Vladeck: I disagree with that. If a tree falls in the forest, it makes a noise whether you're there to see it or not.
Rogers (astounded): Well that's a new interesting standard in the law.
No, Rep. Rogers, it is not a new standard in the law. As any first year Philosophy or Law student could tell you. If you violate my rights, you have violated my rights, even if I don't know about it.
But the fact that this very basic question of epistemology has now been raised in a Congressional hearing is less important than the fact that the elected representative got it wrong. This either demonstrates the radical epistemological underpinnings of the Reactionary Right... or their simple ignorance.
And by simple, I mean most people recognize that phrase as rhetorical. It's not an actual arguing point; it's just a place holder for a reminder that "objective reality" trumps political ideology. But Rep. Rogers is so unused to intelligent conversation that he doesn't understand that.