Judge John Roberts answers questions from senators on the second day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, Sept. 13, 2005.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday opened its second day of hearings on the nomination of John Roberts for U.S. chief justice. Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) immediately questioned Roberts on the issue of abortion rights. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) suggested that Roberts has a "mean-spirited view of the law" with regards to civil rights and discrimination.
Tuesday's hearings began at 9:30 a.m. ET and are expected to last until nearly 8:00 p.m.
Listen to some highlights so far from Tuesday's hearings:
Special Coverage (Streaming, 50 minutes)
When pressed by Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) on abortion rights and 'Roe v. Wade,' Roberts says that case is settled precedent.
Specter questions Roberts about his pro bono work in a case seeking to uphold gay rights.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) questions Roberts about the president's power to authorize the use of torture.
Leahy asks Roberts whether his interpretation of the Bill of Rights would change during wartime.
Roberts responds to a question from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) about the proper role of judges.
Roberts assures Hatch that he shows a 'healthy regard' for the prerogatives of the legislative branch.
Roberts agrees with Hatch that there is room to change constitutional precedent.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) says Roberts' writings evince a 'mean-spirited view of the law.'
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asks Roberts to explain what approaches he uses to interpret the Constitution.
Responding to Grassley, Roberts says it is not the role of the courts to resolve society's ills.
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) questions Roberts on whether he believes in the right to privacy.
Roberts tells Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) that he no longer supports term limits for judges, as he did in a 1983 memo.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) questions Roberts on the balance of law and liberty in the post-Sept. 11 world.