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Roberts Hearings Begin with Talk of Agendas

The Senate Judiciary Committee opens its confirmation hearings for chief justice nominee John Roberts, as senators and Roberts himself make brief opening remarks.

Committee members' statements largely dealt with whether a justice nominee should answer questions that might give clues to how he would vote on cases, including those about abortion and other hot-button issues.

In his remarks, Roberts said he has no personal agenda, comparing the work of a Supreme Court justice to that of a baseball umpire. Roberts said, 'I will remember that it's my job to call balls or strikes, and not to pitch or bat."

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Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.