Senate Confirms Roberts

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The Senate has voted to confirm John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States. He will be sworn in this afternoon and begin serving next week when the Supreme Court opens its next year of service. 78 senators voted to confirm him. 22 voted against confirming. This far outdistances the claims of some that he would be confirmed but with just most of the Republicans and maybe a few Democrats, and it even goes beyond most of the guesses last week that he'd get maybe enough to overcome a filibuster (which is 60). Even if you don't count Jim Jeffords with the Democrats, as many Democrats voted to confirm as voted against. The blue state vs. red state divide seems to show up in which Dems voted yes and which voted no. Some of the blue states appear among the ayes, and some of the red states appear among the nos, but far more red state Democrats voted yes, and far more blue state Democrats voted no. In some cases, this might be fear of losing the next election, particularly among the red staters, especially so among those up for election next year, who are even more represented among the yes votes than other classes of red state Democrats. On the other hand, it may simply reflect the convictions of some senators that they not vote their conscience but that they vote what their constituents would want them to vote, since they are in fact supposed to be representing their constitutents. This is a legitimate debate regarding how one person representing a group of constituents should vote when person convictions don't match up with constituents' preferences. The vote is as follows.

Yes:
All 55 Republicans
Max Baucus (MT)
Jeff Bingaman (NM)
Robert Byrd (WV)
Tom Carper (DE)
Kent Conrad (ND)
Chris Dodd (CT)
Byron Dorgan (ND)
Russ Feingold (WI)
Jim Jeffords (I, VT)
Tim Johnson (SD)
Herb Kohl (WI)
Mary Landrieu (LA)
Philip Leahy (VT)
Carl Levin (MI)
Joe Lieberman (CT)
Blanche Lincoln (AR)
Patty Murray (WA)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Mark Pryor (AR)
Jay Rockefeller (WV)
Ken Salazar (CO)
Ron Wyden (OR)

Democrats voting No:
Daniel Akaka (HI)
Evan Bayh (IN)
Joe Biden (DE)
Barbara Boxer (CA)
Maria Cantwell (WA)
Hillary Clinton (NY)
Jon Corzine (NJ)
Mark Dayton (MN)
Dick Durbin (IL)
Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Tom Harkin (IA)
Daniel Inouye (HI)
Ted Kennedy (MA)
John Kerry (MA)
Frank Lautenberg (NJ)
Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Barack Obama (IL)
Jack Reed (RI)
Harry Reid (NV)
Paul Sarbanes (MD)
Chuck Schumer (NY)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)

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