This is from the liberal editorial board at the L.A. Times.
IT WILL BE A DAMNING INDICTMENT of petty partisanship in Washington if an overwhelming majority of the Senate does not vote to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. to be the next chief justice of the United States. As last week's confirmation hearings made clear, Roberts is an exceptionally qualified nominee, well within the mainstream of American legal thought, who deserves broad bipartisan support. If a majority of Democrats in the Senate vote against Roberts, they will reveal themselves as nothing more than self-defeating obstructionists.The Washington Post concurs.
JOHN G. ROBERTS JR. should be confirmed as chief justice of the United States. He is overwhelmingly well-qualified, possesses an unusually keen legal mind and practices a collegiality of the type an effective chief justice must have. He shows every sign of commitment to restraint and impartiality. Nominees of comparable quality have, after rigorous hearings, been confirmed nearly unanimously. We hope Judge Roberts will similarly be approved by a large bipartisan vote.From what I have seen, the New York Times is the only paper to come out against confirmation. Its weak reasoning is as follows:
If he is confirmed, we think there is a chance Mr. Roberts could be a superb chief justice. But it is a risk. We might be reluctant to roll the dice even for a nomination for associate justice, but for a nomination for a chief justice - particularly one who could serve 30 or more years - the stakes are simply too high. Senators should vote against Mr. Roberts not because they know he does not have the qualities to be an excellent chief justice, but because he has not met the very heavy burden of proving that he does.UPDATE: Democratic Leader Harry Reid has announced his opposition.
Reid and the New York Times are reading from the same talking points.
"I have too many unanswered questions about the nominee to justify a vote confirming him to this enormously important lifetime position," Reid said during a speech on the Senate floor.
"I like Judge Roberts," Reid said. "But I have reluctantly concluded that this nominee has not satisfied the high burden that would justify my voting for his confirmation based on the current record."