Thursday, January 12, 2006

Preach it, Joe Biden!

Senator Biden has just stated that the whole farce of having Supreme Court nominees come before a Congressional committee should be scrapped. His reasoning is that the putative appointees, Dem or GOP, don't answer any of the questions anyway, so why bother with the charade?

Methinks he has a point. The Congressional Hearing process didn't start until 1925, prior to which all nominations were sent straight to the Senate floor for an up or down vote. Nowadays, the hearing process (much like the almost-broken trial-by-consultant-selected jury process) is so tainted by the coaching, consulting, and overall focus on the end-game, that its purpose seems to be simply a full-employment program for media and congressional committee staffers. Honestly, why bother? We learned nothing new about Alito from these hearings, his candidacy gained nothing from these hearings, so why waste the time and money? We all know what he said in his decisions, we all know what the senators from both sides of the aisle are going to ask him about those decisions, we all know he won't actually answer any of those questions candidly. So, remind me again why we are doing this? At the very least, it would deny the GOP the opportunity to have Mrs. Alito leave the room in tears because her husband is being questioned about membership in a less-than-inclusive Princeton organization (those evil Dems making a lady cry!)

Can we all just agree to scrap the farce that is these hearings and just go straight to the vote?


Anonymous said...

If you went straight to the up and down vote wouldn't that get rid of the filibuster abillity as well. Personally I like the fact that you need to convince 60% of the senate to vote for a person to get them a lifetime appointment to a position. Maybe they should just change the rules in the first place and then go straight for the vote. Would make things much more interesting, although maybe a bit too hard in some cases.

Vigilante said...

I don't believe it, E.!

What a great & rare find: You actually discovered an original thought expressed by Joe Biden!

The Haggis is truly Star-Spangled!

Great job!

Vigilante said...

Anony, when you say,
Personally I like the fact that you need to convince 60% of the senate to vote for a person to get them a lifetime appointment to a position.
I agree with you. Unfortunately there's some ambiguity on the right of filibustering on SCOTUS nominations. I look forward to a time when this issue can be duked-out (or - better, nuked-out) sometime in the near future. Unfortunately, Go-Slo Joe and his friends didn't unearth enough dirt on BorkAlito. Maybe nextime.....

Ella's Pop said...

Biden's right, given the depths to which the hearings have descended. But perhaps if Senators like Biden (who seems to feel an obligation not to deprive the American public of the pleasure of listening to his voice) actually spent more time asking relevant questions instead of delivering 23 minute polemics, there'd at least be the possibility of the hearings serving a useful purpose.

E said...


Let's be honest and say that the hearings are a dog-and-pony show of people being annoyingly aggressive in their questioning of people being annoyingly evasive.

I mean, come ON, would you forget that you ever belonged to an anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-disabled people, anti-anythingnotwhiteandmaleandPrinceton group?!! That is just not to be believed. As one of the Senators said something like, "I'll take you at your word on that, and I hope if any of us were to appear before you and say we forgot we knew Jack Abramoff, you will also take us at our word."