Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Justice John Roberts Senate confirmation hearing: Day 1: Summary of opening remarks
Day 1: Summary of opening remarks
Repub: You're a prince among men, and it's an honor to be graced with your presence.
Dem: You're a smart guy. But . . .
Repub: In the past, Supreme Court Justices have been confirmed in like 15 minutes. I hope that will be the case today.
Dem: This is an extremely important nomination that will affect the future of our country for generations, and therefore we need to ask a lot of questions.
Repub: No we don't. This is no big deal.
Dem: Roberts has been a judge for only 2 years; he is only 50 years old; and the administration has refused to release many documents that would help us to evaluate his credibility and competence.
Repub: Just shut up and confirm him.
Dem: It would be helpful if Roberts would answer all questions openly and honestly.
Repub: I don't think he should have to answer anything he doesn't feel like answering.
Dem: The Constitution states that nominations must be made with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Repub: It's whoever the president wants. I've got my rubber stamp ready, and so should you. You can even borrow my rubber stamp if you need to.
Dem: Past decisions made by Roberts call into serious question his support for basic civil liberties, which we might want to clarify before voting. Also, Mr. Roberts, a serious conflict of interests is suggested by the fact that you ruled in favor of unlimited power for the executive branch in holding detainees indefinitely at Guantanamo as "Enemy Combatants" without legal recourse -- with no rights, no P.O.W. status, no protection by the Geneva Conventions -- even as you knew you were being considered for a Supreme Court nomination. Had you ruled differently, you probably would not be sitting here now.
Repub: Some of these people are going to grill you. They're going to have the audacity to ask you what you think about issues and stuff like that. It's going to be like the Spanish Inquisition. I'm ashamed of them, and wish it were in my power to make them shut up and just place a crown upon your head and be done with it. But just remember: you don't have to answer. Just sit there and look handsome.
Dem: The interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by unelected and unaccountable officials appointed for life is one of the most serious matters of government. Until today, people on the right have been saying this -- like a very loud broken record -- for months.
Repub: We never said that. This is a trivial matter.
Dem: It would be nice, Mr. Roberts, to know how you interpret the Constitution.
Repub: The Constitution is unambiguous. And we hope that you will exercise "judicial restraint." In short, we don't want you to do anything. Or say anything. Just be handsome. And restrained.
Roberts: I'm a homosexual nymphomaniac, and my wife has had 6 abortions because I told her to. She kept saying it wasn't my decision, so I beat her mercilessly; when I got tired, I ordered one of my slaves to continue the beating; like my slaves, she is my property, and as such should not have the right to vote. I intend to do something about that. Assuming I'm confirmed, that is.
Repub: Ummm . . . Motion for, uh . . . recess?