Forget the sitcoms, South Park, Comedy Central - the Elena Kagan confirmation hearing is televised comedy at it's best, if you understand it. I can't turn it off.
Spoiler - she gets confirmed. Congratulations Justice Kagan.
Supreme Court confirmation hearings are important, or so they are supposed to be. What they are, in reality, is an opportunity for those that support the nominee to say so, and those that don't, to do the same. Speeches for and against the nominee are disguised as questions for which we are led to believe an answer is actually important.
You may hear from a supporter: "Isn't it true that you are the absolute best human being on the planet?"
And you may hear from the opposition: "How many times have you stolen candy from a baby, 10 or 300?"
In Kagan's hearings, we learn that the Republicans really didn't like the first black guy on the Court, because he caused (problems) change to occur in America. From Wikipedia:
Marshall served on the Court for the next twenty-four years, compiling a liberal record that included strong support for Constitutional protection of individual rights, especially the rights of criminal suspects against the government. His most frequent ally on the Court (indeed, the pair rarely voted at odds) was Justice William Brennan, who consistently joined him in supporting abortion rights and opposing the death penalty
Or as spoken about by the Republicans on the committee:
People are angry, upset, embarrassed, and yes, many agree - but the theatre of it all cannot be missed. There is no chance Kagan will not be confirmed. Yesterday when asked where she was on Christmas, she said "Like all good Jews I was probably in a Chinese Restaurant."
When she was asked about her support for televising Supreme Court proceedings, she said it would cause her to have to get her hair done more often.
There's some funny stuff there.
Most of it comes in moments where no one is laughing.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.