Thursday, September 15, 2005


My Take On The Roberts Hearings

I was stuck in a car for a large portion of yesterday and the day prior, so I got a healthy dose of the Senate's Roberts confirmation hearings. The following are my thoughts:

1) Those are some smart-sounding mofos - both the Judiciary Committee, and Roberts. I think I occassionally lapse into stereotyping all Congressmen as idiots, which obviously isn't giving them enough credit. They, however, are not smart in the way that would tend towards them surviving for more than, say, 10 minutes in the real world.

2) Sen. Chuck Schumer can be an incredibly smooth talker.

3) Schumer can be incredibly smary and annoying, and is apparently in love with himself.

4) If I were John Roberts, there would have been moments where I would have contemplated bashing Schumer over the head with a microphone. The grilling over the "illegal Amigo" memos would have been one of those moments.

5) Sen. Dianne Feinstein is still obsessed with banning guns, and doing it under the Commerce Clause.

6) Roberts did a lot of dancing around the Commerce Clause questions. At time, I felt that he would lean towards limiting the fed's powers under that clause, which is something I tend to agree with. At other moments, he didn't seem so sure of federalism.

6) The only Senator who seemed to care about Robert's take on the 2nd was Russ Feingold, who made it very clear that he sees the 2nd as an individual right. I don't think I share too many political views with Feingold, but I tend to agree with him on a select few hotbutton issues. Roberts said that the issue was undecided, which is generally encouraging. I'd like to see the court revisit Miller, but that probably doesn't have a snowball's chance.

7) What the heck was up with Sen. Coburn and his weird-out about natural law? I think I missed something there. Between that, the crossword puzzle thing, and his tearful opening statement, this guy isn't doing much to dispell the left's criticism that he's not all there (I think I hopped on that bandwagon after his "lesbian epidemic" comment prior to the election).

Overall, it seems like Roberts isn't that bad of a nominee. I think were I'm going to disagree with him is on privacy (I think he leans towards stating that there is no right to privacy), and on issues of the government's ability to detain citizens without charges being filed. Those are just assumptions, of course, as those issues were not directly answered during the hearing.

Frankly, I can't imagine where anyone will have much of a legit reason to vote against confirming him.

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