another bad precedent

i’m not talking about roe here. i’m talking about the bork precedent. what happened to judge bork during his confirmation hearings is the reason why we have the carefully scripted SCOTUS nominee answers today. i’m just waiting for alito to forget decorum for a second and say to these long-winded senators, “wake me up when it’s my turn to say something.” while there may have been legitimate questions in there somewhere from the democrats, they didn’t really want to know the answers to those questions. there’s already a filibuster taking place, and both sides are engaged in it. if anyone is expecting any breaking news out of this hearing, they will be sorely disappointed.

some excerpts from FNC:

Of course, almost nothing that occurs during televised confirmation hearings comes close to being spontaneous, said Richard Davis, author of “Electing Justice: Fixing the Supreme Court Nomination Process.”

“Interest groups want Alito to do what Bork did, and take on Kennedy and [California Democrat Dianne] Feinstein, but Republican senators and the White House know that is not how it works,” Davis said. “You don’t do a head-on confrontation with these senators. You respond in vague statements, nod your head in response.”

this is the end result of judge bork’s confirmation hearings. both republicans and democrats are complicit in the game. they both pretend to ask questions (while making their own case pro or con) and pretend to want the answers. in this environment, how could SCOTUS confirmation hearings have any other outcome than they have now? if you want unvarnished straight answers from the nominees, then both sides must agree to base their votes on the nominee’s experience instead of his views on roe v. wade. don’t expect that to happen any time soon.

In fact, Democrats may find that is the only argument they have for rejecting Alito. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the ranking member on the panel, said in a statement after day two of the hearing that Alito needs to be more candid.

“Fresh in our memories and experience is the example of the testimony of Chief Justice Roberts, whose consistent answers helped build a record that gave many of us who voted for him the confidence in his candidacy that we needed to have. Judge Alito needs to do more than distance himself from his early, troubling writings and views – he needs to explain why his views are different today and that what he says is not simply the pledge of an eager applicant trying to win a job,” Leahy said.

ok. so how much more candid was justice roberts than judge alito? let’s see the numbers from bench memos at NRO. it’s an interesting breakdown.

Judge Samuel A. Alito Answered A Higher Percentage (95%) Of Questions On His Opening Day Of Questioning Than Justices John Roberts (89%) Or Ruth Bader Ginsburg (79%) Did During Their Full Confirmation Hearings.

those poor democrats. they are trying so hard to find something damaging on this guy and they have been unsuccessful so far. they know they are fighting a losing battle here, and their only recourse is to make sure their left-wing special interest constituencies are still in their corner. forget what the rest of us think, because we don’t seem to matter to schumer, kennedy, feingold, and biden.


Justice vs. politics–LA Times
Alito must avoid being ‘Borked’–
bench memos–NRO