On the September 5 broadcast of National Public Radio's (NPR) Morning Edition, NPR contributing senior news analyst Cokie Roberts claimed that President Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. to replace the late William H. Rehnquist as chief justice of the United States "is the path of least resistance for the president" because Roberts's "record is pretty well known." Cokie Roberts echoed President Bush, who, when announcing on September 5 that he was nominating John Roberts to chief justice, claimed that senators "know his [John Roberts's] record and his fidelity to the law."
In fact, much about Roberts's record remains unknown because the White House has refused to release documents pertaining to his tenure as the Justice Department's deputy solicitor general under President George H.W. Bush. Democrats have asserted the significance of those documents given Roberts's limited two-year record as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.