Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bloomberg opposes Roberts' nomination


Bloomberg opposes Roberts' nomination

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday opposed John Roberts' nomination to be U.S. Supreme Court chief justice, making him the first noted Republican to break with the Bush administration over who should lead America's top court.

Bloomberg, a former Democrat seeking re-election in a heavily Democratic city, said Roberts had failed to show a commitment to upholding the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision establishing a right to abortion.

"I am unconvinced that Judge Roberts accepts the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling as settled law," Bloomberg said.

Roberts' answers to questions in Senate confirmation hearings "did not indicate a commitment to protect a woman's right to choose," he said. "For that reason I oppose the nomination of Judge Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court."

While Bloomberg's statement is unusual from a Republican, the mayor has no standing over whether Roberts will be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as chief justice.

Bloomberg, who became a billionaire by building the media company named after him, is ahead in polls in the New York mayoral race ahead of November's election here.

Like many Republicans in New York, Bloomberg has long been a liberal on social issues and has been unafraid to publicly break with President George W. Bush.