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Does Senator Cornyn Read the VC?:
Senator Cornyn is questioning John Roberts right now, and he is discussing the reaction to the Roberts hearing in the blogosphere. Right now he is discussing Jim Lindgren's post from yesterday [or so I assume; he described the post, and it seems to be this one, but didn't name the blog or the blogger]. Cornyn is asking which kind of umpire he would be, and asking for Roberts' comments.

  UPDATE: I rewrote this a bit to clean it up, as I wrote the first version while I was listening to the hearings in real time.
Alan:
As a Texas conservative, I can say this speaks ill of the conspiracy.
9.13.2005 8:02pm
Volokh groupie (mail):
Jim Lindgren, are you a closet Cornyn staffer?
9.13.2005 8:03pm
William Spieler (mail) (www):
Some conspiracy, if you can't even keep it secret from THE MAN.
9.13.2005 8:08pm
Jim Lindgren (mail):
No, I've not talked to anyone actually involved in this since at least Roberts was nominated in July.

Jim Lindgren
9.13.2005 8:09pm
Jeff V.:
Roberts might have been responding to recent controversy in the blogosphere when he discussed his views on the third amendment, too!
9.13.2005 8:10pm
Marc Rotenberg (mail):
I'm watching, too. But isn't the real question whether the "CJ" is more
like an umpire or the league commissioner? There are lots of umpires
in baseball, but there is only one Commissioner of Baseball ("CB")
He negotiates with the owners (other justices), approves new stadiums
(courts), permits interleague play (diversity jursidiction), consolidates administrative functions of the AL and NL (Judicial Conference), creates
an extra tier of playoffs with the wild card (reviews cert petitions) and
most significantly establishes "the rulebook strike zone."
9.13.2005 8:17pm
Shelby (mail):
Juan N-V, revealed at last!
9.13.2005 8:23pm
WB:
Odd.. I saw the same thing here.


I have no idea what the blog is about - I just followed a link from SCOTUSBlog's comments. Is this blogospheric plagiarism...

...or just a famous line whose origins escape me.
9.13.2005 8:36pm
LiquidLatex (mail):
It is a fairly obscure but semi-popular phrase. Nothing original about it except for the inclusion of using it to represent how a CJ-SCOTUS would rule.
9.13.2005 8:41pm
Bill Dyer (mail) (www):
Despite being a (i) conservative (ii) lawyer (iii) blogger (iv) from Texas who (v) has voted for Cornyn for (vi) attorney general, (vii) state supreme court justice, and (viii) senator, I don't have any first-hand information. But I'm told by anonymous sources (whose names I cannot reveal because they're part, of course, of the vast right-wing conspiracy) that Sen. Cornyn has deliberately built one of the most media-savvy staffs on Capitol Hill in a very short time. And yes, that staff definitely reads the blogosphere -- conservative, liberal, and in between, and with special attention to legal blogs. Contrast the reaction-time and earnestness of his damage control efforts after Sen. Cornyn's Senate floor remarks about courtroom violence were (IMHO) very badly wrenched out of context, even by some fairly conservative bloggers (Insta-someone and Alt-something), with the multi-week saga of Sen. Durbin's Gitmo-Nazi madness, stonewalling, non-apology, and finally grudging-but-tearful sorta-apology.

The only reason I haven't been pushing Sen. Cornyn's name to fill a SCOTUS vacancy is because I think he's going to become increasingly effective as a senator, and I think there are more good SCOTUS candidates nationwide than there are good U.S. senator prospects in Texas. He is not particularly charismatic, and I don't think he's a natural born politician, although he certainly looks senatorial. His speaking manner is still that of the former state- and federal-court trial and appellate judge he indeed is. But he pays attention to details, picks good people, and delegates effectively. I'd bet a chicken-fried steak dinner that his staff not only skims the blogosphere, but selects and forwards a fair amount of material for his personal review.
9.13.2005 9:28pm
Uninformed Commenter (mail):
DailyKos' Armando had a very similar post yesterday on the Umpire statement:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/12/173516/164

So maybe it's just circulating around the blogosphere.
9.13.2005 9:56pm
Brant Kuehn (mail) (www):
I think Stanley Fish used the Klem quote in his "Is There A Text In This Room?" That said, I would be surprised if Cornyn was heavily into Stanley Fish.
9.13.2005 11:28pm
Dillon Kuehn (mail):
Dear Bro,

I believe the title is actually "Is There a Text in This Class."
9.14.2005 12:03am
Brant Kuehn (mail) (www):
Dear Bro,

You're right of course. I guess "Is There A Text In This Room" is less ambiguous (dependent on interpretive communities, Mr. Fish) than "Is There A Text In This Class."
9.14.2005 12:19am
JKH:
i think it's pretty clear that Sen. Cornyn is the secret volokh mystery blogger
9.14.2005 1:01am
Jonathan M (mail):
Has any Senator asked Roberts what it would take for him to overrule precedent?

Roberts appears to be giving general principled answers to questions about specific cases. If Senators really want to "grill" him or vet him, they really need to be exploring his view of stare decisis a lot differently than they are now. Roberts talks about respecting precedent alot. But does he really talk about what makes legitimate precedent? That is, Senators need to start uncovering just how his system of precedent works.

Is it like Scalia? who abides by stare decisis unless the precedent is an unreasonable decision not based on precedent itself.

Or Thomas? who seems to disregard precedent to the extent that the original text/intent is the crux of hermeneutics?

Spector was sort of close in whether he regards Roe as a
"super-precedent." I think it should be clear to any Senator right now that making such questions specific are a dead end. They need to examine his philosophy distinct of the hot-button case that Roe is.

For example, would Roberts overturn a precedent if he thought the precedent was not based on precedent? or was not consistent with an original or modern understanding of the text?

For a more in depth discussion of Stare Decisis in this context, see the celebrated blog of Lawrence Solum.
9.14.2005 2:43am
Shelby (mail):
JKH: See my 7:23 post above.
9.14.2005 2:45am
Nony Mouse:
It definitely proves that someone on his staff can use a search engine. I wish I didn't have to say that was impressive for a politico.
9.14.2005 1:46pm
JKH (www):
Nony Mouse: "It definitely proves that someone on his staff can use a search engine. I wish I didn't have to say that was impressive for a politico."

over the past year, i've gotten at least 10 emails from politcos or their staff in response to articles that i've written about them on my blog - some thanking me, some criticizing me, and one telling me that i had the wrong guy. i've come to conclude that most politicans have a google news subscription to articles containing their name, and that at least some of them have a staff member that regularly plugs their name into search engines to see what comes up.

some of the responses have been what i believe to be actually from the person in question, not from a staff member. maybe they get printouts from staff, or maybe they sit around plugging their own name into google during their downtime. i dunno. but in any event, you shouldn't be impressed. i think it's become fairly standard proactice.
9.15.2005 5:15pm