Sotomayor Hearing Open Thread.

Supreme Court Sotomayor
I’ve been home sick for the last three days and I’ve spent much of that time with tissue stuffed up my left nostril and my browser pointed to, where they are live-streaming the boring, painful, and occasionally entertaining Sotomayor hearings. Between sneezing, wishing boils on Jeff Sessions, and a pox on Lindsay Graham, I’ve been keeping up with a few entertaining Twitter feeds (including friends of the blog Adam Serwer and Dr. Bitch) and instant messaging my rage to Jamelle, UniverseExpanding, and G.D.

Today, though, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-WTF?) took the cake. As Adam tweeted earlier: “Dammit Coburn, Sotomayor is not your law professor.” Coburn asked question after question, seemingly trying to get at Sotomayor’s personal opinion on abortion and gun rights. She thwarted him, explaining repeatedly, exactly what a justice is supposed to do. (Hint: it’s not “make decisions based on how I feel about it.”)

Sotomayor has superhuman patience, and well knows what she’s talking about. There’s also been no hint of that spicy Latina temper we’ve heard so much about, despite the frustrating, condescending lines of questioning coming from the GOP senators. And even when she’s getting softballs from the Dems, she still answers in a thoughtful, measured way — I actually see many similarities between her and Obama.

Right now, we’re on a break and Jeff Sessions is complaining that Sotomayor’s answers aren’t “clear.” I couldn’t disagree more. She is perhaps being opaque about her personal views, but she’s being clear about her decisions and how she has come by them.

I have a few favorite moments from the last few days, and few where I would love nothing more than to hurl a shoe at my laptop. What about you?

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  • dave

    Sotomayor is not being clear, she is dodging the questions by claiming she can only think as a judge and judges only deal with precedent and established law. She is doing all she can to give the impression she will not use “empathy” in her decisions or legislate from the bench. I read the transcript of Coburns session, and it was frustrating. Sotomayor said a lot of words which can all be replaced by “I can’t answer that”. Apparently she can think outside the “judges box” when speaking to the ACLU or Bekeley, but not today.

  • I’m really confused by this exchange between Specter and Sotomayor. Damn ex-Republicans.

  • R.

    I caught a couple of hours of it and it did make me want to throw a shoe or three at Jeff Sessions. If you’ve ever sat through any one of these before I don’t know how you could complain about the process, tis your standard fare (other than the constant condescension by Republicans), although I’d say its has a lot of the Roberts’ confirmation sense of inevitability.

    Personally, I’d rather have the hearings filtered thru the Daily Show, its far more entertaining.

  • Graham’s questioning yesterday was so dripping with condescension that he easily did more damage to himself than to her.

  • blackink12

    Unfortunately, I’ve been tied up at work and have missed most of the hearing. Most of what I’ve seen came on the cable news shows later that night.

    But more than anything, what’s striking to me is that genuinely bright lights like Sotomayor and Obama will never be considered qualified enough in some precincts. It doesn’t matter if you get into and excel at Ivy League institutions and go on to establish your bonafides in the legal field.

    Because what it really comes down to is whether or not you might have ever benefitted from affirmative action, or if you ever dared to volunteer your services with community-building organizations like ACORN or the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

    But Sarah Palin – of all people – is absolutely qualified to serve as president, of course.

    It’s really, really insulting.

  • ladyfresh

    i missed it today
    doesn’t sounds like the repubs are winning the gotcha game yet
    go sotomayor

    in a general sense
    not the specific ‘i’m under the impression she is a wild liberal and will shake up the SC sense’
    i know that’s not happening