Thursday, September 15, 2005


As Armando points out @ Daily Kos, the whole hearing charade is fundamentally absurd. Senator Feingold asked the cut-to-the-chase question:
We know where all eight other members of the court stand on these opinions -- in their opinions. They either wrote or joined one of them. Yet all eight of them will hear the next case that raises similar issues. No one is suggesting that their independence or impartiality in the next case has been compromised. . . . So I guess I want to know, why are you different? . . .[W]hy shouldn't the public have some idea of where you stand today on these crucial questions . . .? They know a great deal about how each of the other justices approach these issues. Why is your situation different?

As skilled a prevaricator as Roberts is, his answer is, frankly, garbage:

[I am] sitting here as a nominee before the court. And the great danger, of course, that I believe every one of the justices has been vigilant to safeguard against is turning this into a bargaining process. It is not a process under which senators get to say, I want you to rule this way, this way and this way. And if you tell me you'll rule this way, this way and this way, I'll vote for you. That's not a bargaining process. Judges are not politicians. They cannot promise to do certain things in exchange for votes.

The real answer here is painfully obvious. There is a pro-executive branch bias built into the system as they run it, and Roberts and his sponsors like it that way. The President's team is likely to have far more information than the Senators (and the rest of us) have. I don't believe for a second that nobody in the White House asked these kinds of questions of Roberts before naming him. If his nomination was based on competence alone, it would be an outlier, to put it mildly. This Administration has never run that way before, so why would it start now?

Asserting the "Ginsburg precedent" is effectively the same as asserting executive privilege. It is just another form of power these clowns want to further concentrate in the hands of the king -- the very thing the Founders were most anxious to guard against.


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