Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mister Roberts (part 2)

(Author's Note: Yesterday I said that I had two observations about John Roberts, who was confirmed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 2005. My first observation was an expression of awe at the mad dancing skills of the judge's son. Today's comment is far more political.)

The following is a previously unpublished exchange from the Senate confirmation hearings, in which former personal injury attorney, North Carolina senator, and Vice Presidential nominee John Edwards was invited to grill Judge Roberts on the only issue that matters.

EDWARDS: You, of course, realize that a Supreme Court appointment has no term limit.


EDWARDS: And that you could, at least in theory, serve for as long as you live.

ROBERTS: Yes, I understand that.

EDWARDS: So, should you be confirmed by this Senate, you would expect to still be on the Supreme Court in, say, three years?

ROBERTS: Well... yes, if I were to be confirmed, I would expect that. But I'm not sure what you're getting at.

EDWARDS: The 2008 Presidential election is approaching, and while I haven't decided whether or not to declare my candidacy, I would at least like to think that I have that option.

ROBERTS: Naturally you would. So, is this a question about campaign finance reform?

EDWARDS: No. My concern is that... well, how should I put this? You would be considered in select circles to be a handsome man.

ROBERTS: Okay. Well, thank you.

EDWARDS: No problem. Here's the thing: when I was a Senator, and later when I was on John Kerry's Presidential ticket, I was thought of in those same circles as a handsome man.

ROBERTS: Very well. I can see that.

EDWARDS: Oh, that's so kind of you to say.

ROBERTS: You're quite welcome.

EDWARDS: By the way, is this line of questioning bothering you?

ROBERTS: Not at all. This is the most interesting conversation I've had all week.

EDWARDS: Great. Anyway, this is my question: would there be any Constitutional problem if the Chief Justice were a handsome man, and then in 2008 someone were elected President...

ROBERTS: Someone like you?

EDWARDS: For the sake of argument.

ROBERTS: Okay. How would that be a Constitutional problem?

EDWARDS: Well, it's just that if there were handsome men heading the executive and judicial branches of our great government...

ROBERTS: Oh! Now I understand. This is a question about separation of powers, and checks and balances.

EDWARDS: Yes, yes, that's it exactly! Did the founding fathers say anything to guard against all that handsomeness?

ROBERTS: Well, probably not, but I don't think there's a problem.

EDWARDS: You don't? That's good to know. Why not?

ROBERTS: Because we still have the legislative branch, and Congress will always be ugly.


Chris said...


Long time reader, first time blogger.

My only comment is, shouldn't you recuse yourself on this issue, being an incredibly handsome man yourself? It's not as if you can be expected to be objective... (And really, doesn't Congress have enough of that?)

- Chris

Neel Mehta said...

Welcome, Chris. I hope you'll be occupying the blog waves as much more than a reader and commenter. Start your page up! It takes less time to do this than you think. And if you think you can't come up with new stuff on a regular basis, then wait until you have a cluster of ideas, and write your entries in advance. Save the drafts and release them regularly. (That's what I do.)

Basically, all you need is a title. The first thing that comes to mind is "Chris' Reasons Why Not," but then you get into that whole punctuation controversy of what to do with an apostrophe after the S. Maybe "Everybody Seems to Likes Chris, But Won't Take a Firm Stand One Way or the Other."

As for the handsome comment: I've prided myself on creating a non-anonymous blog with no photographic evidence of what I look like. And now you're just throwing the truth out there for all to see.

K-Lyn said...

Who said he wasn't basing his handsome comments on your photo? I for one find the blue/white colour scheme you have going on very fetching. And the hat just adds the bad-boy ruggedness we all find so attractive.

Neel Mehta said...

Ah yes, the photo. And here I thought it was just a representation of a Star Wars fan living in the Wild West.

Thanks for the compliment. Though I hesitate to admit that I don't look as good in a cowboy hat, and no woman has ever referred to me as "Tripod."

K-Lyn said...

Clearly that is NOT a cowboy hat but one worn my one Mr. I Jones. That is a huge distiction. I'd turn down Bono if he were wearing a cowboy hat! Ick!

Neel Mehta said...

So that's the fedora, huh? I can believe that. (But not the part about refusing Cowboy Bono. You'd make adjustments.)

Um... beep beep bloop de beep beep beep.

K-Lyn said...

Nope. A girl has got to have her standards and I have a few absolutes. No cowboy hats, no Yankee pinstripes, and no guns.

Thankfully Bono got over that hideous period and decided to stick with just the sunglasses.

Courtney said...

K, I'm deeply disappointed in you. Yes, it's a fedora a la Indiana Jones. But NO, Indiana is not a Mr. He's a Dr. (He didn't go to six years of evil archaeology school to be called mister!)