In Print: Volume 88: Number 2
By Eric J. Segall
88 Wash. U. L. Rev. 535 (2011)
Good morning, Senator Leahy, Senator Sessions, and the rest of the Judiciary Committee. It is a great honor to be here and to be nominated as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. I am truly humbled by the proceedings today.
I have two obligations here this week. First, of course, I would like to make my President proud and be confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Second, I would like to present to you and the American people a true and accurate picture of who I am and what I believe. Those two goals are not mutually inconsistent.
Before this process turns to your direct questions for me, I feel that it is important to explain and put into context some of the previous remarks I have made about this nomination process. These comments have generated controversy over the last several weeks, and I feel I should address them. A few years ago, wearing an academic hat, I wrote that the process had become a “vapid and hollow charade,” and that “repetition of platitudes ha[d] replaced discussion of viewpoints.” I concluded in that book review that the “hearings serve little educative function, except perhaps to reinforce lessons of cynicism that citizens often glean from government.” I would like to try to put a dent in that cynicism today.