[JURIST] At a brief East Room ceremony, President Bush has formally announced his nomination of US DC Circuit Court of Appeals judge John Roberts to be an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court [JURIST news archive]. Calling him one of the "most distinguished and talented attorneys in America", the President said Roberts was admired for his intellect, sound judgment, and sense of decency. Drawing attention to the 39 cases he had argued before the high court prior to going to the bench himself in 2003, Bush said that Roberts had earned the respect of members of both political parties, as evidenced by a bipartisan letter in support of his appeals court nomination.
Bush said his decision to nominate Roberts for the high court came after a "thorough process", and personal and staff consultations with over 70 members of the Senate. He said he had been "deeply impressed" by Roberts in his meetings with him, praising his "good heart", his experience, wisdom, fairness, and civility. The President said Roberts had "profound respect for the rule of law" and the liberties guaranteed to every American citizen. In a politically telling statement, he said Roberts would strictly apply the Constitution and laws, and not "legislate from the bench."
The President called for a "dignified confirmation process" conducted with fairness and civility and in a timely manner, and urged the Senate to act promptly on the nomination so that the newest justice could be on the bench at the start of the new Supreme Court term in October.
In brief comments of his own, Judge Roberts called his nomination humbling and emphasized his respect for the Supreme Court as an instituton; he said he looked forward to the confirmation process ahead.
10:17 PM ET - An official transcript of President Bush's remarks is now available from the White House, along with recorded video.
Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase: