With the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, John G. Roberts, formerly the nomination to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, is now President George W. Bush’s nomination for Chief Justice.
Justice Rehnquist passed away Sept. 3, at age 80, after suffering for almost a year from thyroid cancer, according to The New York Times. He was appointed by President Richard Nixon in 1972 and served on the Supreme Court for nearly 33 years.
On July, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor filed her retirement after serving 24 years on the Supreme Court. She was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and became the court’s first female member.
Senate hearings began on Monday, Sept. 12 to confirm Roberts’ appointment as Chief Justice to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Roberts will be the 17th Chief Justice of the United States.
The appointment comes at an important time in U.S. history, as many believe Roberts will have to rule on numerous high-stakes cases. Issues surrounding abortion, the role of the court and civil rights are all expected to pass over Roberts’ desk.