Morgen on July 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm
Just a reminder that the Senate confirmation hearing for Judge Sotomayor begins on Monday. Based on the witness list released today, it sure seems like the Republicans are not planning on just letting her breeze through the confirmation process. Among the witnesses who will be testifying are firefighters Frank Ricci and another Hispanic plaintiff whom Sotomayor ruled against in that reverse discrimination case. (Sotomayor’s ruling was reversed by the Supreme Court last week).
Of course I have a personal interest in observing the hearing having been the one to not only discover and post the now ubiquitous ”court is where policy is made” video on YouTube; but also having been the first to post her now infamous “wise Latina” statement. The latter of these surely would have been discovered by someone else had I not found it first, but it’s still gratifying to have a couple of small footnotes in the history of this process.
And while I think there will be a much greater focus on the “wise Latina” comment, and justifiably so, I think the YouTube clip may still result in some uncomfortable moments for her in the hearing. What I will be watching for is whether she will be honest and admit that she believes judges do in fact make policy, and rightfully so (in her opinion), or whether she will try to spin her way out of this and say she really meant something else. Remember that most legal experts who came to her defense did so on on the basis of the former argument. That because of their role in establishing precedent, and filling in gaps left by legislators, judges (especially on the Appellate and Supreme Courts) do in fact have a role to play in setting policy/making law. So in their opinion, there was nothing remotely controversial about her statement. (Even though Sotomayor herself recognized the controversial nature of what she had said “on tape”, and tried to joke it off).
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how she handles this, especially given all the past grandstanding on the part of Senators from both parties railing against judges who “make law”. To fully appreciate this, you have to check out the video I made of Senator Schumer (if you haven’t already seen it).
Depending on my schedule on Monday, I may open up a semi-live blogging thread to highlight any interesting details as they occur.