Alpine Summit

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Standardized Tests for Judicial Nominees

The WaPo blog "Campaign for the Supreme Court" has this account of the hearings on Alito.

Schumer, his time running out, showed little patience to sit and listen to Alito's rather lengthy answers, which tend to be drawn out and utterly neutral explanations of methods of analysis: how he would approach a case, rather than how he would decide it.

Schumer then tried a kind of multiple choice approach: "Judge, I'm going to give you two interpretations of the Commerce Clause....Which one is closer to your view of the Commerce Clause?"

The great thing for Schumer is that a question like that is easily a loaded one. "Mr. Alito, which of these is closer to your view on punching pregnant women? That is it a good thing to do, or that it is an acceptable thing to do?" No matter how he answers within the confines of an acceptable answer, he's saying exactly what Schumer wants him to say. I think Alito is smarter than to fall for such an obvious trick.