Senate confirmation hearings on John Roberts, President Bush’s pick for Supreme Court chief justice, are expected to begin later this week or early next week. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will take part in those hearings and says Roberts’ opponents will try to emphasize their case more now that Roberts is being considered for the high court’s top position. Grassley says in some ways, the chief justice has no more power than the other eight members of the court. Grassley says people who have law degrees might disagree with him, but he sees it as the chief justice having one vote, just like each of the eight associate justices, in settling cases and disputes. Grassley acknowledges the chief justice chairs meetings and has the title. Grassley says the chief justice does make the decision about who will write opinions and he has administrative control over the 93 District Courts and 11 Circuit Courts of Appeal. Roberts was originally being considered for an associate justice seat until Saturday’s death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. President Bush nominated Roberts for chief justice on Monday. Hearings were originally to begin today.
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