Glenn Reynolds is one of the five. He asks, among other things, "Could a human-like artificial intelligence constitute a 'person' for purposes of protection under the 14th Amendment...?"
Another lawprof, Kathleen Sullivan, wants to know "What are three constitutional issues you think will be more important by 2020 than any on which we are focusing now?" Probably those human-like artificially intelligent thingies, I'm thinking, picturing Haley Joel Osment.
Jean Edward Smith, a professor who's written a book about John Marshall, wants to know if Roberts will wear the Rehnquistian stripes on the robe — because, you know, Chief Justice John Marshall started the whole no-fancy-robes style for the Court.
Ron Klain, who was chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the highly unusual Clarence Thomas hearings, asks:
Over the past 50 years, 20 different men and women have been appointed to the Supreme Court. Recognizing that political labels are of limited value, and generalizations are generalizations, I wonder if you can identify one of these 20 jurists - just one - who you think has a view of constitutional rights that is "to the right" of your view, as that label is commonly used by legal commentators?Duh... Clarence Thomas? That's what Klain is — absurdly — trying to make Roberts say. That'll happen.
Finally, there's Dick Thornburgh, who served as Attorney General under Reagan and elder Bush and who gets the prize for shortest questions (and you know damned well the Senators aren't going to ask any short questions). I get the feeling, though, that his questions aren't short because he tried to make them pithy. I think he just didn't work as hard on the assignment as the other op-editorialists. He's got stuff like "How do you envision the role of a chief justice?" on the list.