John Roberts started out the day with a smile, but once the hearings got started it was all business.
Arlen Specter, Judiciary Committee Chair, said, "I start with the central issue, which perhaps concerns most Americans, and that is the issue of the woman's right to choose and Roe vs. Wade.”
The committee chair, Sen. Arlen Specter, spent most of his time questioning Roberts about Roe versus Wade, but the judge in the hot seat said he wouldn't get too specific.
John Roberts, Chief Justice nominee, said, "I think I should stay away from discussions of particular issues that are likely to come before the court again, and in the area of abortion, there are cases on the courts docket, of course. It is an issue that does come before the court."
But Roberts did say settled law and precedents are very important considerations. Democrats turned to separation of power and some of Roberts' past opinions.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, (D) Massachusetts, said, "I'm deeply troubled by the narrow, cramped and seemingly mean-spirited view of the law in some of your writings.
John Roberts said, "You have not accurately represented my positions."
Kennedy added, "These are your writings.”
Roberts will be grilled on other issues too like his views on the Constitution and civil rights, even though Republicans will likely attempt to keep Democrats from getting too aggressive .
Responding to a question about his religion, Judge Roberts dismissed the suggestion that his Roman-Catholic faith would influence his decision making if he's confirmed to the high court.