Has President Bush nominated the right person to fill the vacancy on US Supreme Court?
President George W. Bush has nominated John Roberts to replace Sandra Day O'Connor who retired earlier this month.
Mr Roberts, who is said to be a staunch conservative, was appointed to the appeals court two years ago and also served under George Bush senior.
If confirmed, he will be the first new judge to join the Supreme Court for 11 years and could help influence decisions on controversial issues such as abortion.
Is John Roberts the right person for the US Supreme Court? Send us your reaction.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
I believe that Judge Roberts is a superb choice because he promises to uphold the constitution and that he is an 'originalist'. Roberts, like most Americans, believes that Congress, not the judiciary, should make laws.
Bart Wolek, Lake Zurich, IL, USA
John Roberts is a religious conservative in moderate clothing. He will be against the environment, workers' rights, and a woman's right to privately talk with her doctor about abortion. This is the wrong man.
Gary Abramowicz, Allentown, USA
From what I can tell, this guy seems like a really decent person in every sense of the word, who'll attempt to judge with fairness, not a patient conservative ideologue but someone who desires decency and fairness. If the Democrats give him a thumbs down they'll only be telling on themselves.
Larry Cook, Lake City, Florida, USA
Those who complain about Judge Roberts' so-called lack of experience should remember that two of the nation's most prominent and respected Chief Justices, Earl Warren, a liberal, and William Rehnquist, a conservative, had never served as judges before their appointments to the court.
James, Cleveland, Ohio
He is qualified! That's it. He will do an excellent job without a doubt.
Arthur Miller, Ventura, California
Another staunch conservative for Bush and company. As a gay man, I can easily see having even fewer rights with this nomination.
Tim, Denver, CO, USA
As a disabled adult I am very troubled by his Appeals Court ruling against people with disabilities.
Michael McGuire, Columbia, Missouri USA
Judge Roberts will make an excellent Justice of the Supreme Court because his ideals reflect those of the vast majority of Americans.
David Luther, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
While everyone seems to agree that John Roberts is a well-chosen political nomination, his lack of experience at the higher levels is disturbing.
Mark Thomas, Sarasota, Florida
I can't help but laugh at all the people who think our basic rights are about to be taken away. Judges are nominated by presidents based on their views and yes, judges are supposed to be free of all politics, but this has been the process since the creation of the Constitution. The country will not fall apart and democracy will still be here.
Nick, Detroit, Michigan, USA
I was always under the impression that the State, the judiciary and religion are and should be separate. Whether or not Judge Roberts fulfils this particularly crucial requirement is another question.
Nic, Newcastle, England
President Bush has made an excellent choice in Judge Roberts. Liberals will be hard pressed to not vote for his confirmation.
Charles Falls, Williamsburg, VA, USA
I guess there's not enough qualified women lawyers/judges in the US that Bush could have selected.
JoAnn L. Martin, Welland, Canada
I think this is a great nomination. Roberts' record is honorable and consistent. It is unfortunate that the liberals will turn this into a purely political move.
Keith, Houston, TX
Is anyone fooled by this guy? Two years of bench experience does not qualify one as a Supreme Court Justice, and he is inexorably linked with the Republican Party.
David Bashein, Washington, DC USA
He is too young. A position on the Supreme Court should be only open to people in their 60s. Age discrimination? Not really, more a sense that people who basically rule the law of the land, should have lived a few years longer, and handled more cases before being appointed, and generally be a bit wiser in life.
Paul Girling, Toronto, Canada
All America can hope for now is that this guy actually uses the mind God gave him and decides for himself, rather then pandering to the ignorance of the religious right.
Nate Engedal, Miami, US
This is a wonderful choice and one that is very likely to be confirmed. Mr Roberts has argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court, currently sits on a federal bench and is regarded as a strong legal mind, by both the right and the left. Of course, the left will carp, as nothing short of an ACLU-type selection (along the lines of Ruth Bader Ginsberg) would suit them. Nevertheless, it's clear that the vast majority of Congress and the media already see this as a reasonable choice by Bush.
Angelo Morata, Chicago, IL, USA
Judge Roberts has been much too close to corporate America to be considered for the highest court in the United States. Many of us fear he will further enhance the corporate stranglehold on the US government.
Wes Brewer, Beulah, Colorado, USA
Selection of the next justice is about qualification in the legal community and lasting power. We want someone who has the qualifications and is not going to retire soon. The whole process of selection, nomination, and conformation is exhausting physically, mentally, and yes, monetarily. I just don't want the best on the bench, I want the best that will be there the next several years. Would people stop "playing" the race and sex card, it is demeaning of minority candidates.
The right nominee? No. Unless, of course you are referring to the political spectrum. A white male to replace a white female? It's just another step backward for America, but it is what we've come to expect and what we deserve for having elected such an administration. I am relieved that the man is on his second term, not his first.
Les Smith, Fairborn, USA
What amazes me is that Bush is able to stand up and claim that Roberts has "superb credentials", even though he's been a judge for only two years. Even a plumber needs a four-year apprenticeship; why would we apply a lower standard to Supreme Court Justices?
John Stracke, Boston, USA
This will bad blow to democracy in this country, instead of interpreting the constitution, this nominee is likely to try to impose the conservatives view on morality and law on nation instead of defending and upholding the constitution.
Javier, Houston, USA
These types of appointment are always going to be political, so I have no particular objection to them being made by the President. He is, after all representing the popular vote of the people. What I do think is wrong is that the appointments are made for life. It would be better if there was a compulsory retirement age of say 75, which would make for a better turnover of younger judges, more in tune with the times.
A strict constructionist is exactly what the Supreme Court needs. The job of the justices is to interpret the intent of the legislative body when a law or amendment was enacted, not to reframe to suit their personal beliefs, or the current tide of public opinion. Rewriting the constitution and laws is done via the legislative branch. Congress writes the laws, the executive branch enforces those laws, and the courts provide the public a redress of due process. A constructionist can bring back the balance that has been lacking.
Doug Riddle, Baton Rouge, USA
It is a sign of troubled times to see judicial appointments made on the basis of political affiliations rather than legal prowess and common sense. It is also disturbing to see that potential Supreme Court judges need to affiliate themselves with a political agenda to be considered for the highest office. Surely this argument about whether a Conservative or Liberal Judge should be nominated to the bench denigrates the sanctity of the bench itself.
Vinay Rao, Rochester, USA
I support anything Bush does, as long as liberals don't like it, because it is a sign that he is doing the right thing.
Sam, New York, USA
Bush made a near-perfect choice. Roberts is a brilliant and well-liked lawyer whose credentials, temperament and integrity are not in question. He appears to be a sort of common-sense mainstream conservative in the mould of Chief Justice Rehnquist. Roberts' detractors oppose him either out of political ideology or the pettiness of identity politics. They should not be able to stop a man clearly qualified for the job.
Chris Johnson, Boise, ID, USA
Americans are paying for their lazy voting habits once again, but this time the impact will last for generations.
Ed, San Diego, CA, USA
John Roberts will faithfully defend the rights of all, including the unborn, and will be an effective Supreme Court justice.
Edward Wright, Buffalo, IL
He is a darling of the right. He is anti-abortion, anti-women rights and strongly anti-gay. These are all the reasons he will get the appointment.
Ian, New York, USA
It's scary to think of the potential power John Roberts has. O'Connor was the swing vote, and with a 'staunch conservative' like Roberts nominated, I'm afraid a lot of our basic rights are about to be challenged.
Layne, Bluffton, OH, USA
Replacing moderate O'Connor with conservative Roberts is a step back for the rights of women, the GLBT community and any minority group. If Roberts is truly against Roe v Wade and will attempt to overturn it when the opportunity arises, women in America have got something to worry about.
Emily, Cincinnati, OH, USA
As a scientist, as soon as I finish my current work here in the US, I am leaving to Canada or Britain where the potential for learning from stem cells is not hindered by old hat politicians like President Bush and Judge Roberts. Roberts as a Supreme Court justice is one more nail in the coffin of really getting stem cell research going in the US.
Ben, Chicago, USA
Roberts is an intelligent, highly educated attorney with extensive experience before the court to which he is now appointed. His decisions have been rational and sound. A very significant candidate. Bravo to President Bush.
Andrea, NY, USA
Since there are so many liberal judges on the US Supreme Court, I don't think anybody in his or her right mind should object to Bush's nominee being a moderate conservative. Whatever your political beliefs, we need conservatives on the Supreme Court to balance the liberals.
Mark Harvey, Thornhill, Canada
This is what the majority of Americans voted for. Thank you Bush for sticking to your beliefs.
I believe that if Roberts is appointed to the Supreme Court, the rights of American people especially women will start to shrink. And with the strong possibility that President Bush will be nominating another Supreme Court Justice before his term is over, I fear this ultra conservative trend.
Ellen, Harrisonburg, USA
From what I can tell, Judge Roberts seems to be the right man for the job. Hopefully the Senate will confirm him to the Court
Michael Penn, Atlanta, GA, USA
Bush has nominated a qualified candidate, as he is supposed to do. And guess what, immediately we get complaints that said candidate doesn't have the 'correct' opinions. Are we supposed to believe that Kerry wouldn't have nominated someone with left-wing ideas?
Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK
Does anyone think Bush would have nominated anyone other than an extreme right wing Christian? Dark times ahead for sane Americans.
What in the name of sanity is a political appointee doing as one of the joint heads of the judiciary in the world's leading so-called democracy? What happened to the division between the legislature and the judiciary that democracies are supposed to display?
The nomination of John Roberts to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court was a prudent and well calculated move by President Bush. He could have nominated a strong conservative in the mould of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas. Instead he nominated a mainstream conservative with impeccable credentials.
Pete Bartels, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
What a shock, he picked a staunch conservative, instead of a moderate. No big surprise. When has this president ever listened to what the American people want?
D Young, New Hampshire, USA
An excellent choice by President Bush. He is a good man who knows the law and doesn't work to change the law. He deserves to get through Congress smoothly just like radical left-wingers did under President Clinton.
Katherine Martin, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
It's no surprise that Bush appointed an ideological soul mate. All presidents are likely to do so, but is this a good way to make law?
Nick, Reading, UK
The system of appointing judges is wrong. The Congress should decide for themselves. When the President has a hand in the affair, the choice is likely to be political.
Tom Binat, Washington DC, USA
The election of judges is a sensitive issue in America as their views shape society for years to come. John Roberts has always made the right decisions and I believe he is a safe pair of hands.
Paul Collier, London, UK
The focus on gender is misplaced. Despite the Democrats lofty talk, it is Conservatives that have appointed women to positions of power in the US: Reagan with O'Connor and Bush with Rice.
John, Ossining, USA
I don't like the idea of Mr Roberts being part of a team of Republican lawyers who assisted the Bush-Cheney campaign during the 2000 presidential election dispute. Is Mr. Bush daft enough to think that this won't be viewed as repayment for a 'good job done?' I hope he isn't appointed. We don't need is a judge who is just going to be the mouthpiece for his client.
Victoria A, New Jersey USA
The fact that several justices usually vote along party lines diminishes the significance of the US supreme court and these appointments.
ASDR, Mississauga, Canada
I find it astounding that US continues to maintain a system whereby the most senior legal positions are political appointments. Such a legal system cannot - by definition - be free, independent and unbiased, nor can it be said to be constrained solely by the Rule of Law. It becomes a mouthpiece of the Government, rather than an independent judicial body regulated by statute and precedent, and its decisions are tainted with an unavoidable association to political aspiration and persuasion.
Politically, socially and ethically I like the sound of Roberts. But I don't like a system where judges are appointed by politicians for political purposes. We should have judges that are neutral and make decisions on the facts before them rather than their own personal agenda (even if in this case I like his personal agenda). Having said all that, liberals would not hesitate to put their own people in power, and this needs to be balanced by conservatives to give overall neutrality in the supreme court
Simon, Southport, UK
Mr Roberts appears to be mainstream. However, history is replete with justices who, like O'Connor, confounded their supporters by veering off the expected ideological path once confirmed for the lifetime post!
So Bush has nominated a staunch conservative, no surprise there. The implications for things like abortion will be very serious if he has the same views as Bush. Let's hope congress rejects him.
Adrian Cannon, Edinburgh, Scotland
The re-election of George Bush has come home to roost. The stripping of our rights has already started with the Patriot Act, this is simply the next logical step.
Scott, Columbus, USA
Bush had the opportunity to choose another woman and/or a minority who is just as conservative as Roberts in order to appear more balanced. This clear attempt to take all focus off Rove is going to backfire. Even if Roberts is confirmed, the truth is that the vast majority of Americans wanted a woman to replace O'Connor, and a moderate at that.
Lori Pelech, London and New York State