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Congratulations Chief Justice John Roberts!

Oh, whoops, you mean the hearings aren't over? Somebody should have told the Senate.
 
 
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It's only the most important judicial role in America, but neither the public nor the United States Senate seems to be taking seriously the potential confirmation of Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts.

According to the Washington Post, only 170 spectators came to watch and a crowd of twenty or so protested outside the Senate building. Inside, though, there wasn't anything even remotely resembling a protest.

Senator Edward Kennedy prematurely offered his congratulations to Mr. Robert's wife. Three younger Republican Senators giggled and passed notes to each other, high school style. Amid the cheek-squeezing, laughter, and kissing going on, it was clear there wasn't going to be much room for asking hard questions.

The first day of the hearings, today was more posturing (or teeth picking) than questioning. Senator Patrick Leahy has a petition asking people to require the Senate to ask real key questions of John Roberts when the questioning starts tomorrow.

Let's remind the Senators not to get the party started too early. After all, this isn't a time for much partying, period.

Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.