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Roberts Continues To Stonewall On Logan v. Wayne

Judge John Roberts weathered another round of questioning today as his confirmation hearing entered its second day, but the controversal pick for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court left many senators frustrated and angry as he repeatedly declined to explicate his position on Logan v. Wayne.

Though he remained calm and composed while addressing members of the Senate judiciary committee, Mr Roberts refused to provide unambiguous answers when asked about the one of the most controversial questions even pondered by Congress.

Proceedings quickly became acrimonious Tuesday morning, as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) openly challenged Robert's claim that he "had not made up his mind" on Logan v. Wayne. "With all due respect, I find it frankly unbelievable that, in 30 years of public service, you could not have formed an opinion on this matter," Kennedy said. "So I would again ask that you simply answer the question: who would win in a fight, Wolverine or Batman?"

Seemingly nonplussed, Roberts demurred, saying, "while Iím happy to talk about the individual strengths and weaknesses of each, I donít think I should get into the application of their powers in a mano a mano confrontation."

"Powers?" interjected committee Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter. "Batman doesn't even have any powers. So my colleague's implication that Batman is even in the same league as Wolverine is nothing short of wishful thinking, wouldn't you agree, Mr Roberts?"

Refusing to take the bait, Robert again declined to answer.

Questioning continued in this vein for most of the afternoon, with senators on both sides of the aisle pressing Roberts to clarify his stance. "One of the most important responsibilities of a Chief Justice is adherence to existing precedence," Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) reminded the nominee. "I therefore call your attention to The Dark Knight Returns -- a four-part, 1986 mini-series in which Batman defeats Superman in hand-to-hand combat -- and ask you: if Bruce Wayne can beat Superman in a fight, is it not self-evident that he could defeat a mere mutant with ease?"

Brownback remarks were later stricken from the record, however, after ranking Democratic member Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) pointed out that The Dark Knight Returns is now considered to be an non-canonical "Elseworlds" story.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Ut.) pressed Robert to rectify his current neutrality with remarks he made in a 1967 letter to Detective Comics, in which he described Batman as "the best superhero ever!!" Roberts again insisted that the scope of his ruling was confined to DC titles only, and should in no way be construed as an endorsement of Wayne over any character residing in the Marvel Universe.

Though questions regarding Logan v. Wayne dominated today's session, Roberts was also asked about about his views on civil rights, affirmative action, the limits of presidential power, and which Modest Mouse album kicked the most ass.

Posted on September 13, 2005 to News