President Bush has nominated conservative federal appeals court Judge John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court, to replace the retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
In a televised address at the White House, Mr. Bush praised Judge Roberts as a man of superb credentials and the highest integrity. The 50-year-old judge said he is honored and humbled to be chosen by the president.
Mr. Bush called on the Senate to begin what he called a "dignified and timely" confirmation process, saying he hopes Judge Roberts will be confirmed before the Supreme Court returns from its recess in October. The Roberts nomination is expected to spark a political battle between Republicans and Democrats, and set off a flurry of activity by private groups seeking to influence the Senate's decision.
It is the first vacancy on the nation's top court in 11 years. Judge Roberts currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit. He took his seat on that bench in 2003.