Bush Nominates Roberts for Chief Justice
President Bush on Monday nominated John Roberts to succeed William H. Rehnquist as chief justice and called on the Senate to confirm him before the Supreme Court opens its fall term on Oct. 3. Just 50 years old, Roberts could shape the court for decades to come.
The Senate is expected to begin his confirmation hearings as chief justice either Thursday or next Monday. The opening of Roberts' previously scheduled confirmation hearings, for the position of associate justice, initially was to be Tuesday, but that was canceled until after Rehnquist's funeral on Wednesday.
The swift move would promote to the Supreme Court's top job a newcomer who currently is being considered as one of eight associate justices. It would also ensure a full 9-member court, because retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has said she will remain on the job until her replacement is confirmed.