A couple of months ago Crikey’s sometime legal correspondent Peter
Faris wrote an article arguing that US Supreme court nominee John Roberts “can expect a
torrid time in the Senate confirmation hearings as this is probably the
most important choice in living memory – remember the confirmation of
Thomas and the failure of Bork?”

I wrote a comment in Crikey correcting a range of Faris errors and arguing: “Of course his confirmation hearing will be
contested, and it will no doubt be rough at times, as almost every issue is in
the US these days (even debates about obesity levels are partisan political).
But Roberts is too close to the judicial mainstream and too much a part of it
for his nomination to be “torrid” in the way that those of Bork and Thomas
were.”

I also suggested a wager on the outcome, and the next day Faris took me up on the bet, writing: “I’ll take
the wager suggested by Sanderson that the confirmation hearings will be torrid –
winner pays $100 to the Salvation Army.”

Now it’s time to collect. The dust has settled, John Roberts
has made it to the US Supreme Court bench as Chief Justice, it wasn’t torrid and it is time for
Peter Faris to cough up $100 to the Salvation
Army.

For the record, “the Senate voted 78 to 22 to confirm
Roberts. All 55 Republicans, half the 44 Democrats and independent Sen. James M.
Jeffords (Vt.) voted yes.” (The Washington Post, Sept 30.)

Peter Fray

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