As I noted earlier today, Daniel Drezner is holding a contest for "stupid politician comment of the hearing". The rules are simple: Find the dumbest comment a United States Senator made during the Samuel Alito hearings and post it. A few people in a row jumped on this exchange, and if this doesn't make Chuck Schumer (D-NY) [how many readers of this blog voted for him? Oy.] a winner, I'll be pretty shocked. Not that he hasn't gotten some stiff competition, but this is priceless:
SCHUMER: Does the Constitution protect the right to free speech?
ALITO: Certainly it does. That's in the First Amendment.
SCHUMER: So why can't you answer the question of: Does the Constitution protect the right to an abortion the same way without talking about stare decisis, without talking about cases, et cetera?
ALITO: Because answering the question of whether the Constitution provides a right to free speech is simply responding to whether there is language in the First Amendment that says that the freedom of speech and freedom of the press can't be abridged. Asking about the issue of abortion has to do with the interpretation of certain provisions of the Constitution.
UPDATE: I see CWY has picked up on this, and he put it well:
Now Schumer can't really be that dumb. Or maybe he's illiterate. It is possible that he has never actually read the Constitution, and therefore just assumed that the right to an abortion was really written somewhere in the Bill of Rights. The way some people talk about the "right to an abortion", I could understand how someone would believe that it's an express right and not something discovered inside some penumbra of the Constitution.Continuing on activities for bloggers during these hearings, I see the Beltway Blogroll is hosting "Whack-A-Pol". For this Schumer comment, I think he easily classifies as a moron. And, if you can make a nominee's wife cry, when the person is interviewing for a job, not being questioned for a crime, you're a $#!* - and that applies to whichever Democratic Senators were acting like $#!*s the last few days. You're supposed to be interviewing the man to see if he's qualified for the Supreme Court of the United States: Not playing politics and insinuating that he's a cold, heartless bastard trying to lock up all the poor and minorities and throw away the key, while forcing women to die in labor and allowing the government free reign to terrorize the world [is that an exaggeration? Maybe. But not by much...]. Fill in the $#!* however you wish - just don't make it nice.
Technorati tags: SCOTUS, Alito, Schumer, Hearings, Roe, Speech, Constitution, Stare Decisis.