Other Players in the Drama
The Judiciary Committee that will take up the Roberts nomination is one of the most colorful and contentious in the Senate. The lowdown on key members and the role they'll play in the process
State: Utah Age: 71 Senate term : fifth
A former chairman of the panel. Solidly conservative with a masterful grasp of the process. Look for him to be a lead Roberts advocate.
State: Kansas Age: 48 Senate term : third
Staunchly antiabortion conservative who has clashed with Chairman Arlen Specter and can be counted on to aggressively support Roberts
State: Texas Age: 53 Senate term : first
Partisan and tough, a former attorney general and Texas Supreme Court justice, whom the GOP will heavily rely on to seal the Roberts deal
State: South Carolina Age: 50 Senate term : first
Ex-House member who went after Clinton big-time during impeachment; conservative with some moderate outbreaks
State: Vermont Age: 65 Senate term : sixth
A former committee chair, now the panel's top Democrat, he has attacked Roberts as too rigid and too politically far right for the court.
State: Massachusetts Age: 73 Senate term : eighth
The Senate's most reliable liberal; he will lead the anti-Roberts team, insisting his politics would cloud his objectivity.
State: New York Age: 54 Senate term : second
A liberal crusader who relishes the spotlight; he has promised to grill Roberts on controversial issues like abortion and congressional power.
State: Delaware Age: 62 Senate term : sixth
Former panel chair with presidential ambitions, he will press Roberts on what he views as the court's attempt to usurp Congress's authority.
This story appears in the September 12, 2005 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.