Supreme Court Chief Justice "Objects" To Confirmation Process

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts raised "some objections" to how the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees has evolved, telling an audience Saturday that would-be justices should not divulge how they would rule in particular cases.

"I think it would be good if the Senate appreciated that to a greater extent," Roberts said during an appearance at the University of Louisville, where he answered questions from a panel of scholars.

Several hundred attended the event at a school gymnasium as part of the McConnell Center's lecture series. Roberts was introduced by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and a University of Louisville graduate.

During the hourlong event, Roberts said it's "surprisingly easy" to put aside his personal views when hearing cases. He revealed fighting temptation to assign himself to write the court's most interesting opinions. And he bemoaned how little civics is taught in the nation's high schools.

The chief justice also displayed a quick wit when student panelist Kirk Laughlin started a two-pronged question by asking if Roberts would write a law school recommendation for him.

"Depends how good your second question is," Roberts said, drawing laughs and applause.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-04-19-09 0600EDT

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