Our views depend on our priorities and the information we receive
Sen. Shuman (d, ny) thought defending the independance of the judiciary, especially from people who are basically calling for attacks on judges (eg, Pat Robertson, who thinks that judges are more dangerous to US than terrorism), would be a "softball" for Roberts.
Almost-C.J. Roberts overthought, and Shuman had to answer the question for him in common language. Hilarious. I feel sorry for both of them.
Oomph--Shuman just called the nominee a racist. And it seems right, at least how the term is now used--referring to "illegal amigos", even as a joke, even if it were funny, would just not work today (in a memo, people!). And I guess Roberts got off the hook, at least with a lot of people, when he said the comment was appropriate at the time (sounds familiar). But what bothers me is that he'd even try to justify such a statement. It reminds me of B. Bush's recent dumbass comments about "those people" in New Orleans--people in these types of positions should _at least_, one would assume, have some kind of filter that wouldn't let stupid (objectively and subjectively) things come out of their mouths, or to disclaim them later on. Poor form.