Nevertheless, I'm a blogger lawprof, so I will scan the transcript as a service to you, the reader.
[Professor Laurence] TRIBE: I'm not here to endorse the nomination of Judge Alito, as I did with my most recent testimony before this committee on a Supreme Court nomination with Justice Kennedy.Everyone's always "troubled" these days. Come on, he's opposed to Alito, but the opposition works best if you can oppose from within the humble law professor character. Does anyone actually buy that?
I'm not here to oppose his nomination, as I did several months before that time with Robert Bork. And I'm not here to lecture the committee on its responsibilities or its role. I don't think that's my role.
[Criticisms of Alito omitted.]
SPECTER: Professor Tribe, did you say you were not testifying against Judge Alito?
TRIBE: I am not recommending any action. I'm recommending that everyone -- because I think it's foolish. Nobody really cares what I think.
SPECTER: Aside from your recommendation, are you saying you're not testifying against Judge Alito?
TRIBE: I'm not testifying for or against Judge Alito. I'm explaining why I am very troubled by his views. Obviously, it follows from that that I would be hard pressed to recommend his confirmation.
Well, no one's watching on Day 5 anyway, so what they hell? It's an attractive pose, isn't it? And gems of frankness still pop out, like the one I've extracted for the title to this post.
The Senators rush the professors along and bear down on Tribe in particular for going over the time limit. Later, at the end of the day, Specter and Leahy luxuriate in unclocked minutes babbling to each other, somewhat charmingly:
SPECTER: [L]et me say that it has been a pleasure to work with Senator Leahy and I think our collegiality has been demonstrated in many ways, mostly by all of the pictures taken where we're huddled together so that our voices don't carry too far beyond, and also with a sense of humor.Ah, thank God, it's finally over! I waited so long for Supreme Court appointments, and I was so excited about finally getting to some hearings. But, wow, the drudgery of following these things!
In the bad old days when I had no hair, the only way that Senator Leahy and I could be told apart was by the color of our ties.
LEAHY: You're still wearing the red tie?
SPECTER: And I'm glad to have some hair....
There's a Latin maxim, "The exception proves the rule."
There might have been four minutes in the hearing when it wasn't dignified, but we worked through that as well.
About the only thing the respective parties have been able to agree to on this whole proceeding is that Senator Leahy and I have functioned collegially and have produced a full and fair and dignified hearing.
Will there be another anytime soon? If so, how about not going on for 5 days? It's just crazy. The nominee and his family are subjected to a physical endurance test, and then -- it's not really that sad -- no one wants to listen to the lawprofs.