The American political scene is moving at lightning speed these days, with impeachment proceedings, the Iowa caucuses, the State of the Union, and the government’s response to the coronavirus threat all competing for our attention. But I would be remiss if I failed to note the outrageous question that Senator Elizabeth Warren posed during the impeachment trial last week.
All questions, of course, were required to be written on notecards and passed to Chief Justice Roberts, who read them aloud for response by either the House Managers or the President’s lawyers. Here is what Warren asked:
“At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?”
Oh, good grief. Roberts has to preside over the trial — it’s right in the Constitution. Calling into question the legitimacy of the entire Supreme Court and the Constitution during a partisan political skirmish was both cheap politics and degrading to the very foundation of American democracy. And she was roundly scolded for the stunt, from observers on all sides of the political spectrum.
This blog has chastised the President and many others for their similar tendencies to attack the courts’ legitimacy when they cannot achieve their political objectives. Let’s add Elizabeth Warren to that list as well. If she truly wants to improve Americans’ faith in government, perhaps she could start by showing appropriate respect for its institutions and design.
One thought on “Warren’s attempt to question third branch legitimacy fails spectacularly”
It would be more reasonable with all due respect, to assume, that the question posed by her, referred rather to the issue of the refusal to summon witness and check evidences ( beyond the record of Congress ). It seems rather, that she has protested such situation, and wondering maybe, how the chief justice, complied with such idea, over, the very legal fact of course, that he must preside on such trial of course. She is, or, was experienced lawyer, It is hard to assume, that she has just challenged such clear constitutional stipulation.
Yet, when protesting and defying, it is not so reasonable to put it in question form of course. That’s it it seems. But surly, it is hard to believe that the issue for her, was to challenge such clear constitutional provision, or, that she didn’t know it at first place.
And concerning witness and new evidences and so forth… well, that’s a hell of one.