Canton Repository

September 23, 2005

Sen. DeWine votes in majority

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mike DeWine joined a 13-5 majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in voting to confirm John Roberts as the next Supreme Court chief justice, sending his nomination to almost certain approval on the Senate floor next week.

“Judge John Roberts is modest, he’s decent, and he’s a fair man,” DeWine, R-Cedarville, said while arguing for Roberts’ confirmation before his colleagues on the committee.

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Cleveland, also expects to vote for Roberts when his nomination goes before the full Senate.

“Unless there are any developments that negatively affect Judge Roberts’ résumé, the senator plans on supporting him,” Voinovich spokeswoman Garrette Silverman said.

During several days of hearings last week, DeWine questioned Roberts on the right to free speech, his respect for Congress’ power to pass laws and what his criteria would be in selecting judges for a secretive court that oversees the prosecution of terrorism and espionage.

DeWine, a former prosecutor, expressed his concerns that in recent years the Supreme Court has exceeded its constitutional mandate in striking down laws “protecting the aged, the disabled and women who are victims of violence.”

“Many Americans worry when they see the court permit the taking of private property for economic development,” he told Roberts.

But on Thursday, DeWine said he was impressed with Roberts’ view of the limits of judicial authority.

“We’ve learned some things about his judicial philosophy,” DeWine told the committee. “Judges should not make policy. They don’t pass laws or implement regulations. Instead, in the words of (the late) Justice Byron White, judges simply decide cases. Nothing more.”