Why a Hearing?

Now that the hearing for Judge Sonia Sotomayor is over, what do we know about the kind of justice she would be? Not more than we knew before it. We know she’s an articulate, bright lawyer who knows the law as much as you’d expect someone who’s been an Appellate Court judge for the last decade. When Chief Justice John Roberts was confirmed, his hearing was only notable for the frequency of his use of the words stare decisis, citing the need for the court to rely on precedent. And Justice Samuel Alito’s rather fades from memory. After the contentious theatrics of several prior nominations, nominees are prepped to answer without giving away any information. For as long as the Congress is polarized along party lines the system may not be able to change. So why hold a hearing? Have we reached the point where they become a game? If so, why not devise some other system, one that avoids the waste of the Congress’ time, ours, and too the vapid comments from media commentators.