Battlepanda: Would it have killed them to just ask a straight question?


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Would it have killed them to just ask a straight question?

I give those of you who are actually following the senate hearings on Alito props. It's just too excruciating for me to follow. I cringe even watching the clips on Jon Stewart. This clip from CNN Pam Spaulding found give a painful glimpse of how the hearings should have been handled.
DERSHOWITZ: Well, you know, if I were a senator, I’d ask them the following question. I would say, “You have said that your personal views are utterly irrelevant to how you will decide cases. We don’t agree with you on that. But since you’ve said that, let’s ask you some really hard questions about your personal views.”

“Is your mother right when she says that you personally strongly oppose a woman’s right to choose abortion? What do you personally think of gay rights? What do you personally think of affirmative action?”

He couldn’t say, “Well, I can’t give you those answers because it will come before me.” No, no, no, no. You’ve told us that your personal views are irrelevant. We think they’re relevant, so give us the answers. I think it’s a very, very hard question for him to duck.

TOOBIN: You know, Anderson, all 18 of those senators on that committee had to answer when they ran for office, “Do you think Roe v. Wade should be overturned?” Yet the one person in that room who actually has something to say about whether Roe v. Wade gets overturned doesn’t have to answer that question.

DERSHOWITZ: That’s right.

TOOBIN: And this isn’t something that is just for Republicans. Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg also ducked that question. I just think the process is messed up in a way that we, the public, and the senators don’t get the information that they need.

DERSHOWITZ: Let me give you some proof of that. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the best courts in the country, and their judges, when they come out after to do an appeal, they will often say to you, “You know, we have a view on this case. Here’s what we think now. Try to talk us out of it.”

Some of the best appellate court judges tell us in advance what their views are. There is nothing inconsistent with a judge expressing his views but keeping an open mind. And they ought to demand of every nominee, Republican or Democrat, “Tell us what your current views are or what your past views were.”

Bush vs. Gore. Where were you on the night that Bush vs. Gore was announced? What did you say to your friends when the decision came down? What did you actually say? Did you write e-mails to anybody? Did you agree with the decision, not what would you do in the future?

COOPER: Right.

DERSHOWITZ: Senators don’t know how to ask these hard questions.
Ugh! I'm getting a flashback of last night's Daily Show, where they had a four-way split screen of four Democratic senators windbagging it simultaneously (in some cases for more than 10 minutes) before asking Alito a question. I know they're probably psychologically set-up to lose this fight already, but couldn't they have atleast tried to make Alito squirm a little?