WW Special Edition - "The Roberts Hearings"
Washington, DC, United States
22:02:17 - 22:04:31
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY): “Why this room should be some kind of cone of silence is beyond me. The door outside this room doesn't say 'check your views at the door.' So, your failure to answer questions is confounding me. You've done it instance after instance, after instance, after instance. What is the difference between giving your views here in this hearing room and what judges do every day, what professors do every day, what lawyers do every day. In each case, they have to state their opinion, they have to do it as part of their job, if you will-- writing a brief, rendering an opinion, writing an article. In each case they're stating their views which might bias them. You've done it. Yet only here you can't state your views.” U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE): “It is kind of interesting this kabuki dance we have in these hearings here, as if the public doesn't have the right to know what you think about fundamental issues facing them. The idea that the founders sat there and said, 'Look, here's what we're going to do, we're going to require the two elected branches to answer questions to the public with no presumption that they should have the job as Senator, President or Congressman. But guess what, we're going to have a third co-equal branch of government that gets to be there for life, never ever again to be able to be asked a question they don't want to answer. And you know what? He doesn't have to tell us anything.' It's ok, as long as he, as you are decent, bright, honorable man. That's all we need to know.” U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Nominee John Roberts: “I'm not standing for election, and it is contrary to the role of judges in our society to say that this judge should go on the bench because these are his or her positions and those are the positions their going to apply. Judges go on the bench and they apply and decide cases according to the judicial process, not on the basis of promises made earlier to get elected or promises made earlier to get confirmed. That's inconsistent with the independence and integrity of the Supreme Court.” Senator Biden: “No one's asking for a promise.”