Sep 282005
Authors: Melissa Edwards

With the floor vote for Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to become the new chief justice of the United States set for 11:30 a.m. today, some CSU students are anxiously awaiting the announcement.

Considering the confirmation hearings of the staunchly conservative Roberts, who easily locked in the majority of the Senate, including some Democratic votes, the outcome is rather predictable.

"It's unlikely to imagine a scenario where he wouldn't get approved," said Robert Duffy, associate professor of political science.

Since the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in Roberts' favor last week, predictions are in the air throughout campus.

"It would be beneficial because of his (Roberts') views on the Constitution…for him, everything is set in stone. He strongly supports freedom of speech, which is a big part of being a student or being in a student organization," said Dustin Harper, president of the CSU Republicans.

But CSU Democrats are awaiting the announcement with different emotions. "The political arena is always very non-partisan, very moderate, because that's how you have to approach the U.S. public…that's where you get people to support you," said Amy Krok, president of the CSU Young Democrats. "But the fact that he is a conservative in such an important seat in our American democracy is worrying."

Krok said she is worried Roberts will use his new position to find loopholes in the Constitution and try to outlaw what are now considered "hot-button" issues, such as Roe v. Wade and gay rights issues.

Krok said these issues are "the two specific reasons why Bush is our president again."

But other students not affiliated with either the CSU Republicans or CSU Democrats seem nonchalant about the upcoming Senate vote.

Scott Burgess, a sophomore math major, does not think Roberts as new chief justice will directly affect students at CSU.

"I think it will just give pride to the Republicans and make the Democrats mad," he said.

Although Harper looks forwards to another conservative in such a powerful seat, he also said he does not view Roberts as a party divider and hopes he will help bring together both parties on some issues.

Duffy said he does not see a direct affect on CSU students until the "hot-button" issues are either challenged or outlawed. But for now, he does not think these issues will surface. However, he also said he does not think it will be Roberts' job to create a balance.

"His job as chief justice is to run the court and make decisions on cases in ways that reflect his thinking," he said. "I don't expect him to vote differently than Rehnquist."

Krok said the fact that conservatives make up the majority of the Senate is "catastrophic."

"People will be affected…(but) the way the world works is that people are not motivated to do things until they are affected by things," she said.

Burgess said he thinks Roberts will be approved, but consequences will not necessarily be as negative as some Democrats are predicting.

"Roberts' views coincide with a large portion of Americans," he said.

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