John Roberts has been sworn-in as the youngest head of the US Supreme Court in two centuries. This just hours after the Republican-led Senate confirmed him with significant support from the Democrats.
He said: “I will try to ensure in the discharge of my responsibilities, that with the help of my colleagues I can pass onto my children’s generation, a charter of self government as strong and as vibrant as the one that Chief Justice Rehnquist passed onto us.”
Roberts, who was President Bush’s first nominee to the court, replaces William Rehnquist who died earlier this month. Focus now shifts to who should fill a second Supreme Court vacancy. Democrat senator Charles Schumer said: “Democrats are not lined up as a unit to try and block every nominee that the president puts forward, but if it’s a nominee who is considerably out of the main stream, we will have no choice but to try and block that nominee on the floor, but we hope and pray it’s not that type of nominee.”
The new nominee could be named next week, followed by tough confirmation hearings. The president is said to want someone similar to Roberts, who is a conservative. Opponents, however, questioned his commitment to civil and women’s rights.