Judge John Roberts sworn in as Chief Justice

Published 3:27 pm Monday, October 3, 2005

By By Jo Bonner
On Thursday, the United States Senate voted 78 to 22 to confirm Judge John Roberts Jr. as the 17th chief justice of the United States. Both of Alabama's Senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions voted in favor of confirmation. Just a few hours after the Senate confirmed Judge Roberts, President Bush held the swearing-in ceremony at the White House. Beginning Monday, October 3rd, Judge Roberts will assume his new role when the Supreme Court opens its session.
At the swearing-in ceremony, President Bush stated "The Senate has confirmed a man with an astute mind and a kind heart." The president went on to say that Judge Roberts "will be prudent in exercising judicial power, firm in defending judicial independence and, above all, a faithful guardian of the Constitution." I am in complete agreement with the president, and am proud to know that our nation's highest court will be lead by a man thought of so highly by numerous, well-respected individuals throughout our nation. The U.S. Supreme Court deserves no less than the best leadership possible, and I am pleased to know the Senate has confirmed someone of such high moral character.
Majority Leader Tom DeLay Steps Aside
A wrench was thrown in the congressional works on Wednesday, adding to what was already an unpredictable week. The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Tom DeLay, was indicted by a grand jury in Travis County, Texas. Mr. DeLay has been charged with conspiracy to make a contribution to a political party in violation of the Texas Election Code. After the indictment was handed down, pursuant to party rules House Republicans put in place, Tom DeLay stepped aside from his post as majority leader. Speaker Hastert filled his post with Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri, the House Majority Whip. Congressman Blunt will carry out the day to day duties of the House Majority Leader until the situation with Mr. DeLay is resolved. It is important to remember that an indictment is not a conviction, it is merely an accusation. We live in a country where an individual is innocent until proven guilty. In the weeks and months ahead, we will see steps taken to resolve this issue. It is my hope that Mr. DeLay's attorneys and the Travis County, Texas District Attorney who brought this charge, Ronnie Earle, will work speedily for a resolution.
It is important for the American people to know, including my constituents, that the work of our nation will continue as Mr. DeLay proves his case in a court of law. I will continue to work with Leadership to ensure adequate aid is provided to Hurricane Katrina victims in Alabama and along the Gulf Coast and to ensure the economy continues to improve while we address the national deficit and other important issues such as immigration. House Republicans voted unanimously to assemble a leadership team that will make sure the work of the House of Representatives stays on track and I will continue to work closely with that team until Tom Delay returns.
Realtors Provide Housing Assistance
The Alabama Association of Realtors has established a Hurricane Katrina disaster relief fund, to aid individuals and families who sustained damage to their primary residence as a result of Hurricane Katrina. For more information on the fund, or if you are interested in applying for these housing funds, please visit www.alabamarealtors.com or call 1-800-446-3808. As noted on the Alabama Association of Realtors website, assistance will be granted only for damage sustained to a person's primary residence, and that damage must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Katrina. In addition, relief assistance is limited to $2,500 per applicant, and will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.
I applaud the Alabama Association of Realtors for their efforts in assisting individuals and families whose homes were damaged by Katrina. We have seen such an outpouring of support from businesses and individuals in the hurricane's aftermath, and I am pleased to know of the realtor's efforts.
My staff and I work for the people of South Alabama. Please call if we can be of service.
Jo Bonner is a U.S. congressman. His column appears weekly.

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