14 Sep 2005 Biden v. Roberts
…video clips are available right now on the Senate Republican Conference website.
Barbara Ledeen recommends the clip (under the picture of John Roberts as of 5:45 Eastern Sept. 14) of Judge Roberts explaining the role of the judiciary to Senator Joe Biden (D-DE). She also sent along a transcript of what is on the clip:
BIDEN (to Judge Roberts): “You’ve told me nothing with all due respect. As if the public is not entitled to an answer. None of us here in the Senate would ever be elected without answering such questions.”ROBERTS (responding to Sen. Biden): You make the point that [Senators] stand for election and [they] wouldn’t be elected [if] we didn’t tell people what we stand for. Judges don’t stand for election. 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 they’re 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.
Here’s another Biden-Roberts exchange, from earlier in Biden’s questioning:
BIDEN: I promise I won’t interrupt if you give short answers….
BIDEN: If I may interrupt…
ROBERTS: Well, and –
BIDEN [interrupting again]: Do you side more…
Another Biden quote, this time from 12 years ago, when Justice Ruth Ginsburg was facing her own confirmation and questioning from Senator Biden:
“[Y]ou not only have a right to choose what you will answer and not answer, but in my view you should not answer a question of what your view will be on an issue that clearly is going to come before the court in 50 different forms, probably, over the next – over your tenure on the court.” (quote provided by the Republican National Committee, citing the Committee On The Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 7/22/93)