Monday, July 25, 2005

Are you now or have you ever been...?


Chuck Schumer’s list of questions for John Roberts to evade answering, doesn’t suck, although it avoids issues relating to the death penalty and the Second Amendment. Just as Schumer has given Roberts the questions in advance, Roberts should be pressured to give his answers in advance, in writing, so that he may be cross-questioned about them.

So Roberts can’t remember whether he was ever a member of the Federalist Society? How credible is that? There are organizations I once gave some money to but haven’t in 10 or 15 years that still send me “renewal” notices on a regular basis. Here’s the helpful comment of John Cornyn on the subject: “It’s not like being a member of the Communist Party.”

I know that lawyers’ ideas of ethics are not those of normal people, but I was always under the impression that lawyers weren’t supposed to lie in court. So while Roberts may have been arguing the position of the Bush 1 administration, was it ethical to make an argument that Roe v. Wade was “wrongly decided and should be overruled” unless he actually believed that position to be correct?

Speaking of lawyers with retarded clients, a jury is being empaneled in Virginia solely to decide whether a man already convicted of murder is mentally retarded or not; if the latter, he will be executed. And while I know it’s a civic duty and all that, let’s face it, we’re all thinking the same thing: a man’s IQ will be determined by a group of people who couldn’t get out of jury duty. The man’s tested IQ has risen from 59 to somewhere in the 70’s, above what counts as retarded in Virginia, an increase which is attributed to the mental stimulation he received by working with his lawyers on his case, mental stimulation entirely lacking from his life previously. Sometimes irony gets you executed. To ensure that the trial not be fair, the judge has ruled that the jury may hear the details of the murder, which are of course entirely irrelevant to determining whether he is retarded.

Pakistani dictator Musharaf claims that “Al-Qaeda does not exist in Pakistan any more.” Although it hasn’t stopped him using the London bombings as an excuse to further criminalize speech acts, which will now be tried in anti-terrorism courts.


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