Alito Hearings Begin Today

Senator Biden delivered remarks today at the Alito hearings. You can see the full remarks here.

The Constitution provides for one democratic moment, Judge, before a lifetime of judicial independence, when the people of the United States are entitled to know as much as we can about the person that we’re about to entrust with safeguarding our future and the future of our kids.

And, Judge, simply put: That is this moment, the one democratic moment in a lifetime of absolute judicial independence. And that’s what these hearings are about, in my view.

In the coming days, we want to know about what you believe, Judge, how you view the Constitution, how you envision the role of the federal courts, what kind of justice you would seek to become.

As I said, this one democratic moment when the people, through their elected representatives, get to ask questions of a president’s choice for the highest court. And I hope you’ll be forthcoming.

I cannot imagine, notwithstanding what many of my colleagues who I have great respect for believe, I can’t imagine the founders when they sat down and wrote the document and got to the appointments clause said: You know what? The American people are entitled know before we make him president, before we make her senator, before we make him congressman what they believe on the major issues of the day.

But judges, Supreme Court nominees, as long as they’re smart and honest and decent, it really doesn’t matter what they think. We don’t have to know.

I can’t fathom — can’t fathom that that was the intent of the founders. They intended the American people to know what their nominees thought.

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