Live-ish Blogging: Soto Hearings, Day 2, Part 1
[caption id="attachment_9331" align="alignright" width="345" caption="Jeff Sessions, gettin' all fired up and schoolin' that Wise Latina"] [/caption]
Today is the direct questioning of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. I suspect we'll get more fireworks today than we did yesterday. Last night, I was listening to NPR (thanks again to the Iran election, I have turned into a latte liberal) and the commenter had a pretty smart insight about yesterday's kickoff of the confirmation hearings : The Republicans' goal, aside from underscoring their earlier critiques is to make an even bolder statement about Obama's selection process and poor judgment about nominees. I agree. I just think it's a confused strategy. Why spend time nailing Obama on his nominee selection when this particular nominee is going to go through such an extensive vetting process? And in the end, when confirmed (barring a total meltdown or scandalous revelation) she'll be joining a more conservative majority on the Court?
Let's get to the 3rd degree, shall we?
Each of the 19 committee members gets 2 rounds of questioning. First round is 30 minutes (jesus christ) and the 2nd round they get 20 minutes (holy fuck). It's going to be a long day.
Sotomayor opens the day's proceedings by attacking some of the controversies leading up to this day head on. She talks about her (now) controversial Ricci case, the alleged Connecticut firefighter racial discrimination case. Her summary of the case: This was not a quota case nor an affirmative action case, it was test that varied widely on its pass rates and she applied precedent.
Then she moves right into the "Wise Latina" comment (she was taken out of context and no race has the uperhand on sound judgment) and into the 2nd Amendment (she won't prejudge a case and has friends who hunt!)
Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) now takes her on. Fireworks time! He goes after her hard on her earlier statement that appellate judges "make policy." She smacks that shit down by saying it would be clear if folks wouldn't just watch a snippet on YouTube. Oh snap! Girlfriend got game. He goes after her further on the "Wise Latina" comment and she relents saying that she misspoke and the comments "fell flat."
Then we are onto Sen. Herb Kohl, Democrat from Wisconsin (Go Packers!) He's pretty lame. He did bring up abortion, but his line of questioning lacked oohmph. Sotomayor believes abortion is settled law and several cases and amendments in the constitution lay a right to privacy.
Break time! Next up Republican Senator Orrin Hatch. More fireworks to come for sure!