Pat Robertson, host of Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) The 700 Club and founder of the Christian Coalition of America, stated that, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. can "be thankful that a tragedy has brought him some good."
On the September 1 edition of The 700 Club, Robertson argued that "out of this tragedy, the focus of America is going to be on these [hurricane] victims," and "inflamed rhetoric" from senators during Roberts's confirmation hearings "is just not going to play well now." Robertson also commented that, following the hurricane, if senators "[go] on a vendetta against Roberts" by sharply questioning or criticizing him, "it's just going to hurt them."
From the September 1 edition of CBN's The 700 Club:
LEE WEBB (CBN News anchor): And back here at home, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts will be introduced by a Republican and Democrat when his confirmation hearings begin next Tuesday in Washington. USA Today reports Virginia Republican John Warner and Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh will appear with Roberts. It's viewed as a positive symbolic boost for Roberts. The nominee is from Bayh's state of Indiana. Bayh, though, says he hasn't decided whether he will vote for Roberts, but many moderate Democrats are expected to support him. Liberal senators like Ted Kennedy and Charles Schumer have criticized Roberts. And now, let's go back over to Terry with more of the Club.
TERRY MEEUWSEN (co-host): And this is an important time for us to remember to be praying for what's happening with regard to the judicial system, because it's so easy to forget that in light of the --
ROBERTSON: That's right.
MEEUWSEN: -- situation that's happening south of us.
ROBERTSON: Well, in a sense, they say it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. Out of this tragedy, the focus of America is going to be on these victims, and inflamed rhetoric in the United States Senate is just not going to play well now because this is a time of healing and compassion and reaching out to people, and if they start going on a vendetta against Roberts in the Senate, it's just going to hurt them. And I think they know that, so, I mean, Judge Roberts can, maybe, you know, be thankful that a tragedy has brought him some good.
Following the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist on September 3, President Bush nominated Roberts, who had been nominated to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, to replace Rehnquist as chief justice. Confirmation hearings for Roberts planned for this week have been rescheduled to begin September 12.