by Andy Borowitz & r & Roberts Appears at Confirmation Hearings Dressed as Mime & r & Further frustrating the efforts of Democratic senators to pin him down on such hot-button issues as abortion and the right to privacy, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts turned up at his confirmation hearings earlier this week dressed as a street mime, showing every intention of remaining totally silent for the remainder of his testimony.

Senators and observers alike seemed taken aback as Judge Roberts entered the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room wearing a striped jersey, red suspenders, white makeup and bright red lipstick, and proceeded to perform a pantomime in which he appeared to be struggling with a willful dog on a leash.

When Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass) asked Judge Roberts to explain his position on the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, the taciturn judge thrust forward the palms of his hands and pretended to be creating an invisible wall in front of him, making it impossible for him to hear the question.

Sen. Kennedy later expressed astonishment at the nominee's extraordinary performance, telling reporters, "That's just about the weirdest thing I've ever seen -- sober, that is."

But Republicans reacted more favorably to Judge Roberts' mime routine, many of them stopping to tip him on the way out. "Finally, someone connected to the Administration knows how to keep his trap shut," said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). "If only some of that would rub off on Barbara Bush."

Elsewhere, President Bush said that he "took great interest in a DVD about Hurricane Katrina" prepared for him by his staff, but added, "The part where FEMA responded was a little slow."

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