Stephen McGarvey Christian Blog and Commentary

Grandstanding Senators

According to The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, John Roberts' confirmation hearing has taught us a great deal about things largely unrelated to how good a U.S. Supreme Court justice Roberts would be. In his report on day two of the hearings Continetti says

Tuesday and Wednesday were supposed to be about his judicial philosophy and temperament. Instead, we found out that Sen. Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act, that Sen. DeWine thinks the First Amendment is important, and that Sen. Schumer is deeply worried about a few professors at the University of Chicago Law School.

Apparently some of the Senators on the Judicial Committee are taking the opportunity to "speechify" for several minutes on any number of issues before getting to their questions for Roberts.

[Roberts] offered his opinions about the role of judges in a democratic polity, about his work experience, and about the appellate process in general. So there was definitely room for reasoned discussion on a variety of topics.

 

But what transpired wasn't a discussion. It was a series of speeches with a few questions thrown in here and there. Biden went on for eight minutes before asking his first question: "Do you agree that there is a right to privacy to be found in the liberty clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?" (Roberts agrees.) According to the day's New York Times transcript, DeWine spoke for 15 paragraphs before asking Roberts to "just talk in general about when you see fact-findings by Congress, when we have held hearings, when we have established the record, how do you approach it, what are the tools that you use, Judge, based on the precedents and based on what you think the role of the judge is?" Roberts's answer also lasted awhile, but in the end it was easier to understand than the original question...

Read Continetti's full report on day two of the hearing: Taking a Grandstand, and his report from day one Notes from the Confirmation on The Weekly Standard website.



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