Pigs take to wing: Leahy to vote aye on Roberts
Leahy to Back Roberts for Chief Justice - Yahoo! News
: "WASHINGTON - The senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee announced Wednesday he will vote to confirm John Roberts for chief justice of the United States after leading lawmakers met with
President Bush to discuss candidates for the other high court vacancy.
The announcement by veteran Sen. Patrick Leahy (news, bio, voting record) came amid virtually unprecedented executive-legislative branch jockeying over not one, but two high court openings, seats left vacant by the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and the retirement of Associate Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor.
Roberts' confirmation was virtually assured even before Leahy's announcement. The Vermont senator's decision, made public shortly after he and three other leading senators met privately with Bush at the White House to discuss candidates for O'Connor's place on the bench, came on the eve of the Judiciary panel's vote on whether to favorably recommend Roberts' confirmation.
Four leading senators including Leahy earlier floated several names to Bush for O'Connor's job, but the president kept his own list to himself at a White House breakfast. O'Connor has said she'll remain on the court until her replacement is seated.
Leahy said he still has some concerns about Roberts. 'But in my judgment, in my experience, but especially in my conscience I find it is better to vote yes than no,' he said. 'Judge Roberts is a man of integrity. I can only take him at his word that he does not have an ideological agenda.'
With 10 Republicans and eight Democrats, Roberts is assured of getting a majority of the committee's support before moving on to the full Senate for confirmation next week.
Moments after Leahy spoke, Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record) of Massachusetts, who also serves on the Judiciary Committee, announced he would vote against"