The Most Important Thing About John Roberts
CHARLES SCHUMER: This process is getting a little more absurd the further we move.
You agree we should be finding out your philosophy and method of legal reasoning, modesty, stability, but when we try to find out what modesty and stability mean and what your philosophy means, we don't get any answers.
It's as if I asked you what kind of movies you like – "Tell me two or three good movies" – and you say, "I like movies with good acting, I like movies with good directing, I like movies with good cinemaphotography"... and I ask you, "No, give me an example of a good movie," you don't name one. I say, "Give me an example of a bad movie," you won't name one.
Then I ask you if you like Casablanca, and you respond by saying, "Lots of people like Casablanca." You tell me, "It's widely settled that Casablanca's one of the great movies."
I am making a plea here. I hope we're going to continue this for a while, that within the confines of what you think is appropriate and proper you try to be a little more forthcoming with us in terms of trying to figure out what kind of justice you will become.
JOHN ROBERTS: First, Doctor Zhivago, North by Northwest…[People in the room
Now, Judge Roberts, do you expect to get away with such prevarication? The American people have a right to know WHY you liked those movies! I mean, I haven't seen Dr. Zhivago since middle school, but I remember thinking it was pretty lame back then. (Then again, I was 13.)
And - while it is true that North By Northwest is awesome even under originalist doctrine - you give no indication of whether you can suspend your disbelief enough to accept the lame scene where he pulls a knife out of the back of a recently murdered diplomat and everybody thinks he's the killer. Can't you even agree that this scene is lame? But doesn't the scene with the plane in the cornfields kick ass? Answer me, Judge Roberts! The future of the Constitution depends on it.
You, dear reader(s), think I'm joking don't you? Just because you're right doesn't mean my line of inquiry lacks jurisprudential value. Turns out Clarence Thomas's favorite movie is The Fountainhead, a movie based on a book by that prophet of selfishness, Ayn Rand. That would have been enough to convince me to vote against him right there!