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“You’re on a lifeboat, but it can only hold eight of the original 10 amendments without sinking … Which ones go?” That’s one of the tens of thousands of questions Internet users have had for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts since Senate Democrats sought their input. Roberts is the first Supreme Court pick whose nomination will occur in the age of instant messages and instant political reaction. A Democratic effort to cull questions from Web surfers has led to plenty of thoughtful offerings, but also some very odd ones. “What do you think of oligarchies, Mr. Roberts?” asked one respondent. “Do they make you feel all warm and gooey inside?” Others seem to think Roberts’ questioning will be more of a pop quiz: “Quick — Recite the 10th amendment.” About 30,000 of the 40,000 questions submitted to the Ask John Roberts site are serious, aides said. “How do you feel about privacy rights for women — including the right to decide when to start a family?” was one of numerous queries trying to discern Roberts’ views on abortion. “If, after 30 years on the Supreme Court, one of your grandchildren asked you what you had done to make the world a safer and kinder place, what would you hope to be able to answer?” suggested another. The Web site is the work of seven Democratic women who serve in the Senate. They will send the suggested questions to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We asked the American public what they wanted to ask Judge Roberts about,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. “We trust that members of the Committee will ask those questions during the upcoming hearings.” Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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