John Roberts’s initial appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee was impressive, by all accounts. He delivered a heartfelt opening statement, without a note before him, which apparently blew away most observers. Tim Russert called it a “very good debut;” others, like Alan Dershowitz, were more effusive. Dershowitz said it was “brilliant” and “couldn’t have been better.” Chris Wallace described Roberts’ performance as “very impressive.”
Of course, it didn’t hurt that Roberts got to follow the usual pompous statements by Senators. I’m sure the contrast was painful. Roberts is one of the most talented and accomplished people in the legal profession, so I’m not surprised at the perceived quality of his performance. It will be interesting to see whether the rave reviews make any difference in how the Democrats treat Roberts for the duration of the hearing.
Confirm Them has the transcript of Roberts’s opening statement. Some excerpts:
My personal appreciation that I owe a great debt to others reinforces my view that a certain humility should characterize the judicial role.
Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don