Reid Says Chief Justice Roberts Lied to Congress in Confirmation Hearings

225px-harry_reid_official_portrait225px-official_roberts_cjSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted this week that it was not the fault of the Democrats in confirming John Roberts and not using their power to block the nomination. Rather, they were tricked by Roberts who lied to them in suggesting that he was a moderate and that we are now “stuck” with him as chief justice.

Reid’s comments are the latest revisionist history from the Congress — much like blaming AIG executives for an amendment that the Democrats inserted into the stimulus legislation protecting bonuses.

Reid and his colleagues refused to listen to many critics stating that Roberts was a hard-right nominee. Indeed, they did not even call such critics to the hearing to avoid the issue entirely. They preferred to pretend that Roberts was a moderate to quell demands that they block the nomination.

At the time, I wrote columns detailing how Roberts was likely to vote on the far right of the court, and here. I was blasted by supporters who insisted that this was mere speculation and that such predictive votes on specific issues were illusory. Later, the predictions proved accurate, here and here.

I still believe that Roberts is remarkably well qualified for the Court. However, I objected to the ludicrous confirmation hearings held by the Senate where they allowed Roberts to refuse to answer virtually any substantive question. To have the Senate democrats now claim to be hoodwinked if quite exasperating. They participated in one of the least substantive confirmation hearings in history and steadfastly refused to press Roberts on areas of importance.

What is remarkable is that, after not blocking Roberts or Alito, the Democrats appear again to be campaigning on the need to keep them in power to protect the Court. Reid stated “Roberts didn’t tell us the truth. At least Alito told us who he was. But we’re stuck with those two young men, and we’ll try to change by having some moderates in the federal courts system as time goes on — I think that will happen.”

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27 thoughts on “Reid Says Chief Justice Roberts Lied to Congress in Confirmation Hearings

  1. Jill,
    I saw that story about the Spanish court looking into the torture issue. I am hopeful that they will indict the Bush crowd and that the indictment will push the issue to the forefront here in the states.

  2. Rather than whine and play and politically grandstand, what substantive decision does Reid disagree with? Where was Roberts wrong? I think its rather disingenuous to cry foul if Reid cannot delineate the substantive error.

    Per Turley’s evaluation of the “ludicrous” hearings, I wonder what his standard was. Considering ‘precedence’ from the Ginsburg hearing, I can’t hardly call his failure to answer some questions “ludicrous.”

    Well…perhaps it really was ludicrous. But at least it was also consistent.

  3. Flower Child,

    “1. The anti-Obama forces must be incredibly prescient. The run-up to the present crisis begins in the Reagan Administration, & goes through Bush I, Clinton & Bush II.”

    You are of course right this financial mess has been brewing since Reagan and right through until Bush II. It is a crisis begotten by lowering the taxes of the wealthy and the corporations, while increasing defense expenditures and raiding the Social Security coffers (SS taxes are mostly the equal of payroll taxes in a regular worker’s pay check)to use in the General Government Fund. It is a tactic which in Grover Norquist’s parlance is to strangle/drown government.

    You might notice though that I said “A financial crisis” which was to indicate that what occurred was a singular, seeming catastrophic occurrence, rigged to engender fear. I’ve written enough about the effects of the Reagan Revolution on other comments on this site to perhaps assure people that i’m aware of the strategy and the stakes. It remains my opinion, based on the methodology announcing it, the panic that ensued and the imprudent solution given that this was orchestrated.

    “2. How come Obama hired on Larry Summers & Tim Geithner if he’s such an anti-Establishment figure?”

    Summers was a campaign supporter that had experience and was not threatening to the powers that be. Geithner had credibility with the financial community. I’ve even written a comment calling for G’s firing and have now called the White House twice saying the same thing. In truth I don’t care either way if he’s fired, I was sending a message that I want more action. The President needs evidence of this public pressure to move further with the cover of being forced by events. That’s strategy and I think the guy is a master at it.

    Why appoint people soothing to the financial crooks, you might reasonably ask? Because our corporatist controlled MSM would go bananas if the market started to tank even further. Even though anyone with half a brain knows that the Dow Jones is not a valid economic indicator, we’ve seen the panic engendered by large fluctuations. Fixing this mess, against the interests of the arrayed financial powers, with some bought and paid for congress people in place, is no easy task and requires subtlety and not a sledge hammer. Summers and Geithner are feints. We’re building up towards nationalizing these major banks and breaking up these companies “too big to fail.” The climate must be established.

    “3. Obama’s largest contributions came from the defense, financial & telecom industries –each of which he has rewarded handsomely.”

    President Obama received $656,357,601 in individual contributions for his Presidential Campaign. $334,636,346 of those contributions (51%)were under $200. The contributions from $201 to $499 were $71,669,117 (11%). Thus 62% of his campaign contributions came from small donors. From donors of $2,000 and over came $111,514,236 (17%). The high donors were significant, but the percentage is not huge. I frankly wouldn’t care though who he got the money from because that doesn’t necessarily transpose into influence. George W bush said the “Haves and the Have Mores are what he calls his base.” Do you really think President Obama feels the same way? The guy was trying to get elected via a campaign system set up to favor people with wealthy backers, yet he found a way to be backed by the average citizen to the tune of 61% of his money.

    Now I’m sure you could give me umpteen instances of what you feel is rewarding handsomely and I’d be totally unimpressed.
    I’ve read all the same stuff you have, as I said being retired and disabled gives me a lot of PC time, and I still reply to you that 70 days out doesn’t prove anything. This is the early opening round of a 4(hopefully 8) year chess match with the stakes being the revival of America’s true possibilities and the opponent being ego-driven bastards who border on sociopathy. It takes time and patience.

    “4. To say the financial crisis has tied Obama’s hands in the area of social reform is patently false. During this financial crisis he has found money to increase our involvement in Afghanistan & to open a third front in Pakistan.”

    I really would appreciate it if you’re calling me out based on a statement, that you would do me the favor of actually reading what I clearly stated. I didn’t say that it tied his hands, I said that that was its’ purpose. In fact the whole thrust of my comment was asking that people understand what the man is faced with and to try to appreciate the subtlety and strategy that he’s apparently using. As a former flower child, you saw what happened to four men who threatened the powers that be in the 60’s. You hit them directly and they’ll kill you. This is high stakes stuff. I remember well as my cohorts who kept calling our enemy government in the 60’s Fascist Pigs and then professed shock when they shot kids down in Ohio. If you’re only bringing a knife to a gunfight then you’d best figure out a way to get that knife to the other guys throat before he shoots you. Not easy but doable by somebody with brains.

    We’ve only got a knife in this gunfight, so we’d better act smarter than we did in the 60’s. I’m proud of my generation and the courage we showed and I’m proud to call myself an old Hippie. However, we were beaten by our own hubris and failed to take heed of our own analysis, to wit we were battling fascists and you don’t beat them by frontal attack.
    We were like the old French field Marshall in WWI who said”
    Enemies to the right of me, enemies to the left of me, enemies in front of me, excellent I attack.” Brave stuff but highly ineffective.

    I’m not calling for a moratorium on protest. I’m asking a change of methods. How many times have we castigated our opponents by saying that it is insane to keep using the same tactics that clearly aren’t working? Marching en masse in the streets doesn’t work. Organizing on the Net and on a local level does. It’s not easy work and you can’t get your emotional rocks off as you can by being in a group of 100,000 yelling people armed with signs, but it is proven to work and can work.

  4. Jill,

    What can I say? I don’t disagree with you. I suppose the sarcasm stems from my disbelief at how many fronts you spread yourself over; wondering how anyone can keep up that much indignation and still be effective.

    Personally, I’ve tended to focus on the ‘big ones’; i.e. 9/11, Iraq and Katrina for a bit.

    From 9/11 I’ve learned that people willing to accept the world with which they are presented rather than question the ones who presented it to them. I was a physics major in college before switching to philosophy; and the only reason I was a physics major was that I missed a perfect score on the physics regents by two points simply because I forgot to, in haste to finish, re-invert a lens formula. Physics wasn’t just easy; it was/is intuitive. Accordingly, when the world tells me that the laws of macrostate physics were in abeyance on 9/11 simply by virtue of the need for closure, I’m disgusted.

    Similarly, when a president defrauds a country into war and such actions cause the deaths of thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians, I called it murder & felony murder long before Bugliosi detailed the charges.

    Forgive me if I deem ‘peaceful unruly protest’ as falling far from the mark of the remedies necessitated by the aforesaid inactions and actions.



  5. lottakatz:

    “Is a call to revolution protected political speech anymore?”

    Revolution in the age of the split atom; are you kidding me?

    The revolution was fought and won. If you can’t square your principles with those established during the war for independence, then I ask just what the hell you’re fighting for.

    Furthermore, if what you deem ‘call to revolution’ is merely a restatement of the tenets set forth in the Declaration, then the question of whether it’s ‘protected’ or not becomes moot; seeing that the Federal Government ‘constituted’ to protect, NOT contradict said tenets.

    Locke would say that you’re obliged to act within the law so long as it brings about a remedy harmonious with the intent and purpose of the Constitution and the DOI.

    Accordingly, in lieu of indulging yourself in melodramatic cries for revolution, you may want to research the law and find the high crimes, misdemeanors and possible acts of treason you can hang your grievances on.



  6. With everything else emerging on the Finance front, I doubt we can afford additional layouts to cover the lawsuits waiting in the wings, already.

    No liability policy in the world is going to cover illegal acts. Period.

    And that’s assuming there is an insurance company left worth it’s weight in coverage ‘gold’.

    I believe this was THE major issue riding Hayden during most of his tenure,evidenced by his insistence on keeping ‘the silence’ in order to protect ‘The Agency’ and its future ability to hire
    – with impunity.

    And to endear himself as d’Man-loyal to the cause, and therefore, indispensable to the new administration? Not!

    How very surprised he must have been to be summarily dismissed
    -after all that ‘dedication’.

    Tsk, tsk,tsk…

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