On Monday, the Confirmation hearings to name John G. Roberts the next chief justice of the Supreme Court began in Washington, D.C., where in the next week, he will answer questions that reflect his beliefs.
After a panel of eighteen Senators gave their ten minute introduction to Roberts on Capitol Hill, and after three Senators introduced Roberts to the judiciary committee, Roberts was finally given the opportunity to speak.
"I have no agenda, but I do have a commitment. If I am confirmed, I will confront every case with an open mind. I will fully and fairly analyze the legal arguments that are presented. I will be open to the considered views of my colleagues on the bench. And I will decide every case based on the record, according to the rule of law, without fear or favor, to the best of my ability," he said after thanking President Bush, his family, and the committee for their support.
When Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) gave his opening introduction, he said to Roberts, "Decline to answer any question that you feel would compromise your ability to do your job."
"The vast majority of the Senate, I am convinced, will not punish you for doing so. Rather, I am convinced that the vast majority of the Senate will respect you for this decision because it will show you to be a person of great integrity and independence, unwilling to trade your ethics for a confirmation vote."
Meanwhile, many Christian groups and Senators do want to hear how Roberts will address issues that have recently made its way to the Supreme Court, such as whether he will overturn Roe v. Wade, a case in 1973 that legalized abortion nationwide.
Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), who is pro-life expressed that Roe v. Wade resulted in "40 million children…aborted in America."
"40 million lives that could be amongst us but are not, beautiful innocent faces that could bless our existence and our families and our nation, creating and expanding a culture of life," he said.
Roberts ended his opening statement yesterday with, "If I am confirmed, I will be vigilant to protect the independence and integrity of the Supreme Court, and I will work to ensure that it upholds the rule of law and safeguards those liberties that make this land one of endless possibilities for all Americans."
Within the next week, Roberts is expected to answer questions on abortion, school prayer, same-sex marriage, and church state separation.