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Hoosier lore

John Roberts' baggage

Not much to say about Day 3 of the Roberts hearing. His confirmation is seen as such a sure thing that Democrats seem to have lost heart and Republicans are asking even easier questions, if that is possible.

Politics 101

Let's see. Elected officials do things for people, who are grateful, who then vote for those officials again. It's called "constiuent services," and it's pretty much how politics has always worked. Most politicians, though, are smart enough not to leave a paper trail that might be embarrassing to have to explain.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Roberts, Day 2

Here are the highlights of Day 2 of the Roberts confirmation hearings yesterday. Note how many different ways various senators try to get the nominee to give a hint on how he might vote on certain issues that might come before the court. A nominee can't answer such questions because that would mean he couldn't hear cases with an open mind. So, senators are trying to get Roberts to violate one of the most sacred judicial tenets.

Hear ye, see ye

Finally, a good question for John Roberts, from Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold: Would you give serious consideration to televising the public portions of arguments before the Supreme Court? Great idea. Roberts says he would bring it up to the whole court. Sounnds like an evasion to me.

Your mainstream is my backwater

They're taking a break in the Judiciary Committee, and Edward Kennedy is being interviewed on Court TV, saying that what both Democrats and Republicans want is a justice who is in "the mainstream." In the first place, that's utter nonsense. Each side wants someone who will do with the court what that side thinks should be done with the court. And in the second place, exactly what is the "mainstream"? Prevailing legal opinion? What a majority of Americans think? What does any of that have to do with constitutional interpretation?

Following the script

You certainly have to give Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee credit for keeping the focus on their agenda, no matter what John Roberts says. Under questioning from Sen. Kyl of Arizona, Roberts said it was not the court's job to choose sides in pursuit of some vision of "progress" or "liberty." The Constitution envisions that those goals will be met when people and their representatives duke it out in the legislative process. That was followed almost immediately with a question from Sen.

Go, Johnny, go, go, go

Sen. Joe Biden just tried unsuccessfully to browbeat John Roberts over Title IX interpretation. The exchange is a good illustration of Roberts' continued insistence (correctly) on a narrow view of a judge's role and the senators' attempts (misguided) to figure out what Roberts believes now or once believed about certain issues.

Feel safer? Well, do you?

The latest dispatch from libertarian correspondent Mike Sylvester:

It is hard to believe that four years have passed since the Twin Towers were destroyed by terrorists.

Mr. Roberts goes to Congress

The thrill has gone (to Texas)

Bobby Knight is apparently back in his element, creating basketball mania and then becoming the star of the show, only in Lubbock instead of Bloomington.

Mo matter what you think of Knight, you have to admit some magic has gone out of the state since his departure. Never mind all this Red State-Blue State political folderal. At one point, you could define yourself as a Hoosier by how you regarded Bobby:

1. Always loved him, always will.

Posted in: Hoosier lore