The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Senate Hearings

Now comes the really fun part. I love Senate Confirmation Hearings, they're great. Most Senators planning to oppose the nominee feel the need to ask questions, but there are only so many questions that you can ask someone, so after a while the Senators start to lose focus a bit. I seem to remember Senator Kohl (D-Wisconsin) asking John Ashcroft the equivalent of "Do you think you can get along with everyone?" How do you answer that? I would have said "I pwomise to pway nice, Mr. Kohw." This is one of the reasons that I will never face a Senate Confirmation Hearing. I would also say things like this:

1. Calm down Senator Kennedy. I know you disagree with my judicial philosophy but it's not as if I drove some woman off a bridge or something.

2. I'm really getting the 5th degree here, Senator Byrd. You'd think I was a former KKK member or something.

3. Mr. Lott, your questions don't seem well organized. Maybe you could segregate them a little better.

4. Mr. Feingold, Mr. McCain, I would like to discuss the first amendment for a moment.

There's really only one thing I want to know from any given candidate: Strength of Precedent (Stare Decisis) v. Original Intent. What do you think?

That's it. I might inquire about their views towards the commerce clause, or the takings clause, but my first question should implicitly cover those subjects.

In my humble opinion there is no good reason to follow bad precedent. (Those who defend stare decisis will tell you that it is important to have settled law, and it is, but if the law is bad, keeping it settled just to keep it settled is stupid. Moreover, nothing unsettles law quicker than a balancing test.)

But no Senator will ask a question like this. They will, instead, attempt to discover Roberts' views on abortion. I'm sure that he won't have any fun with these questions, but he should. For instance:

Senator: What are your views on abortion.

Roberts: I have been pro-life in the past, but meeting you has opened up my eyes to the pro-choice point of view.

Senator: What is your opinion of Roe v. Wade?

Roberts: If it's hot out I prefer to wade, but in general I would prefer to stay dry.


Roberts: Boooorrrring.

Roberts: Wade would destroy him. Did you see him play at all this year? I think if he would have been healthy that the Heat would have won it all. Very unfortunate. Who does Roe play for?

If asked whether or not he is a judicial activist:

Roberts: I'm in phenomenal shape.

I'm quite sure the whole thing will be a painful, pointless exercise. In other words, it will be like any other day in Congress. But at least it will be more fun to blog about. The worst thing that can happen to any congressman is having his words heard by the entire nation.


  • You should be careful who you tell you'll "pway nice" with.

    One of Kohl's staffers might give you a hotel key and a knowing wink...

    By Blogger E.S.K., at 2:13 PM  

  • I was going for more of a "treating a supreme court nominee as a child" thing than a gay thing. I honestly had forgotten the "Herb is gay" rumors.

    Mainly because I don't care.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:19 PM  

  • i care.
    i could marry rich (in massachusetts).

    By Blogger ahren, at 2:28 PM  

  • Plus then you'd be a part owner of the Bucks. You could be the next Mark Cuban ahren.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 2:35 PM  

  • Damn dude "can we segregate the questions a little bit." That's just hilarious!

    By Blogger FreakinRican, at 2:39 PM  

  • Personally, I thought the best line was "I'm in phenominal shape."

    That would be freaking hillarious.

    By Blogger E.S.K., at 2:44 PM  

  • "In my humble opinion there is no good reason to follow bad precedent."

    I wish there were more judges out there who felt that way. Sometimes I wonder if there are any judges out there who might even have a clue what original intent was. Freedom of speech certainly wasn't originally intended as "freedom to say anything as long as it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings." The P.C. 90s was such a welcome stepping stone into this millenium [heavy sarcasm].

    By Anonymous mitch, at 3:24 PM  

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