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Senate committee holds hearing for court pick

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a confirmation hearing today for a lawyer who defended the state of Alaska in the Venetie case.

John G. Roberts is President Bush's pick for a seat on the D.C. Court of Appeals. If approved, he will hear cases involving Indian disputes with the federal agencies.

Roberts won a 1998 Supreme Court ruling that said there was no Indian Country in Alaska. He represented the state against Venetie, a Gwich'in village.

He also defended the state of Hawaii's trust programs for Native Hawaiians in the 20002 Rice v. Cayetano case. He lost to a white rancher who said an election barring non-Native candidates was unconstitutional.

Roberts was nearly two years ago but never got a hearing before the Democrat-controlled Senate. Democrats are concerned that Bush's nominees are too conservative.

Roberts will be considered this morning along with two nominees for another appeals court. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m.

Hearing Video:
Senate Judiciary Committee

Get the Story:
Senate GOP Flex Muscles, Push Judges (AP 1/29)

Relevant Links:
The Senate Judiciary Committee - http://judiciary.senate.gov
Federal Judicial Nominees, DOJ - http://www.usdoj.gov/olp/nominations.htm

Related Stories:
Senate panel sets hearings for Bush judges (01/23)
Venetie foe up for appeals court again (01/08)
Federal judges a new concern for tribes (11/15)
Bush wants to speed judicial nominees (10/31)
Tribes take aim at candidate (10/29)
Bush lawyer rises through ranks for judgeship (05/23)
Senate confirms Olson as Solicitor General (5/25)
Bush nominee no stranger to court battles (5/23)
Bush names judges to Montana federal court (5/22)
Bush nominee familiar with Indian law (5/9)

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