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September 13, 2005

Specter of ignorance

Liveblogging Arlen Specter's initial questioning of John Roberts:

9:40 AM: Aren't there times when you just want to grab Arlen Specter by his scrawny chicken neck and shake some sense into him?

Right now he's using the Roberts hearings to raise his pet theory of "superprecedents", or, as he put it, "superduperprecedents." Someone tell me if I'm wrong about this, but it sure seems like he's asserting that the hierarchy of the federal courts goes like this:

  1. District Courts
  2. Courts of Appeals
  3. Supreme Court
  4. Roe v. Wade

Yes, according to Arlen Specter, because Roe v. Wade has achieved the venerable age of 30, and has been affirdmed a couple of times, it's beyond the Supreme Court's grasp. I wonder if he'd accord the same deference to Plessy v. Fergusson.

9:52 AM: Judge Roberts just claimed the Third Amendment, a matter of much concern to us all, is part of the Constitutional protection of the right to privacy.

9:55 AM: Sheesh, Specter's going on again with his novel "if we've gotten used to it, it can't be changed" theory, this time in reference to a case that found that Miranda warnings had become "routine" and were "part of the national culture". So was slavery.

I like how Roberts is tweaking the Chairman by declining to answer certain questions based on the precedent set by earlier nominees.

10:00 AM: Has Pat Leahy not heard about eyebrow trimmers?

10:05 AM: Leahy is blasting Roberts for an argument he made as an advocate for the executive. I know Leahy isn't stupid enough to think that an advocate's advice represents his personal opinion, so he must be deliberately grandstanding.

10:09 AM: Oh goodie, now Leahy is bringing up Iran-Contra, as though that has anything to do with anything.

10:11 AM: Yes, I said I was going to be liveblogging Specter, but I got carried away. Won't be able to keep liveblogging all day.

10:15 AM: I don't know if John Roberts will make a good Chief Justice, but he'd make one hell of a politician. He's good-looking, well-spoken, and he thinks well under pressure.

10:19 AM: Ah, Korematsu.

10:21 AM: In response to a question along the lines of, "Could you interpret the Bill of Rights the same during peacetime and wartime", Roberts answers with a citation from the Aaron Burr trial. Talk about precedent...

10:27 AM: Once again Roberts is forced to explain to a Senator -- slowly and carefully -- that an opinion on whether something is legal has nothing to do with whether or not it is right, just like in the infamous French fry case.

10:29 AM: "There was no issue in the case about condoning the behavior. I found it abhorrent then, and I find it abhorrent now."

10:30 AM: Hatch up. Gonna have to stop liveblogging now, oh well.

September 13, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

The disparity of intellect and sincerity is painful to watch during these hearings.

It's like watching a cage full of monkeys interview their prospective zookeeper.

Posted by: odietamo | Sep 13, 2005 11:52:41 AM

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