Before John Roberts was approved by the U.S. Senate as chief justice, backers of the federal judge, an active Catholic, warned that the nominee should not be put to an unconstitutional “religious test” in evaluations of his suitability.
As a three-term U.S. senator and a former ambassador to the United Nations, Missouri Republican John Danforth has all the credentials and connections to savor the spoils of his party’s dominance in Washington.
The U.S. Senate has defied President Bush, voting overwhelmingly to amend a Pentagon spending bill to ban “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. military custody. The amendment passed October 5 on a 90-9 vote. All nine who opposed it are Republicans.
Epitomizing what is at stake in the battle over a replacement for retiring justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a skeptical Supreme Court heard arguments early last month in a case involving Oregon’s assisted-suicide law.
The justices are considering whether the U.S. attorney general can use federal drug-control laws to punish physicians who prescribe death-hastening drugs to patients.