Despite low murmuring to the contrary, Elena Kagan is not a witch and appears likely to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice.
Having been put into a chair and dunked over three days by the medieval inquisitors of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she disappointed her tormentors by not drowning in their innuendo. Thus, according to ancient law and custom, she cannot be proved a pointed-hat-wearing member of the liberal coven, even though they are convinced she is one.
One of the chief drivers of the witch hunt was Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the committee, who said Ms. Kagan's record and careful answers had left him "uneasy." Well, of course.
If he wasn't left feeling uneasy, the rest of us would have been left feeling we were wearing canvas underwear. Something would be itching, something would feel not quite right. We would be rubbed into a state of alarm by a premonition of signs and wonders and strange occurrences. No surprise there: It is widely known that the graves will open before the senator's mind does.
This miraculous era may come sooner rather than later. I am told on good authority that when President Obama makes his next pick for the Supreme Court, the nominee will be the Lord Himself, formerly of Nazareth. (What? You were expecting Mr. Obama to nominate the Prophet Mohammed?)
This nomination will pose problems for Mr. Sessions and such merry sidekicks as Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, who is much concerned with "results-oriented judging."
What if the main result of the orientating is justice? Mr. Kyl has asked himself this question and shudders at the dreadful prospect. Why, this was the very judicial style of the late Thurgood Marshall, who had the gall as a justice not to be mainstream when the middle of the stream held the greatest pools of iniquity.
So how will conservatives react when the Lord is the nominee? After all, they hold this truth to be self-evident: Anybody nominated by this president is the biggest liberal in the history of the universe (heaven and Earth included) and must be opposed at all costs.
While not wishing to get into trouble with the prophets' union, I have been able to channel some of Mr. Sessions' own words to predict his reaction when the Lord comes before the judiciary committee:
"Lord, let me join the chairman in welcoming you here today. You are a very popular figure in Alabama and we enjoy meeting you in our churches every Sunday. Next time you are in heaven, please send our regards to Bear Bryant, who we know is up there with you.
"This nomination certainly comes as a surprise. We understood you were coming in glory to judge the quick and the dead and yet here I am, speaking as someone dead to good sense, having to judge your qualifications.
"Serious and substantive questions must be asked. It is not a coronation, it is not a cloud of glory, but a confirmation.
"Ladies and gentleman, the Lord certainly has numerous talents and good qualities but there are serious concerns about this nomination. While the Lord is a judge in the supernatural realm, He has less real legal experience of any nominee on Earth in at least 50 years. He has barely practiced law. While being in heaven certainly has value, there is no substitute for handling real cases over a period of years.
"The Lord's public record in the New Testament reveals activist tendencies. During His time on Earth, the Lord said 'blessed are the peacemakers,' a view that punishes the military and demeans our soldiers as they are courageously fighting two wars overseas. I can never take that issue lightly.
"In his theological thesis, He says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven -- which would seem to bemoan the great role of corporations in our national life. And during His time as the dean of itinerant preachers, He stopped the legal stoning of a woman found in adultery, on the activist theory that he without sin should cast the first stone.
"This all sounds a lot like the progressive philosophy, which became fashionable among elite intellectuals over the last two millenniums. President Obama advocates a judicial system based on empathy and he suggests his nominee shares that view. Our legal system does not allow such approach -- ask any Pharisee!"
For heaven's sake, if this president nominated the Lord Himself for this court, Mr. Sessions and his pals would remain unrepentantly uneasy.
Reg Henry: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1668. Read his blog "Reg on Wry" at post-gazette.com/forum.