Are you beginning to think that Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings were pretty meaningless (in addition to being boring)? Stuart Taylor, for my money our nation’s best legal writer, has a modest proposal:

 The rather unilluminating hearings this week call to mind proposals by confirmation experts that the Senate altogether abandon testimony by judicial nominees. Congress could return to the practice that it followed until the middle of the last century, when it voted based on judicial nominees’ records without calling them to testify at all.

 Sounds like a plan. Still, there is an argument in favor of holding the hearings-it gives representatives of the people both sides of the aisle a chance to make the case for their view of the role of the judiciary. It reminds the public that elections have consequences that will be felt long after any particular president has returned to private life.

 Counter argument: Senators resort, as Taylor notes, to giving little speeches on their pet subjects rather and asking good questions. The public gets very little more than a chance to be bored out of its collective gourd-and we know about as much about the nominee before the hearings as afterwards.