Elizabeth Warren posed a discomfiting question to the Senate yesterday.
At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?
It needs no imagination to understand that Justice Roberts was probably made uncomfortable by the question — but she has a point. The Republicans apparently intend to get the so-called “trial” over as quickly as possible, calling no witnesses and permitting the introduction of no evidence beyond the original referral from the House.
In what sense, then, is it proper to speak of the Senate circus as a trial? And is Justice Roberts not, in fact, presiding over a fraud against the American people?
Warren is being bashed on opinion pages just now for making Roberts uncomfortable, but I suspect that the long view of the question will be kind to her and hard on Roberts and the Senate.