Roberts Confirmation Makes The Next Nominee Critical To Preserving Court Balance

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese made the following statement about the need for a balanced Supreme Court as the Senate voted 78-22 to confirm John Roberts as chief justice of the United States.

"With a chief justice who's been given a stamp of approval by the extreme right wing, it's critical that the next justice preserve a fair and balanced court," said Solmonese. "Justice O'Connor was a voice of moderation and cast several votes to protect the GLBT community in recent years. Justice O'Connor's replacement should continue the model of fairness she and others have set. We join Republicans and Democrats alike in continuing to call on President Bush to nominate a justice who will keep the court balanced."

Solmonese added, "We are proud of the work of thousands of HRC supporters who weighed in with opposition to Roberts' nomination and thank those senators who opposed his nomination. Roberts' record as well as the lack of answers to key fundamental questions at the hearings continues to suggest that he will be as extreme as Justices Scalia and Thomas. We hope we are wrong and that his votes on the court will reflect greater respect for fundamental rights.

"The next confirmation process must focus on ensuring individual rights and liberties are protected," continued Solmonese. "Every American deserves to know that the Supreme Court is a place where our constitutional freedoms are protected. We are determined to ensure that freedoms for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans are protected by the court."

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