Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Roberts Day 1 - The Dems Show They Have No Class

The Senate Democrats have no class. And John Roberts probably deserves a medal for sitting through a series of painful opening statements as various Senate Democrats preened for the camera.

The pandering cake goes to Ted Kennedy with this statement. He involved Hurricane Katrina, played the race card, alluded to abortion, the disabled, and the economically disadvantaged as being somehow relevant to the consideration of Judge Roberts' nomination. Nobody ever accused the radical left of being coherent. But this should surprise nobody, as Kennedy is up for reelection next year, so he needed to include all of his constituents (the race industry, wealthy poverty-pushers, the abortion lobby) in order to let them know that he is still a reliable leftist.

Pat Leahy did much the same, pimping the Katrina disaster. Perhaps Dick Cheney's directive to him last year on the Senate floor bears repeating.

The guy smiley senator, Joe Biden, showed that he has either hired outgoing Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN) to write for him, or perhaps the medication had not kicked in that morning with this quote:
For we will be faced with equally consequential decisions in the 21st Century: can microscopic tags be implanted in a person's body to track his every movement; can patents be issued for the creation of human life; can brain scans be used to determine whether a person is inclined toward criminal or violent behavior?
Brain scans. Impressive. Just the quote every politician wants put next to his name. But then he adds this refreshingly frank assessment:
Judge, if I looked only at what you've said and written in the past, I'd feel compelled to vote NO.
Like anything Roberts could say, short of endorsing Roe v. Wade as the case to which he pledges hallegiancence every morning before he even gets out of bed, would change any of these hacks' votes. But the really good stuff was reserved for the man whom Hugh Hewitt calls "the new Nixon."

Chuck Schumer, king of the judicial witch hunt, probably best set the tone by these remarks:

There are those who say your outstanding and accomplished resume should be
enough; that you should simply promise to be fair, and we should confirm.

I disagree.

To me, the most important function of these hearings because it is the most important qualification for a nominee to the Supreme Court is to understand your legal philosophy and judicial ideology.

This is especially true now that judges are largely nominated through an ideological prism by a President who has admitted that he wants to appoint Justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. To those who say ideology doesn't matter, they should take their quarrel to President Bush.

I began to argue that a nominee's judicial ideology was crucial four years ago. Then, I was almost alone. Today there is a growing and gathering consensus on the left and on the right that these questions are legitimate, important, and often crucial.

Therefore, I and others on both sides of the aisle will ask you about your views.

Here is what the American people need to know beyond your resume:

They need to know who you are and how you think.

They need to assess not only the sharpness of your mind, but also the fullness of your heart.

They need to believe that an overachiever can identify with an underdog who has
nothing but the Constitution on his side.

They need to understand that your first-class education and advantaged life will not blind you to the plight of those who need help and who rely on the protections of the Constitution which is every one of us at one point or another.

They need to be confident that your claim of judicial modesty is more than easy rhetoric, that your praise of legal stability is more than mere lip-service.

They need to know above all that if you take stewardship of the High Court, you will not steer it so far out of the mainstream that it founders in the shallow waters of extremist ideology.

As far as your own views go, however, we have only scratched the surface. In a sense, we have seen maybe 10 percent of you, just the visible tip of the iceberg, not the 90 percent that is still submerged. And we all know that it is the ice beneath the surface that can sink the ship.

Wow. Sink the ship...read the whole thing. The Dems are serious about getting a pledge to uphold Roe, and to toe the line on cases which advance the leftist agenda at the expense of the Constitution. This is what they want from the Court.

But I must give credit where credit is due. Arlen Specter kept it real. He noted that these hearings are about whether this judge will be true to the law or whether he will make the law true to him. Specter got it. So did Jeff Sessions and other Republicans. A good sign.

And Roberts gets it.

But the Dems don't get that they are in the minority. They are not wheelers and dealers. They are the party out of power, and they do not represent the majority of the Senate. It is not for them to control the debate. Hopefully the Republicans have the cajones to make that abundantly clear for them.

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