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Bush Pleased with Senate Response to Roberts Nomination

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President Bush's choice for the Supreme Court continues meetings with U.S. Senators, as part of his confirmation process. President Bush says he is pleased with the response federal appeals Judge John Roberts is receiving so far.

White House Spokesman Scott McClellan says Judge Roberts had good discussions with senators on his first day as the president's choice to join the nation's highest court.

As that process continues, President Bush says he appreciates the reception senators are giving his nominee on Capitol Hill.

"I want to thank the senators from both political parties who are giving Judge Roberts a chance to talk about his heart, to talk about his philosophy," Mr. Bush said. "He is a person who will make all Americans proud to be a member of the Supreme Court. He has got the experience, wisdom, fairness, and civility to be a really good judge."

Undated photo provided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit shows Judge John G. Roberts, Jr.
Republican Senators are praising the 50-year-old, Harvard educated jurist. Democrats are less enthusiastic though not openly hostile, promising to question Judge Roberts about his views on abortion and environmental protection.

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

President Bush told Hispanic leaders at the Organization of American States that senators should do their duty and give Judge Roberts a fair and timely hearing.

"The United States Senate can show our country that it is able to have a civil debate on this very important nomination, not only a civil debate but a timely debate," he said. "It is important for Judge Roberts to be confirmed by the time the court reconvenes in October."

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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