Here's a couple of pieces summarizing the first day of John Roberts' Supreme Court nomination hearing. Didn't catch much of it, but it doesn't seem like it's providing the ideological sparks that the Bork or Thomas hearings did (though there's always that possibility).
Some senatorial pronouncements:
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas: "All of us are curious. But just because we're curious doesn't mean our curiosity should be satisfied. You have no obligation to tell us how you will rule on any issue that might come before you if you sit on the Supreme Court."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.: "One of the most important issues that needs to be addressed by you is the constitutional right to privacy. I'm concerned by a trend on the court to limit this right and thereby to curtail the autonomy that we have fought for and achieved . . . It would be very difficult . . . for me to vote to confirm someone whom I knew would overturn Roe v. Wade, because I remember . . . what it was like when abortion was illegal in America."
Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio: "Many Americans are concerned when they see the court strike down laws protecting the aged, the disabled and women who are the victims of violence. . . . And many fear our court is making policy when it repeatedly strikes down laws passed by elected members of Congress and elected members of the state legislatures. Judges need to restrict themselves to the proper resolution of the case before them. They need to avoid the temptation to set broad policy."
And here's Roberts' opening statement, in which he seems to be communing with DeWine and throwing in a baseball metaphor that leaves me a bit uneasy for some reason:
Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them.
The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules.
But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.
Whole thing here. Hmm, then again, the Supreme Court is more like the baseball commissioner's office, isn't it? It's not just a bunch of umpiires, but that which after there is no further appeal, right? (Other than back to Congress and/or the American people). Obviously, as the Cherokee could tell you, winning in the Supreme Court doesn't necessarily guarantee you anything, but the judgues there clearly carry more weight than, say, the infield umps at your kids' Little League games too.