Highlights from the Sotomayor Hearings, Day Three

Thursday, July 16, 2009

As Judge Sonia Sotomayor prepares for another long day in front of the U.S. Senate Judicial Committee, we turn to The Takeaway's Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich. He was there for all of yesterday's highlights and he joins us with his take on the ongoing confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court nominee. (Todd is Twittering the hearings' highlights; follow him on thetakeaway.org.)

"The way to keep one's sanity in watching these hearings is principally to look at them as markers on our path of constitutional development."
—Columbia University law professor Nate Persily on Sonia Sotomayor's hearings

Here, Sen. Al Franken questions Sotomayor on abortion and the Constitution:


Todd Zwillich

Hosted by:

Farai Chideya


Noel King

Comments [4]


Charles, another simple option is that these hearings are just a charade and Sotomayor is simply backing off from her beliefs in order to get confirmed. She's just telling the Senators what they wanted to hear: that she was wrong before.

Jul. 16 2009 05:46 PM

From the Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web" online page, authored by James Taranto, the transcript and analysis of the questioning of Judge Sotomayor by Senator Kyl:


Jul. 16 2009 02:09 PM

And let's remember why John Hockenberry tried to tear into the Senate Republicans as "moronic" in their querying of Judge Sotomayor.

Hockenberry seems to think that Republicans were "moronic" to have inquired into the Judge's series (it wasn't just one) of "wise Latina" speeches, as well as to have challenged the Judge about Obama's "empathy" speech about judicial selections in general.

But what we've seen, after questioning of the Judge by Senators Kyl and Cornyn, is that Sotomayor has now essentially "walked back" (terminology from Joan Walsh of Slate) the "wise Latina" reference, and the judge has explicitly disowned Obama's "empathy" criterion for judicial decisionmaking.

In other words, the Republicans were NOT moronic; they were RIGHT! And neither the speeches of Sotomayor or the speeches of Obama stood up to thoughtful scrutiny.

Moronic, indeed, John Hockenberry. Here's the TakeAway: the "wise Latina" and "emapthy" have folded, like a three-dollar lawn chair.

Jul. 16 2009 02:06 PM

John Hockenberry's contempt for the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committe is barely concealed; mostly unconcealed. "Moronic" is the way he referred to them yesterday. "I'll just be quiet" was his pointed reference today.

And yet with two Democrat Senators' truly "moronic" questioning of Judge Sotomayor, John Hockenberry seems either disintested or mildly bemused. Example Number One is Al Franken's questioning the Judge about "Perry Mason," an obvious set-up bit, based on the Judge's mention of the tv show as an inspiration to go into the law. (Yawn.) Example Two is Ben Cardin wanting to give the Judge tickets to an Orioles' game, in grateful recognition of her preserving Cal Ripken's race against the Lou Gehrig record of consecutive game appearances. Which is a dubious offer by Senator Cardin, a dubious legal proposition, and a dubious bit of baseball record-keeping, all in one.
HUH? In a Supreme Court confirmation hearing?
Moronic, indeed.

Jul. 16 2009 01:54 PM

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