Preservative of all Rights
The following is an excerpt from the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Judge John G. Roberts Jr., President Bush's nominee to be the chief justice of the United States. He was questioned here by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts (Sept. 13, 2005)
Kennedy: Most Americans think that the right to vote is among the most important tools that they have to participate in our democracy. You do agree, don't you, don't you, Judge Roberts, that the right to vote is a fundamental constitutional right?
Roberts: It is preservative, I think, of all the other rights. Without access to the ballot box, people are not in the position to protect any other rights that are important to them. And so I think it's one of, as you said, the most precious rights we have as Americans.
This exchange appeared in print on Sept. 14, 2005, Section A, Page 26 of the National edition with the headline: COURT IN TRANSITION; 'I Believe That No One Is Above the Law Under Our System'.