Catholic Roberts becomes 17th Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court

.- After a somewhat tumultuous confirmation process, Judge John G. Roberts, a professed Catholic, is now confirmed as the 17th Supreme Court Chief Justice, replacing the late William Rehnquist, who died last summer. A united Republican majority and split Democrat minority backed Roberts, who was originally tapped by President Bush to replace outgoing justice Sandra Day O’Connor earlier in the summer.

He was confirmed today by 77 Senators, or three-fourths majority of the 100-member Senate assembly this morning by the Senate. 22 Democrats opposed the nomination.

Watchers are anxious to see how the judge will decide cases on topics ranging from abortion and life issues to questions of religious freedom.

He will be sworn in this afternoon at the White House.

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