Sotomayor Hearings: Morning Starts With Heated Questions

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Posted: Jul 16, 2009 10:10 AM
It may be early in the day, but the confirmation hearings for Judge Sotomayor on Capitol Hill are already buzzing.  Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) used his allotted time this morning to drill the nominee on her controversial decision in the Ricci case.  Using the decision of the lower courts and the final decision of the Supreme Court, Sen. Kyl pointed out that Sotomayor's claims of following prior precedent in the Ricci case were largely unfounded as the high court noted in its decision that no precedent existed on the issue.  In the majority opinion of the Supreme Court in the Ricci case, justices also noted that Sotomayor's and the minority justices' opinions threaten to establish precedent for hiring practices based solely on race and racial quota systems. 

This type of questioning must have come as quite a surprise to Judge Sotomayor as Dems have been tossing softballs to her all week.  From the hearings thus far, we've learned that Sotomayor has an 'inspiring life story' and that she's a 'great American.'  The hard-hitting questions of new-kid-on-the-block Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) included asking the nominee whether particular words (privacy, birth control, etc.) could be found in the text of the U.S. Constitution.  It's bad enough that a high school civics student could've answered Sen. Franken's questions, but more distressing is the fact that any United States Senator would degrade his Constitutional duty of "advice and consent" and use limited committee time for investigating a candidate for the highest court in the land by asking such silly questions.  

Senator Kyl, I commend you for your poignant and fair questioning.

Stay tuned... Witness testimony is on today's agenda, including Ricci himself.