’About the old man, tune him out’

Shi Rong’s emails suggest something more than a friendship with Bob Dechert. Wesley Wark sees a cautionary message and J. Michael Cole says some Chinese correspondents are selected by the Ministry of State Security, but Mark Bourrie says there’s not much to worry about. Paul Dewar thinks Mr. Dechert should offer his resignation, but Joe Comartin isn’t calling for Mr. Dechert to be removed from the committee vetting potential Supreme Court appointees.

Comartin said he was surprised by Dechert’s “lack of judgment,” which he said was out of character. But he said the panel that is vetting the candidates for the high court vacancies is bound by “a rigid process,” one that Dechert should have no problem following.

“It’s pretty clear what we have to take into account,” said Comartin. “The judgements that you make are within those parameters.”