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John Roberts: The New Chief Justice

By: Aleen Sirgany, CBS News
By: Aleen Sirgany, CBS News

The United States Supreme Court has a new chief justice. Fifty-year-old John Roberts took the oath at the White House Thursday.

President Bush says Roberts is someone who will lead the high court fairly and someone who the American people can be proud of.

Twenty two Senate Democrats voted against Roberts' confirmation. Most say they didn't learn enough about him during the confirmation hearings.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D) New York, says, "We hope and we pray that he won't be an ideological-type justice who legislates from the bench."

Republicans call the final vote of 78 to 22 a victory for the system, and for the new chief justice.

Sen. Jon Kyl, (R) Arizona, says, "Chief Justice Roberts will make one of the finest jurists that we've ever had on the Supreme Court and I'm delighted that we were able to confirm him today."

The Supreme Court's next session starts Monday. On the docket are issues like abortion, assisted suicide and campaign finance laws.

During the hearings, the new chief justice gave no hints or previews on how he feels about any of those controversial topics.

At the White House, the president hopes for an equally smooth confirmation process for the person he picks to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. He's expected to name his choice within days.


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