Still, you do wish someone would break ranks and say something unexpected. But of course the exercise is designed to be tedious and, ultimately, meaningless. That said, it's probably worth saying one more time that the job of justice is more complex than either Judge Sotomayor (she ain't a justice yet) or any of the senators were prepared to acknowledge.
In that spirit, it's worth reading this column by Burt Neuborne, "Judging Is Both Robotic and Discretionary." He writes:
Surely, it would have been a good idea to probe how Justice Sotomayor would approach a case for which clear guidance does not exist. But no senator wanted to go there.Neither did she.
As I'm typing this, Senator Spector is explaining how wonderfully these hearings educate the public. That's so obviously false it's hardly worth mentioning. But it's a damn shame.