Bench Memos

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Six Degrees of Guilt by Association


Settle in for a long stay in front of the tube come September 6 — at least if Democratic Senators listen to Cass Sunstein. In that Washington Post piece today, Sunstein outlines the Roberts’ cross-examination we shall probably have to endure. And “endure” is the right word. In fact, it might last until the Christmas recess.

Sunstein’s basic strategy is simple. Roberts, he says, is some kind of conservative. But we do not know which kind. Very well then, Sunstein advises, let’s start at the beginning. Let’s leave no question unasked to see just what kind of conservative John Roberts is.

Some conservatives, Sunstein says, oppose rulings which make medical records private. Judge Roberts: are you in favor of making people’s medical records public? How do you feel about faxblasting the pictures from grandma’s lower GI Series? Not in favor? Ahem. OK, then, let’s move on.

Sunstein says that some conservatives hold that the Court “has no legitimate basis for prohibiting…racial segregation” at the national level. Judge Roberts: was Jim Crow your favorite constitutional character growing up? No? Don’t be evasive now, Judge. Do you have any African-American friends?

Sunstein says that some conservatives oppose Court rulings which recognize one’s right to live with one’s own family. Judge Roberts: do you favor government policies which take kids away from their parents and siblings, and make them live with, say, Keith Richards? Come on, Judge. Be candid. You have always preferred the Stones to the Beatles, haven’t you?

Judge Roberts: some conservatives think that South Park is really funny. Do you? How about the movie “Team America”? Some conservatives cheered so much that they blew lunch when the commandos wiped out Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon and all those other Hollywood pinkos? What was your reaction to that mass execution, Judge Roberts? Be honest. Use additional sheets, if necessary.

Judge Roberts: some conservatives (like Mark Levin on NRO) are now saying that Cass Sunstein has become a joke. Do you agree?


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