Thursday, September 15, 2005

Roberts' views on privacy, torture, and cinema

Here is a brief recap on yesterday's hearings:

WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court nominee John Roberts carefully picked his way through a second day of questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday as Republicans challenged Democrats to support his all-but-certain confirmation as the nation's 17th chief justice.

''If people can't vote for you, then I doubt that they can vote for any Republican nominee,'' said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Democrats sounded unswayed.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Roberts he was ''cutting back a little on what you said yesterday,'' referring to Roberts' earlier statement that the Constitution provides a right to privacy.

Schumer made his charge after Roberts declined to cite any examples of disagreement with the opinions of Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas has written there is no general right to privacy, a right often viewed as the underpinning of a right to abortion.

''We are rolling the dice with you,'' Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.) told Roberts, who turned aside questions about abortion, the right to die, the permissibility of torture and other issues he said may come before the court. AP

Thank you, most gracious Senator Biden. Once again let me pont out that these clowns enjoy the power they have only because our Republican leaders in the Senate buckled under to pressure by not enacting the nuclear option. We will witness the ugly results of their timidity when the next set of hearings to fill the remaining Supreme Court vacancy begin.

And now on a lighter note:

No sidestepping on 'Zhivago'

WASHINGTON -- After two days of intense legal questioning, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts finally addressed a subject most Americans could relate to: His favorite movies are ''Doctor Zhivago'' and ''North by Northwest.''

Frustrated by Roberts' answers, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) suggested on Wednesday that if he dared to ask the nominee his favorite films, he would get a discussion of cinematography and why ''Casablanca'' is considered one of the greatest.

Instead, Roberts answered flat out, bringing laughter from the audience and senators alike.

Understand that Roberts probably didn't actually like "Zhivago". That is one of those movies a man pretends to like in order to please his wife (it is considered a grand gesture of love just to stay awake for the full 197 minutes of that film). "North by Northwest", on the other hand, was a masterpiece and Roberts' good taste in that movie alone is worthy of his confirmation.