The John Roberts Sideshow

Hillary walks tightrope! Schumer frolics in spotlight!

"I'm not convinced she'll make a principled decision on Roberts," says the Democratic operative who knows both New York senators. "She's Hillary. She's running for president, and she's a cipher. She'll do what is in her electoral interests to do."

Of course, it's tough to make predictions before the confirmation hearings get under way. How Clinton—and for that matter, Schumer—will handle the issue depends largely on how Roberts handles his testimony. He could say something explosive about Roe, or not. He could stonewall on his judicial philosophy, or not. He could force the Democrats into a fight, or not.

The consequences, at least for Clinton, are clear. "In the end, she's going to have to make a decision and defend it," Cuomo says. "It's not something she can fail to do." *

Schumer's Top Questions for Roberts
One Supreme Court nomination, two experiences: Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer
photo: Richard B. Levine
One Supreme Court nomination, two experiences: Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer

A key judiciary committee member, Senator Chuck Schumer has been hounding the Bush administration for information on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. Now he's gearing up to grill Roberts at confirmation hearings next month, with a list of 82 questions he intends to put to the judge. Here's a look at some of Schumer's more revealing questions:

  1. Do you believe that Roe v. Wade (1973) was correctly decided? What is your view of the quality of the legal reasoning in that case? Do you believe that it reached the right result?
  2. How do you define judicial activism? Give us three examples of Supreme Court cases that you consider the product of judicial activism.
  3. Do you agree with the reasoning in Bush v. Gore? Why or why not?
  4. When the Supreme Court issues non-unanimous opinions, Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg frequently find themselves in disagreement with each other. Do you more frequently agree with Justice Scalia's opinions, or Justice Ginsburg's?
  5. Do you believe that either the United States Congress or the states can regulate the sexual behavior of individuals within the privacy of their homes?
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