Roberts Resists Specifics in Senate Session

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Chief justice nominee John Roberts answers questions about abortion rights from Sen. Specter.

Chief justice nominee John Roberts answers questions about abortion rights from Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) in front of a chart showing the 38 cases in which the Supreme Court has upheld the landmark Roe vs. Wade abortion decision. Reuters hide caption

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Chief justice nominee John Roberts takes questions from senators seeking definitive answers on legal issues — from abortion to the environment to stopping a war — during his confirmation hearings.

Roberts steadfastly answered with general views on legal principles, but he refused to say whether, for example, he would vote to overturn or restrict abortion rights.

Monday, Roberts told the committee a judge should be like a baseball umpire, and should not pitch or bat. In Tuesday's session, Sen. Biden invoked Roberts' metaphor on baseball, said that questioning the nominee was like pitching to Cincinnati Reds slugger Ken Griffey Jr.

If confirmed, Roberts would become the 17th chief justice in the nation's history.

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