Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My question for Roberts if I was on the Committee

Senator Oldenburg: Judge Roberts, why am I here? Why are you here?

Roberts: Senator, I don't understand your question.

Oldenburg: Well, franking Judge Roberts, I don't understand your answers, or should I say non-answers. Why are we wasting our time here if you feel free to take the 5th and only answer questions that are politically safe?

Roberts: If you feel that this is a waste of time Senator, we should just have the vote now.

[chuckles in the room]

Oldenburg: You wrote the book on giving evasive answers and non-answers, yet your scant record contains lots of troubling issues. You dismiss them by pretending they aren't your opinions but then feel free to pretend your politically beneficial work does reflect your views, which is it? Why don't you feel compelled to explain if and how your views have changed in the last 20 years?

Roberts: Senator, I don't feel it is appropriate to comment on cases that might come before the court.

Oldenburg: And you are the arbitor of what might or might not come before the court? it seems like every "live" issue you fail to discuss with us happens to be one which are politically sensitive to say the least.

Roberts: My job here is to...

Oldenburg: and my job here is to advise the president on whether his nominee is proper for a lifetime appointment to the chief justice of the Supreme Court. And you are being supremely unhelpful to put it kindly. Our job as Senators is not to rubber stamp this president's nominee, but to thoughfully consider you and give the president our advice on what to do with you. That's what President Washington did. That's what President Clinton did. Why is it so difficult for you answer our questions?

Roberts: I feel compelled to prevent what I say here from prejudicing the outcome of future cases.

Oldenburg: Assuming we confirm you. Look, I am tired of the this Kabuki theater. We all know what is going on here, you have the votes to be confirmed, but maybe not to get out of committee if Senator Spector here grows a conscience. I will tell you right now Judge Roberts, I intend not to vote for you. I don't need to pretend to ask you tough questions and you don't need to pretend to answer them any more. I give up.

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