"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.