Sunday, September 18, 2005



Henri Bergius has incorporated code from myWeblog Pinger Library for PHPinto theMidgard Content Management System.

This represents a Sally Field moment for me, the first time that any code I've written has made its way into another project thanks to an open source license. I'm going to celebrate my increased geek cred by buyingsomething like this.

Senate Testimony Signifying Nothing

Andrew Hyman, a conservative attorney who has been promotingJohn Robertsvigorously since his selection by President Bush,abandoned the judgein response to his answers during the first day of the confirmation hearings:

It now appears very possible to me that President Bush has nominated a pro-Roe vote in place of an anti-Roe vote. It appears from this morning's testimony -- and I could be wrong about this -- that Judge Roberts will probably affirm the so-called right to obtain an abortion all the way up until viability, even though 72% of women in the United States have consistently said that abortion should generally be illegal months before viability.

Read the entire discussion, one of the most fascinating I've found on the Roberts hearings, and you'll find that conservatives have no more idea than liberals what we're getting for the next 30 years. With a voice as soothing as an NPR host, Roberts has shown that he's expert on constitutional law, quick-witted, and intelligent enough to give the American public absolutely no clue as to his judicial philosophy.

He's alsoextremely personable. After hearing his encyclopedically vague answers for three days, I like Roberts so much I resent myself for wanting to know anything about him.

Throughout the hearings, Roberts has relied often on the rationale that he can't provide his opinion on matters that might be revisited by the court. He even used it to avoid discussingBush v. Gore, a case in which the Supreme Court explicitly stated it was not setting a precedent. Here's theexchangeabout the case with Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl:

KOHL: I asked you what your opinion of that decision was at that time.

ROBERTS: Well, that's an area where I've not been -- I've not felt free to comment whether or not I agree with particular decisions or...

KOHL: Well, it's not likely to come up again.

ROBERTS: Well, I do think that the issue about the propriety of Supreme Court review in matters of disputed electoral contests, it is a matter that could come up again. Obviously, the particular perimeters in that case won't, but it is a very recent precedent.

And that type of a decision is one where I thought it inappropriate to comment on whether I think they were correct or not.

If the nationno longer expects candorfrom Supreme Court justices, the Judiciary Committee should adopt the format ofWhat's My Line?, with blindfolded senators asking a series of yes-no questions of the nominee to determine his identity. The winner could receive afederal highwaynamed in his honor and three ethical violations to be named later.

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