This is Samuel J. Alito and his family, circa, I don't know. A ways back? Not much really happened in the news this week, which I guess is a good thing, right? Except for a couple cases of literary hucksterism, the Senate "hearings" on Alito were it for news. I don't get cable, so I couldn't watch them. (Additonally, both my PC and my laptop will not let me upload the Microsoft Service Pack 2 that came out a year ago, which makes it so I can't download Windows Media Player 10, which makes it so I can't watch free live streaming video offered by both CNN and MSNBC. I am SOL.) So I read about it on-line, and read other pundits weigh in on the hearings, which isn't really the same thing as watching them for one's self. All Things Considered on NPR had a good deal, though -- they did a half-hour or so rundown each night at 8PM, giving listeners long, unedited sound clips of pertinent questions, and then Alito's reasonably relevant answers. I think I got a good overview from NPR.
It's pretty clear that these hearings are for no serious purpose. At their core, I suppose, they're good to have around to disqualify any wildly unacceptable candidates (like Bork was, like Harriet Miers would have been), nominees who are so extreme they think slavery should be re-instituted, or folks who are so unqualified they can't actually read, but mostly the hearing are an opportunity for senators on the judiciary committee, especially those running for president in 2008, to get some TV time -- show their constituents they're still alive, and smart-sounding words come out of their mouth. Each party played their roles perfectly. The Republicans fawned, the Democrats raised eyebrows, and Alito, the star of the show, wouldn't say a thing. His non-answers were so full of nothing, you couldn't, judging strictly from his testimony, prove he was a human-bring, much less a conservative. The biggest news from all of 3 days of testimony, was that his wife had to leave the room because she was crying. I think it was from boredom. I doubt even she's gone three days without hearing her husband say at least SOMEthing.
Anyway, Joseph Biden suggested the Senate confirmation hearings should be ended. I kind of think he's right. We didn't have them before 1925, doesn't much seem like we need them now. I think only one or two of the committee senators are even capable of discussing constitutional law well enough to know what the hell the nominee's talking about at any given moment, so, you know, what's the point?
Anyway, it's Friday and the Supreme Court is boring. Have a good weekend, er'rybody.