Area Experts React To Supreme Court Pick

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President Bush's Supreme Court choice of John Roberts could mean big constitutional changes are in store.

Though it wasn't a woman or minority many had hoped for, area political gurus believe the conservative John Roberts could still change the constitutional balance of several key issues.

Political science Professor P.S. Ruckman says President Bush tonight said what was to be expected, especially his push for Roberts to be confirmed quickly.

Ruckman says Roberts' past ties to the president is typical for most Supreme Court picks.

However, the professor says it's too early to predict what ideologies could emerge from Roberts on the nation's top bench.

"You don't always get what you think you'll get, so I would say anyone who says they can expect this, this and this out of this person, they're dreaming more than anything else," Ruckman said.

The professor says if Roberts is voted in, the conservative could face a lot of heat from democrats, especially since Roberts could swing several key issues, like abortion, affirmative action and eminent domain.

"There’s certainly going to be controversy about the Republican Party, and his evident conservative politics. There's also going to be a line of criticism that's focused on the fact that he's still another federal judge and that the court is already stacked with those kinds of people," Ruckman said.

Ruckman says Supreme Court picks have been voted in by congress 81 percent of the time.

However, the senate can postpone a vote for a Supreme Court nominee, and see that nominee withdrawn from consideration.

That last happened during the Reagan administration.

Before Sandra Day O’Connor retired, the Supreme Court nine justices were together 11 years, the longest in U.S. history.