argued before the Supreme Court that government-funded doctors and clinics could not talk to patients about abortion.