The full U.S. Senate begins debate Monday on the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the United States.
Mr. Roberts appears to have more than enough votes to be confirmed in the Republican-controlled Senate. At least nine Democrats have pledged their support for the conservative judge, along with all 55 Republican senators. Confirmation requires a simple majority of the 100 senators.
A final vote is expected to take place Thursday.
With Mr. Roberts' confirmation virtually assured, many lawmakers are turning their attention to President Bush's next nomination to the Supreme Court. Many senators are urging Mr. Bush to pick a moderate candidate to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who announced her retirement in July.
Some information in this story provided by AP.