Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Baseball players, or aspiring umpires?

Who's really on trial? The Senate.

Judge Roberts, Supreme Court Justice nominee, said more in six minutes than all 18 Senators on the Judiciary Committee: "I'll do my job, you do yours."

Ever heard from graduates how "awful" a certain teacher was, only to find out the buzz was for naught?

Judge Roberts has many paper-tiger-enemies. Today, they gave eloquent quotes, threatened to withhold votes, gave advice, lectured on the rules of judicial conduct, and bantered about.

We also heard baseball references. It suddenly occurred to me, Congress, if it is not satisfied with how Justices rule, need to make better laws, not attempt to engage in judicial activisim from the Hill.

How? That's up to the "infinite wisdom of the legislature."

. . .

It occurred to me that after sitting through the hearings, that one could easily have learned just as much if they'd skipped the whole thing, catching a summary.

The question becomes: How to choose which summary best captures the actual hearings. Thus, I presume one would ultimately conclude the best summary would have been to sit through the hearings, then ignore the countless hours of analysis.

. . .

Congress could reconcile statutes with existing caselaw before adopting new legislation. Congress chooses otherwise, launching conflicting statutes into the judicial ring, expecting only the most legally astute to wade through the convoluted mess, abandoning the public in a Twilight Zone jungle, requiring high priced legal machettes.

Congress could clearly articulate the national rules on what constitutes acceptable legislative discourse, yet Congress defers to the President on the rules of capture. If the weather permits, perhaps Congress might pass enforceable standards of conduct for its own members, just as it enjoys preaching to the well-versed umpires.

Congress could choose to demonstrate by example the conduct expects of counterparties. Yet, this citizenry is left to wade through the landmines of corruption, then left to fend for themselves when the government staffers prove hopeless.

. . .

One curious fact emerged from Senator Biden: That Judge Roberts, then White House legal advisor, characterized the Securities and Exchange Commission as an "aberration" of the Constitution. Strange, I find no reference to the NYSE in the Constitution either, despite its abhorrence.

. . .

I found the hearings instructive, not so much in what they revealed, but in how the contrasted with our worst expectations. Judge Roberts will get confirmed. The Senate is skating on thin ice.

Congress could do better if it simply exercised leadership and played their role, rather than jockeying for the umpire's padded protection.

Thank goodness for the media and open government. The Senate would otherwise have been shutdown long ago, letting the aspiring umpires fight over home plate.

Thankfully, the Constitution descends into the bowels of the Hill each nite -- safe, free, and secure from Senators trying on umpire uniforms while whining when others call them out.