I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Hearings update

I'm in Washington and have a couple of meetings scheduled this afternoon with staff members of Senate Judiciary Committee members and am trying to have the work we have done here have some impact on how the questioning proceeds on Monday. That's not an easy goal to accomplish, because U.S. Senators are not the most humble bunch and they tend to think they are not in need of much outside input or advice -- including, amazingly enough, even the Senators on the Judiciary Committee who participated in (and were arguably responsible for) the Alito debacle.

But some have been more receptive than others, and there is a (gradually) growing recognition of the value of the blogosphere, not just in terms of its passion and numbers but also the level of substance and seriousness with which debate and analysis occurs here. The staffs and the Senators will be working throughout the weekend (which is good because, if what I have seen is any indication, they are not yet remotely ready), so perhaps there will be some additional opportunities to set up some additional meaningful meetings.

The ideas and questions and documents which I've been getting from everyone have honestly been immensely helpful, so if you have more, please keep sending them. Monday is only the first day of these hearings, not the last. There will be many other days and other witnesses, so the opportunities to have an impact on the proceedings will only increase.

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