In a way, Schumer did a favor for every judge who will follow in the future, as Roberts didn’t fall for the trap and, as a result, has further established precedent for not taking such positions as a prequalification for confirmation.
Senator Joe Biden, after having rambled constantly and interrupted Roberts repeatedly, (to the point of being called down by the chairman twice), then had the gall to accuse Roberts of trying to “filibuster”. And yes, he actually said it with a straight face. For the record, according to Judiciary Committee transcripts, during her confirmation hearings Justice Ginsburg answered two-hundred and sixteen questions. Roberts answered five-hundred and ten.
Biden went on to accuse Roberts of “misleading” the Committee with his answers, (the politically polite way of calling someone a liar). This is the same Biden who, after the hearings were over told Roberts he was “one of the best witnesses to come before this committee.”
Then we had Senator Arlen Specter (a Republican no less), the moderate but supposedly chastened committee chairman, attempting to pin Roberts down on Roe vs. Wade, and in the process create a whole new variety of stare decisis. In probing Roberts, Specter asked if he felt that Roe was a “super-duper precedent”. This as opposed to your average, ordinary run-of-the-mill precedent. What about "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious precedents"? Clearly, we need to invent a whole new lexicon here.
The type of questions senate liberals persisted in were the same type of questions that Senator Biden told Justice Ginsburg that she shouldn’t answer over ten years ago. The type of questions that sought to ascertain Roberts’ positions on issues of policy in such a way that, if answered at all would have left him open to the charge of pre-judging various cases – and if answered the way the liberals wanted, would have committed him to being a judicial activist in the true sense of the term.