Monday, September 12, 2005

Coverage of the Hearings

| 08:20 AM | Tom Goldstein | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I'll be liveblogging the hearings and posting links to other pieces. We're going to use SCOTUSblog rather than the Nomination Blog for our coverage. Please visit us there.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

John Roberts's Refusal to Defend Federal Statutes in Metro Broadcasting v. FCC

| 06:57 PM | Marty Lederman | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Washington post reports today that John Roberts was the point person in the Office of the Solicitor General in 1990 when that office decided not to defend the constitutionality of federal statutes that required minority preferences in broadcast licensing in Metro Broadcasting v. FCC. (In fact, Roberts was the Acting Solicitor General for purposes of the case, because Kenneth Starr had a conflict.) In a post over at Balkinization today, I explain why the case raises very interesting questions about the circumstances under which the Department of Justice will refrain from defending the constitutionality of federal statutes, and about why the unique circumstances of this particular refusal to defend a federal enactment might be very revealing of Judge Roberts's personal views on the constitutionality of affirmative action -- views that presumably are not shaped by any constitutional philosophy of original intent or of plain (or original) meaning.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The formal process begins

| 08:37 PM | Lyle Denniston | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

President Bush on Tuesday withdrew John G. Roberts, Jr.'s nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and simultaneously submitted instead a nomination to be Chief Justice of the United States. This was an expected formality.

The new nomination -- reported on the White House's website -- was stated this way: "Nomination Sent to the Senate: John G. Roberts, Jr., of Maryland, to be Chief Justice of the United States, vice William H. Rehnquist, deceased."

Senate schedule on Roberts

| 12:22 PM | Lyle Denniston | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

Leaders of the Senate and of its Judiciary Committee have outlined their plans for considering the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts, Jr., to be Chief Justice. Not all of the dates are firm at this point. Senate leaders expect final Senate action in time for Roberts to join the Court by formal opening day of the new Term, Monday, Oct. 3. The schedule is subject to possible alteration, depending upon how Senate Democrats react.

One certain consequence of the schedule as it currently exists is that Roberts would not be on the Court in time for its first Conference, to consider new cases, on Monday, Sept. 26.

Today or tomorrow: President's formal nomination of Roberts sent to the Senate
Monday, Sept. 12 -- Committee hearings open, with opening statements by members and by Judge Roberts
Tuesday, Sept. 13 -- Questioning of Roberts begins
Thursday or Friday, Sept. 15 or 16 -- Committee hearings expected to conclude
Thursday, Sept. 22 -- Target date for vote in Judiciary Committee
Monday, Sept. 26 -- Target date for opening of floor debate on the nomination
Thursday or Friday, Sept. 29 or 30 -- Target dates for final Senate vote on confirmation.

If approved by the Senate, Roberts could join the Court immediately, after taking two oaths.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Committee hearings delayed

| 08:52 PM | Lyle Denniston | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

The Senate Judiciary Committee apparently will not open its hearings on Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts, Jr., on Tuesday, as has been planned. Mews organizations are reporting that Senate leaders have discussed beginning the hearings no earlier than Thursday, to honor the funeral services for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. The news stories indicated that the hearings would start no later than Monday.

It is unclear whether the White House has taken formal action to notify the Senate of the decision to nominate Roberts for the Chief Justiceship, instead of an Associate Justice's position. The Senate Judiciary Committee's website still lists the planned hearings as a review of Roberts' nomination to be an Associate Justice, and still shows Tuesday as the opening day.

(UPDATE, Tuesday morning: the Committee's website shows the hearings have been postponed.)