I've been blissfully unaware of the world and its events for the past two weeks. Well, maybe not so blissful, but certainly unaware. My wife had surgery a week ago, so I have been home, serving as private duty nurse and loving every minute of it.
Did I really catch a snippet of some knucklehead on the Sentate Judiciary Committee grilling John Roberts on his choice of clients? It was a low-water mark in hearings remarkable for how little they revealed about what is at stake in the choice of a justice.
Q. Is it true, Judge, that you advised counsel seeking to strike down a Colorado law prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Well what would you have done if the other side called first? I mean some of us think it is wrong to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Would you have advised the other side?
A. Er, um ... well, yes, I would have.
The exchange made my heart ache. I guess no criminal defense lawyer will ever be nominated to the Supreme Court.
Q. Is it true you represented a man convicted of sodomizing his daughter?
The question is a yawning non-sequitor. Lawyers represent people in the principled resolution of conflict. We don't endorse the conduct that brings a client to court. We deal with it, as matters of law.
The Senator who lobbed this softball at Roberts deserves scorn. Lawyers fight for clients. Play-acting is left, apparently, to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.