Thursday, September 15, 2005

Take The Shot, Chuck

The only way to get through the "cone of silence" is to rattle the nominee. Take him down a notch, and ask him about the adoption.

Roberts has successfully sidestepped and parried questions on how he would rule on controversial cases, and committee Republicans were so confident in the 50-year-old judge's ability to emerge unscathed Thursday they've waived any time they could use to help him recover from any potential slip-ups.

"I expect you will be confirmed," said Sen. John Cornyn (news, bio, voting record), R-Texas, one of many GOP senators who already have Roberts sized up for the black robes he would don on the Supreme Court.

"If people can't vote for you, then I doubt that they can vote for any Republican nominee," said Sen. Orrin Hatch (news, bio, voting record), R-Utah. With all 10 Republicans likely to vote from him next Thursday, the only question left was how many, or if any, of the committee Democrats would approve of his candidacy.

Democrats were upset that Roberts avoided many of their questions by saying he couldn't comment on issues that could come before the Supreme Court, justices he may work with in the future or cases that are before the U.S. Appeals Court he's already on.

He said it so many times during the hearings that senators started saying it for him. "As I've explained, that is an area --" Roberts began when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., asked him about abortion.

"Apt to come before you. Right," she finished for him. "That message was well-conveyed."