Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid charged Friday that Chief Justice John Roberts tricked Congress by pretending to be a moderate while he was actually a stalwart conservative.
“Roberts didn’t tell us the truth. At least Alito told us who he was,” Reid said, referring to Samuel Alito, the second judge nominated by former President Bush to serve on the nation’s highest court.
“But we’re stuck with those two young men,” Reid continued. “And we’ll try to change by having some moderates in the federal courts system as time goes on.”
Reid added, “I think that will happen.”
Reid’s remarks were reported online by Politico.com Friday. They came during an extensive interview session with media hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.
Politico reported that Reid’s comments “reflect Democratic concerns that Roberts presented himself as a neutral arbiter of the law but has wielded a relentlessly conservative agenda.”
Roberts was initially appointed to fill a vacancy on the court created by the retirement of Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
During Roberts’ confirmation, Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away. President Bush then switched gears, nominating Roberts to replace Rehnquist as Chief Justice.
The Senate confirmed Roberts as Chief Justice in September 2005 by a 78 to 22 margin. The 22 Senators who opposed Roberts’ confirmation were all Democrats.
Reid presumably would not consider himself among those who were taken in - he voted against confirming both Roberts and Alito.
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