September 14, 2005

More Proposed Questions for John Roberts

Since he's avoided answering most direct questions I'm sure judge Roberts would decline to answer these questions too - but I think that the questions proposed by Eric Muller and Mark Kleiman (I have question #3 in mind) are well worth asking. In this War on Terrorism age, the Hirabayashi question is highly relevant to what freedoms we will still possess in the future. And hey, the Bush v. Gore question is just too much fun not to ask - and it would come with the added benefit of making his ducking of the question (a legitimate one, in my opinion) unusually obvious.

Posted by armand at September 14, 2005 10:27 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Law and the Courts


I repeat my previous question: what is the point of this strange Kabuki? Roberts has every incentive to lie and give answers the committee wants to hear, since once he is appointed it is unlikely in the extreme that he would be removed (have we ever impeached a Supreme Court Justice?).

Moreover, the whole hearing is bizarre. We're appointing someone to a lifetime position as head of a co-equal branch of government - arguably the single most powerful individual in the entire federal government - and he seems allowed to refuse to answer questions? By what logic can he refuse to say what he thinks of past decisions, or potential future ones?

It's so weird and irrelevant that I'm struggling hard to stay awake and alert to what is happening.

Posted by: baltar at September 15, 2005 08:14 AM | PERMALINK

I see you have been reading Kevin Drum too, Baltar.

This whole process has me going back and forth. On the one hand, I think, this whole thing is a charade, not worth my attention, full of pontifications by idiot democrats who will vote for this guy anyway, because they don't have the cojones to essentially say "I'm not going to vote for him because I do not trust that he will be the kind of judge who will protect the things our party stands for." (Setting aside, of course, whether that is true, whether the party actually stands for anything etc.) What a bunch on gas bags.

On the other hand, as the Rev. Mykeru reminds us, when good men do nothing, we let bad things happen (though he actually uses the real quote, etc). And I think that with silent aquiescence we do let Roberts' confirmation pass into the "win" column unchalleneged. If we've learned anything about this administration, it's that there is no tit for tat, and being "nice" on this one won't gain any ground on the next.

And the left foot, it's the beginning of the semester, I'm busy as hell, and don't have TV to watch the whole thing. I'm thinking "thank goodness" on that last item.

Posted by: binky at September 15, 2005 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I'd be hard pressed to vote to confirm anyone who refused to discuss past decisions to the degree that Roberts has (I understand not addressing hypotheticals). And you are right - the idea that we should know so little about someone, and then lock them into a job in which they'll have a tremendous amount of power for the next 30+ years is nonsense (one of the reasons I'm coming to support the idea of term limits for the Supreme Court).

Oh, as to your question Blatar, no Justice has ever been removed from the Court by the Senate.

Posted by: Armand at September 15, 2005 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

It turns out Sen. Kohl (D-WI) did ask him about Bush v. Gore yesterday - and Roberts declined to comment, saying that there may be future instances in which the Court faces a decision about whether or not it will have to get involved in an election. That's such a lame excuse for not commenting on this case since the ruling (which was lame itself) was so clearly written in a way in which it was designed not to be a precedent for future actions.

Posted by: Armand at September 15, 2005 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

What right do the nominees have to avoid answering the questions? I don't understand why they are "allowed" to not answer?

It just makes no sense to me.

Posted by: baltar at September 15, 2005 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Senators are weak-willed pawns who just perceive themselves as powerless cogs in a bigger system? Doesn't sound like most senators I've run across - but that's the only reason I can think of in terms of why it's "allowed" from their point of view.

Posted by: Armand at September 15, 2005 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't a question, and is very irreverent, but you might like it.

Posted by: binky at September 19, 2005 08:48 AM | PERMALINK
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