Roberts Dances Gracefully
As this report notes, John Roberts answered few substantive questions during his confirmation hearings. This is standard practice in post-Bork hearings, and Roberts, who has coached other judicial candidates in the art of the non-answer, was careful to say nothing that could stir controversy.
"We're rolling the dice with you, judge," Biden said, "because you won't share your views with us. You've told me nothing in this Kabuki dance. The public has a right to know what you think."
"You've being less forthcoming with this Committee than any nominee who has ever come before us," said New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer. "This process is getting more and more absurd," he added.
When he did venture an opinion, Judge Roberts tried to satisfy everyone (or, at least, to offend no one). As Emily Bazelon observes, Judge Roberts opined that justices who voted to replace Plessy (separate but equal is consistent with equal protection) with Brown (racial segregation violates equal protection) were not overreaching activists (placating the left) but were actually giving effect to the original intent of the Fourteenth Amendment (placating the right).
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