Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Confirmation (of the Senate's Super-Awesomeness) Hearings

Dahlia Lithwick has a fantastic piece over at Slate on the confirmation hearings for the Dread Pirate Roberts. Which, as would be expected, serve mainly as a chance for senators to listen to themselves talk:

That's because today's hearings are not about the candidate. They are about the majesty and superiority of the Senate. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., describes these proceedings as a "job interview with the American people." But in what solar system would a four-day job interview include a solid day in which the interviewer talks about himself?

The level of self-congratulation here today leaves the room airless: Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., can't stop telling us how remarkably good his committee is about keeping to time limits. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., congratulates himself on the compromise agreement between the so-called Gang of 14—that "kept the Senate from blowing itself up." He shakes his head. "It was chaos. … We were at each other's throats. … We're doing better." Oh, huzzah. And Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., credits himself thusly: "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."

And they can't resist the oportunity to throw in a few digs at activists judges, the judicial system in general, the internet (!), only leaving out why picture framing costs so much:

The Senate Judiciary Committee has complaints about judges. For one thing, Republicans on the committee appear to think that "activist judges" are more dangerous to America than terrorism, hurricanes, and chemical weapons. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., vigorously condemns the "post-modern philosophy" of judicial activism, excoriating the "activist Supreme Court judges" who interpret the Constitution in light of "evolving standards of decency." (He offers no better constitutional test for interpreting the Eighth Amendment because, um, there isn’t one). Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, hurls contempt upon the "Internet Age," including those of us with the ability to download "thousands of documents" and read them—according to him—in "an inaccurate way." Damn readers. And John Cornyn, R-Texas, expresses serious doubt about the judgments of "nine judges isolated behind a monumental marble edifice, far removed from the life experienced daily by average Americans." So, just to recap, the Senate thinks judges are capricious, activist, postmodernists who are dangerously out of touch with the average American.

We'd be lost without you, dear Senate.


At 5:50 PM, Blogger Me said...

great informative blog...keep it up...


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