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A Judicial Confirmation Hearing Is Not a Trial

Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review

In the first 150 years of constitutional governance, nominees did not appear at confirmation hearings. After all, their public records were more than sufficient for lawmakers to appraise their suitability, and they could not ethically answer the questions of real interest — how they would decide various kinds of cases. It was better back then. It was particularly better than what hearings became in the 1980s, when television and “borking” made them hyper-politicized — theater that was as much about celebrity senators as judicial nominees.