Monday, September 05, 2005

The Virtue of Graciousness

Chief Justice William Rehnquist's remarks at the close of the Senate impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton, February 12, 1999:

"More than a month ago, I first came here to preside over the Senate, sitting as a court of impeachment.
"I was a stranger to the great majority of you. I underwent the sort of culture shock that naturally occurs when one moves from the very structured environment of the Supreme Court to what I shall call, for want of a better phrase, the more free-form environment of the Senate.
"I leave you now a wiser, but not a sadder, man. I've been impressed by the manner in which the majority leader and minority leader have agreed on procedural rules, in spite of the differences that separate their two parties on matters of substance.
"I have been impressed by the quality of the debate in closed session on the entire question of impeachment, as provided for in the Constitution. Agreed-upon procedures for airing substantive divisions must be the hallmark of any great deliberative body.
"Our work as a court of impeachment is now done. I leave you with the hope that our several paths may cross again, under happier circumstances."


***

Ladies and Gentlemen of the United States Senate, here is your opportunity to demonstrate that the values described by Chieff Justice Rehnquist are not dead on Capital Hill. By all means ask your questions of Judge Roberts, but do so civilly and with an eye towards the good of the nation, not the TV camera.
I trust that each of you will do his or her duty. Please do not let me down.

4 comments:

Cassandra said...

...but do so civilly and with an eye towards the good of the nation, not the TV camera.
I trust that each of you will do his or her duty. Please do not let me down.


Hmm...I take it you haven't seen Harry Reid's latest salvo then:

"Out of respect for the memory of Chief Justice Rehnquist and in fairness to those whose lives continue to be devastated by Katrina, the Senate should not commence a Supreme Court nomination hearing this Tuesday." said Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D. Obstruction) "A brief postponement will not disadvantage anyone."

Sigh...

spd rdr said...

I realize that I am spitting into the wind, Cass. But I least I'll have an excuse to explode when they start gettting ugly.

Cassandra said...

I apologize.

I realized immediately after hitting Post that it was an ignorant comment. You need a 'recall' button.

I was just so angry when I read the article in the WaPo, and then I saw your post (a few minutes later when I hadn't calmed down yet) and didn't have the good sense to keep my mouth shut. I've had the worst migraine in about 3 years for about a week now and I'm about at the end of my rope.

Not the best of excuses I'm afraid, but it's the one on offer today.

spd rdr said...

No excuses necessary. mrs. rdr is also done with a migraine today. And more's the pity that the last day of vacation is such a georgeous one.

And by the way...watch this space for the inevitable explosion.