Supreme Court: Judging the Judge

For all their posturing, Senate Judiciary Committee members have no fixed standards in reviewing presidential nominees

For one moment last week, it seemed possible that the Senators might unravel the tight bundle of polite obfuscation that is Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court nominee. Delaware's Joseph Biden, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, jabbed him with questions and snappy comebacks on Thursday morning, and Thomas was briefly thrown off his monotone. But his Republican handlers called for a break, and both Thomas and his Democratic inquisitors returned to a harmless game of parry and dodge.

After 22 hours of testimony, the 14 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee extracted little from Thomas. He told them the Constitution embraced a...

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