28 Mar 2009 Outrage of the Day: Senate Majority Leader Calls Chief Justice a Liar
In what only makes sense as his latest entry in the highly-competitive Laughstock of Washington contest, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Friday called Chief Justice John Roberts a liar.
Reid claims that, in not one but two judicial confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate,* Roberts lied to the Senate about “who he was.”
From the March 28 Washington Times story by Stephen Dinan:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. lied to Congress during his confirmation hearings by pretending to be open-minded about his judicial philosophy.
“We got into a little jam with Roberts. Roberts didn’t tell us the truth. At least [Justice Samuel A.] Alito told us who he was,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, said, comparing former President George W. Bush’s two successful Supreme Court nominees.
“We’re stuck with those two young men,” Mr. Reid said, though he added that Democrats hope to try to balance out the judiciary overall by “having some moderates in the federal court system as time goes on.”…
Harry Reid acts more and more every day like the nation’s crazy uncle. Of course John Roberts told the Senate “who he was” (Reidspeak for “judicial philosophy”). For his Chief Justice confirmation hearings alone, Roberts answered a lengthy Senate questionnaire, participated in four days of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, had all his past decisions, public writings and statements heavily scrutinized, had the 39 cases he’d argued before the Supreme Court minutely reviewed, had his professional history (including stints in the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses and clerking for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist) gone over with a microscope, and a good bit more.
The famous arroyo toad quip (“The panel’s approach in this case leads to the result that regulating the taking of a hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California constitutes regulating ‘Commerce… among the several States…'”) all by itself should have given Reid a big clue that Roberts wasn’t the “living-Constitution-let’s-see-what-the-French-think” style of jurist the left seems to prefer.
Or, as Reid calls them, “moderates.”
I assume, of course, that Reid understood the point, or could even tell you what the Commerce Clause is (and yes, he’s a lawyer).
But if even if all that is Greek to Reid, there’s still the fact that Senate Democrats not once but twice (1991 and 2001) delayed giving Roberts his confirmation hearings when he was nominated to lower courts. We can assume it wasn’t because Senate Democrats thought Roberts too “moderate.”
Last week left-wing Rep. Barney Frank called Justice Antonin Scalia a “homophobe.” This week, left-wing Senator Harry Reid calls the Chief Justice a liar.
Do you suppose the left is irritated that our country still has strong good men who defend our Constitution?
* 2003: U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; 2005: U.S. Supreme Court
Image: Flickr – absentee_redstate – Creative Commons