Topic: Recognition of Judge Roberts Capabilities
Date: SEPTEMBER 13, 2005
SPECTER: Since I announced the break at 4:15, I have been advised that there's a vote at 4:30. So Senator Sessions has graciously agreed to split his 30-minute round -- 15 minutes -- and then we'll go vote.
So we'll now turn to Senator Sessions for 15 minutes, and we'll break at that time and take a 15-minute break to go vote.
SESSIONS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Judge Roberts, I want to congratulate you on your excellent testimony. You have validated the president's confidence in you. Many people said President Bush obviously looked around and looked around and finally decided to choose the best. And I think that you have proven that correctly.
The ABA has rated you unanimously, American Bar Association, in their formal rating process, unanimously rated you well-qualified, the highest possible rating that they give. And they have quite a number of lawyers that vote on that, so to get a unanimous vote is not that frequent. And for a higher office, they have a higher standard. And I think that particularly is worthwhile that you received that recognition.
I note that some of our legal professional journals have given you remarkable accolades. The American Lawyer in 2004 wrote that you were, quote, "one of the Supreme Court's finest practitioners."
And the Legal Times, said, quote, "you are one of the top appellate lawyers of your generation." The Legal Times also said that you are, quote, "viewed by many as the best Supreme Court advocate in private law firm practice."
Those are high praises, and I think today we have seen why people would think that of you.
SESSIONS: I also would offer for the record, Mr. Chairman, a letter from former Democratic attorney general Bill Blatchley from Alabama. He prosecuted the first prosecution of the church bombing cases in Birmingham successfully. He is a lifelong Democrat as he notes, and an elected member of the state Democratic executive committee.
SPECTER: Without objection, it will be made a part of the record.
SESSIONS: He said this: "Senator, I know Judge Roberts well. I have entrusted three important appellate matters to him. In each instance, I met with him and engaged him in extensive conversation upon a wide range of topics. Because he is a man of such remarkable intellectual brilliance, I sought him out upon private as well as professional topics, enjoyed more than one meal with him and was, each time, overwhelmed, not only by his intelligence but also his innate sense of fairness, by his sensitivity to every aspect and angle of consideration of every issue addressed by him and by his somber sense of decency and justice."
"A somber sense of decency and justice" -- pretty good phrase.
"My love of my country surpasses politics," Mr. Batchly (ph) says. "It compels me to support Judge Roberts in every possible way in order that justice might most effectively prevail in the United States Supreme Court. I am confident in the ability of Judge Roberts to fairly, and without any agenda of any kind, address each legal issue which comes before him. I'm equally confident of his ability to lead the Supreme Court in an administrative capacity. I have no doubt that the diverse opinions of each associate justice sitting on the United States Supreme Court will receive greater deference and consideration under his leadership than under any other chief justice with whom they have ever served. This wise and circumspect man deserves this office."
So I think we have seen a great bipartisan recognition of your capabilities and the respect that you have reaches broadly.