Monday, July 25, 2005

SCOTUS Watch: The Washington Generals show us how the game should not be played 

Reid has it exactly right. Call Roberts "credentialled" and leave it at that. Give the Republicans nothing.

Schumer has it exactly right. Lots and lots of questions:

Sen. Charles E. Schumer met Thursday with Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. and gave him 87 questions that Schumer said he might ask at upcoming confirmation hearings.

Ranging from general inquiries about judicial philosophy to Roberts' opinion on controversial cases such as the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision on abortion, the questions are designed to show what kind of justice Roberts will be, Schumer said.

Schumer, a New Yorker and the top Democrat on the Judiciary subcommittee that oversees judicial nominations, termed the 55-minute meeting with Roberts as cordial. But Schumer said it did nothing to persuade him to oppose or support Roberts' nomination.

"I told him my mind was totally open," he said. "I'd like to be able to support him."

Schumer who has led the effort to kill Republican judicial nominations that Democrats consider extreme opposed Roberts' 2003 appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit because Roberts had refused to spell out his judicial views during his confirmation hearing.

Roberts should answer such questions this time, Schumer said.

"You want to learn how someone thinks," Schumer said. Given Roberts' short tenure as a judge, "we have very little to go on."
(via Buffalo News)

And Leahy has it exactly right. The Republicans are—surprise—planning to conceal what little paper trail Roberts has under the cloak of attorney-client privilege—where the client is not you, the citizen and taxpayer, but the President.

"It's a total red herring to say, 'Oh, we can't show this,'" [Leahy] said on ABC's This Week.

He said that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, former federal appeals court judge Robert H. Bork, former Attorney General Edwin W. Meese III and others had given up documents written while they worked for the Justice Department.

"Those working in the solicitor general's office are not working for the president," Leahy said. "They're working for you and me, and all the American people."
(Baltimore Sun

And given that Roberts's memory is so poor—first he has "no recollection" that he was a member of the Federalist Society; next he'll have no recollection that he asked WaPo to print a correction saying he wasn't, when he it turns out he was—we really can't blame Schumer for trying to help him out. Written answers to questions do concentrate the mind wonderfully, don't they?

So, all in all, Reid, Schumer, Leahy are doing just fine. "Credentialled," "keep an open mind," "sure would like to vote for the guy," "lots of questions."

Pretty simple, if you keep your mind on the play, right?

Enter the Washington Generals!

Whiney Joe! It's like watching a trainwreck:

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, one of 14 senators who helped avoid a confrontation over judges earlier this year, said their message to Bush essentially was, "Don't send us an extremist that's going to blow the place up, and first look [Good so far!] is that that's exactly [Not so good, undermines "first look"] what he has not done."

"In other words, he's sent us somebody that's got impressive [Worse and worse, further undermines "first look"] academic and legal credentials [a little discipline, back on message] and seems to have a record [Warning! Warning! Roberts has no record!] of personal honor [TRAIN WRECK]," Lieberman said on the Don Imus radio show, suggesting a smooth confirmation for the 50-year-old federal appeals court judge.
(via )

"Personal honor," forsooth? Nobody who's drunk the Kool-Aid, as Roberts has, can have personal honor (back). That's what the Kool-Aid drinkers lose!

Diane Feinstein! Another train wreck!

"He clearly is, I think, a very unusual person, because you do get the direct feeling of humility and modesty [Is this gratuitous, or what?], and yet he apparently is very precise in his writing [if not his memory], his judging, his ability to put cases together when he was an attorney," said Feinstein, D-Calif., the only woman on the 18-member Senate Judiciary Committee that will hold hearings on the nomination.

"I don't think there's anybody on the court quite like he will be in that sense, because my sense [TRAIN WRECK] is that he really grapples with the law [Oh, Diane... Shouldn't that be the minimum criterion?] and the interpretation of the law rather than any extraneous points of bias [Unlike, well, who exactly?]," she said after the hour-long meeting in her office.

But Feinstein, who voted for Roberts for his appeals court seat two years ago, said she would have trouble supporting his elevation to the Supreme Court if she determines he would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. [And because Feinstein led with all that bootlicking foofraw about Robert's humility, her bottom line is totally lost.]

"It would be very difficult for me" to support Roberts if he opposes Roe, Feinstein said. She said that to some extent she believed she had determined where Roberts stood on Roe but added she would save details for his confirmation hearings.
(via San Francisco Chronicle)

C'mon, Diane. Work with me here. Wouldn't it have been simpler, better, easier to just say something like this?

"Even after spending an hour alone with Judge Roberts I couldn't figure out where he stood on Roe, despite his credentials. So, [taking a leaf from Schumer's book], while I'd like to be able to support Judge Roberts, I'm sure that, along with my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, I'll have many questions at the hearings in October."

But No-o-o-o-o-o:

Asked Monday about Democratic opposition to Roberts, Feinstein said: "There is not a lot of controversy surrounding him. There just isn't."

Sayeth the Washington General: "There aren't a lot of points to be scored. There just aren't." God.

Both Feinstein and Lieberman set themselves—and their fellow Democrats—up to lose. How can they vote against a candidate of such "personal honor"? Such "humility"?

Stick with "credentialled," "keep an open mind," "sure would like to vote for the guy," "lots of questions."

Give the Republicans nothing. That's for losers.

NOTE Of course, the thuggish White House tactics have already begun. Great headline: "White House Warns Dems on Roberts Papers". See where being nice gets you, Diane? Joe?

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