Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

“A Hearing About Nothing”?


E.J. Dionne complains, in a column — “A Hearing About Nothing” — in today’s Post about a “listless intellectual fog” that, he thinks, surrounded the Alito hearings and contends that “Alito, an ardent baseball fan, established himself as the Babe Ruth of evasion.” This is so tiresome. What Dionne means — and what the hilariously disingenuous Democratic senators mean when they moan about a nominee’s “evasions” is that the nominee failed to recite to their satisfaction what Professor Jack Balkin has called the “constitutional catechism”, in which the rightness of Roe comes right after the opening “credo”; that the nominee somehow managed to restrain himself from brutally slicing and dicing the legal knowledge of Senators reading staff-written inquisitions; and that the nominee refused to do what (they know full well) every good judge should refuse to do, namely, make pledges or commitments about how he would rule on a disputed question likely to come before the Court. Or, to really get to the point: The complaint that a nominee was “evasive” is another way of saying that “a nominee who I fear will not constitutionalize my policy preferences performed intelligently and carefully.”


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review