Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Judicial Temperament

Lorie Byrd at Polipundit writes on Alito’s demeanor in the hearings:

Others have commented about how much more ridiculous (even than normal) many of the Senators questioning Judge Alito appear when viewed in comparison to Alito with his calm and thoughtful demeanor. That is certainly true and while it was also true in the Roberts’ hearings, Judge Alito’s facial expressions have made it even more so. While Roberts and others who have recently been through the confirmation process have worn a perpetual smile and have given the appearance that they regard the questions as fair and worthy of a response, I just don’t get that vibe from Judge Alito’s body language. Judge Alito has been incredibly respectful in his responses, but he is not wearing the big grin that might say to some observers that everything the Senators say is appropriate. Almost as much as anything Judge Alito has said in his responses, that has made me an Alito fan.

In the few minutes I have been able to tear myself from my job to watch the hearings, I have noticed the same thing about Judge Alito. It’s hard to tell from facial expressions, but Judge Roberts’s polite smile might have indicated he saw the hearings as a game to endure to get to the Supreme Court. Judge Alito looks like he is taking the questions with the highest seriousness. That is impressive in a judge. He looks like a man who thinks ideas are important and worthy of his full attention and respect.

It’s a bizarre show, as the questions are coming from buffoons. It’s like watching Aristotle being interviewed by Howard Stern.

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