Sen. Carl Levin said Tuesday he would vote for John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court, taking President Bush's choice for chief justice at his word that he would be open-minded in shaping legal decisions that could affect future generations.
Levin, D-Mich., said his review of Roberts' writings and Senate testimony led him to believe that the judge's views had evolved since his days as a young lawyer in the Reagan administration.
"To vote against Judge Roberts, I would need to believe either that he were an ideologue whose ideology distorts his judgment and brings into question his fairness and open-mindedness, or that his policy values were inconsistent with fundamental principles of American law," Levin said.
"I do not believe either to the be case. Judge Roberts has modified some of his views over time, which I take as evidence that he is not an ideologue, and has not only a keen mind but a mind open to argument," he said, reports Detroit Free Press.
According to SF Gate, Bush is under pressure from both parties to nominate a woman or a minority. He hinted Monday that he might do so, saying he has "thought about people from all walks of life. And I will put the person in to do the job. But I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country."
Consuelo Maria Callahan, 55, a Palo Alto native, former San Joaquin County prosecutor and currently a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, would fit the profile. Callahan's name has appeared on the swelling lists of potential candidates under consideration by the White House. But many conservatives question her qualifications.
Brad Berenson, an associate White House counsel who handled judicial nominations in Bush's first two years in office, agrees with Specter that Bush has the best chance to avoid a brawl by finding another Roberts.
Photo: the AP P.T.