Senate Judiciary chair Richard Durbin, D-Springfield, reminded committee members on the second day of hearings on the Supreme Court nominee what the late Muriel Humphrey would tell her husband, the loquacious Vice President Hubert Humphrey: "A speech doesn't have to be eternal to be immortal." After all, Abraham Lincoln, R-Springfield, used just two minutes, with 275 words, to deliver the Gettysburg Address, Durbin said. Then 20 senators rattled on for about 30 minutes each, taking the hearing past 10 p.m. On the third day, when each senator was given another 20 minutes to ask the nominee questions, the weary chair said he would be grateful to any member who would "yield back" at least part of the time. But Durbin seemed resigned to yet another day in the Senate version of eternal life. – Fletcher Farrar, editor

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Fletcher Farrar

Fletcher Farrar is president of Illinois Times .

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