Thursday, September 15, 2005
Well, if they were playing in the game, then I'd care: I didn't get to catch a whole lot of Day Two of the John Roberts confirmation hearing. However, one of the Democrat complaints about the Senate's confirmation process betrays what too many judges have become.
SEN. BIDEN: Fundamentally. So you've told me nothing, Judge. With all due respect, you've not -- look, this is -- it's kind of interesting, this kabuki dance we have in these hearings here, as if the public doesn't have a right to know what you think about fundamental issues facing them. There's no more possibility that any one of us here would be elected to the United States Senate without expressing broadly, and sometimes specifically, to our public what it is we believe.
The idea that the Founders sat there and said, now look, here's what we're going to do. We're going to require the two elected branches to answer questions of the public with no presumption they should have the job as senator, president or congressman; but guess what, we're going to have a third coequal branch of government that gets to be there for life, never, ever, ever again to be able to asked a question they don't want to answer, and you know what, he doesn't have to tell us anything. It's okay as long as he is, as you are, a decent, bright, honorable man. That's all we need to know. That's all we need to know.
If judges were in the business acting on what they believe, then Biden's point is valid -- but that's not the way it's supposed to be. Making rulings from personal belief is not what the Founders intended, unfortunately it's something that too many judges have taken upon themselves to do just that.
Senators would be better off attempting to determine a nominee's propensity to substitute his or her own judgement for the law and use that as a basis upon which to cofirm or reject them.