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Bush Says Supreme Court Confirmation Process Off to Good Start

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George Bush and Judge John G. Roberts Jr., speak with members of media Wednesday after having breakfast
President Bush says the confirmation process for his first Supreme Court nominee is off to a good start. President Bush wants senators to quickly approve federal appeals Judge John Roberts.

President Bush had an early morning breakfast with Judge Roberts in the White House residence. He says the confirmation process is already off to a very good start because the judge is highly qualified for the job.

President Bush told security officials at the Port of Baltimore that Judge Roberts is someone Americans will be proud to have on the nation's highest court.

"He has the qualities that our country expects in a judge: experience, wisdom, fairness, and civility," the president said. " He has profound respect for the rule of law. He has respect for the liberties guaranteed for every citizen. He will strictly apply the Constitution and laws. He will not legislate from the bench."

The president urged Senators to rise to the occasion and provide a fair and civil confirmation process to have Judge Roberts on the bench when the Supreme Court reconvenes October 3.

Republican Senators are already praising the 50-year-old, Harvard educated jurist. Democrats are less enthusiastic, promising tough questions about Judge Roberts' views on abortion and environmental protection.

To win confirmation, he needs only a simply majority from the 100-seat Senate where Republicans have a 55 to 44 advantage. Judge Roberts was confirmed to a federal appeals court two years ago by unanimous consent.

This is the first vacancy on the court in 11 years. If confirmed, Judge Roberts would replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

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