“If You Give a Judge a Meeting,” by Chuck Grassley.

If You Give a Judge a Meeting

If You Give a Judge a Meeting

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
March 18 2016 7:15 PM

If You Give a Judge a Meeting

A children’s tale by Sen. Chuck Grassley.

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo.

Natalie Matthews-Ramo

If you give a judge a meeting,
he’s going to ask for a glass of milk,
because he is probably very thirsty from that one time you compared him to Idi Amin.

When you give him the meeting,
he’ll probably ask you for a confirmation hearing.
He may also ask for a bendy straw,
because it’s entirely possible that having attempted to take guns away from the American electorate,
he now feels the need to defend himself and his family with blunt plastic.

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When he’s finished, he’ll ask for a napkin,
to clean up the “toxic environment” that your colleagues say is keeping you from considering his nomination.  

After all that toxicity gets cleaned up,
he’ll ask you for a vote in the Judiciary Committee, and you will have no principled reason to say no.

When he’s done with his Judiciary Committee vote,
he will probably ask you for an up-or-down vote in the full Senate.

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo.

Natalie Matthews-Ramo

He may also remember the time your friend Orrin Hatch called him “a fine nominee,”
and said, “I know him personally, I know of his integrity, I know of his legal ability, I know of his honesty, I know of his acumen, and he belongs on the court.”
And he’ll wonder, “What changed?”

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So then he’ll ask you for a mirror,
because he may want to look in a mirror,
to make sure that he’s still himself,
and not that vicious Ugandan dictator you mentioned.

Once he sees that he’s not a dictator,
he will probably ask to be confirmed.
Then he’ll be pretty tired,
and ask to take a nap.
You’ll have to fix up a little napping spot for him with a blanket and a pillow.
He’ll crawl in, make himself comfortable, and fluff the pillow a few times.
He’ll probably ask you to read him an amicus brief.

And, instead, you can read to him from one of those confusing interviews,
where you said it wouldn’t be intellectually honest to confirm him before November,
and that it will be intellectually honest to confirm him after November.

If you do hold that vote and he is confirmed,
he might notice his hair needs a trim.
So he’ll probably ask for a pair of nail scissors. Because it will turn out that this former prosecutor and centrist jurist
is in fact a wild-eyed, long-haired hippie Che Guevara character,
just as you suspected all along.

And once he’s on the court,
he will be on there for 12 million years.
And he will likely ask for a broom
to sweep up liberty and life and happiness as we know it.
He’ll also want to ensure that liberty is imperiled long into the future,
probably even after Obama is no longer president.
And the prospect of sweeping long into the future will lead him to ask for a glass of milk.
Because.
Well, you know.
Milk.

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast Amicus.