After John Roberts was nominated by President Bush to serve on the Supreme Court, several news organizations reported that Roberts had been a member of The Federalist Society, which is a kind of secret-handshake club for politically conservative lawyers on the make.
News organizations subsequently corrected the story after the White House said Roberts had no recollection of ever belonging to The Federalist Society.
Then the Washington Post got a hold of a Federalist Society leadership directory from 1997-98 that not only shows Roberts as belonging, but also as being a member of the group's steering committee.
Given that Roberts was pretty much successful at passing off his Federalist Society whopper as a senior moment, you have to figure he will rely on the old CRS strategy (Can't Remember Stuff) during his Senate confirmation hearings next month:
Judge Roberts, I wonder if I might ask you about your association with some groups.
Do you belong to the John Birch Society?
Not that I can recall.
How about Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?
Hum, doesn't ring a bell.
American Bar Assn.?
You got me there.
Daughters of the American Revolution?
I'm drawing a blank.
If I may switch the subject, Judge Roberts, let's talk about some of the issues you might be asked to rule on as a justice.
Thank you, senator. I welcome the opportunity to expound on my views and judicial philosophy.
Excellent, sir. Now, then, what are your feelings about Roe vs. Wade?
Roe vs. Wade? Roe vs. Wade? Sorry, you'll have to refresh my memory.
Maybe this will help: landmark Supreme Court abortion ruling.
Oh, you know I do seem to recall something about Wade, but I'm coming up empty on Roe.
Moving on, Judge Roberts, during the 2000 presidential election recount you were part of George Bush's legal team. What role did you play?
Beats me - it's all kind of a blur. Say, who ended up winning that election?
Judge Roberts, does the name Ken Starr mean anything to you?
You were his deputy when he was the solicitor general in the Reagan administration?
No kidding. What did you say his name was again, Ringo Starr?
OK, let's try this. When you were a clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist ...
I'm sorry, Rehnquist? When was that?
When you were first out of law school.
Geez, senator, you're asking me to remember something from 25 years ago.
You don't recall clerking for the man who is now chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States?
Can't say I ... hold on. He wore a black robe a lot, right?