As a senator, President Obama had pretty harsh opposition to the nomination of now-Chief Justice John Roberts, who essentially saved his pet legislation in the ruling announced today.
“The problem I had is that when I examined Judge Roberts’ record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak,” Obama said in 2005 on the Senate floor, explaining why he would be casting a vote against Roberts.
“In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General’s Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process,” Obama continued. “In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man.”
“I want to take Judge Roberts at his word that he doesn’t like bullies and he sees the law and the court as a means of evening the playing field between the strong and the weak. But given the gravity of the position to which he will undoubtedly ascend and the gravity of the decisions in which he will undoubtedly participate during his tenure on the court, I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and the overarching political philosophy that he appears to have shared with those in power than to the assuring words that he provided me in our meeting,” he said.
Roberts would be confirmed on 78-22 Senate vote, with a 22-22 Democratic split.