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07.13.09

19 Best Moments from Sonia's Hearing

Sonia Sotomayor's second day on Capitol Hill finally brought some contentious back-and-forth. Watch our roundup of the highlights of the hearings so far.

Plus: The complete Daily Beast coverage of the nomination hearings.

Franken Talks Mason

On the third day of Sotomayor's hearing, the newest senator, Al Franken, talked to Sotomayor about Perry Mason (yes, the television show), and said it was "pretty cool" that she has been nominated for the Supreme Court.

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Let’s Do Lunch

When Senator Amy Klobuchar acknowledges Sotomayor's mother, the judge suggests their moms meet. How do we get invited to that lunch?

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Question. Does. Not. Compute.

Sonia Sotomayor fields tough questions from Senator Tom Coburn on self-defense. New questions are raised regarding whether Sotomayor is in fact a legal robot.

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Sotomayor Addresses Abortion

During the third day of her confirmation hearing, Sonia Sotomayor addresses abortion rights. She also delivers a dig to an old boss. Well played, judge.

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The Second Audience Outburst

An anti-abortion protester again interrupted the second day of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s hearing during a question from Sen. Chuck Grassley. After the protester was removed, Sen. Grassley joked, "People always say I have the ability to turn people on."

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Feingold Lawyers Up on Sotomayor

Sen. Russ Feingold complimented the judge's manner and knowledge of the law, saying he hoped she would consider the possibility that others would want to watch her from the comfort of their own homes, and to keep that in mind when deliberating on whether cameras should be allowed in the court room. "You were a very good lawyer, weren't you, Senator?" she jokingly responded.

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Guns: An Open Question

Ah, gun control. What lengthy political discussion would be complete without deciding whether farmers in Minnesota have the right to buy an Uzi?

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The 'Wise Latina' Remark Addressed, Finally

So just how wise or unwise was it for Sotomayor to describe herself as wise? The nominee tells it in her own words.

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Terms Limits for Supreme Court Justices? Bad Idea

She sure sounds like an originalist on this issue: when asked about term limits for the Supreme Court, Sotomayor says it's not what the founding fathers would have wanted.

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Feinstein: Activist? What Activist?

So we're back the "a" word, which in the past few news cycles has been "activist," as in actively creating law rather than neutrally applying it. Feinstein says Sotomayor may be many things, but "activist judge" isn't one of them.

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LEAHY’S PREEMPTIVE STRIKE

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Hispanic woman nominated to the Supreme Court. And if you vote against her, that’s because you are against Hispanic women. Right?

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SESSIONS SEES DANGER

The ranking Republican on the committee has little to lose in opposing Sotomayor, saying "Our legal system is at a dangerous crossroads… I will not vote for an individual who is not fully committed to fairness and impartiality.”

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THE FIRST AUDIENCE OUTBURST

Some guys showed up and started shouting about abortion. We used to think abortion was a complicated issue filled with weighty personal and philosophical implications, but now that we hear this guy screaming, it’s all so clear!

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NOT MUCH FIGHT IN THIS REPUBLICAN

Lindsey Graham tells Sotomayor that short of having a complete “meltdown,” she’ll be confirmed. Sounds like a dare to us.

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VERY INTERESTING, BUT STUPID

Wait, Senator Amy Klobuchar, why are you talking about the Grateful Dead? You don’t know? Neither do we.

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FRANKEN’S DEBUT: STILL NOT FUNNY

Apparently Franken didn’t read Victor Navasky’s plea in the July 10 New York Times. Navasky begged Franken to remain funny, despite the responsibilities of his new post. That humorless piece was better than Franken’s performance today.

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GILLIBRAND, INTERRUPTED

Everyone has a time limit at these hearings, but don’t tell that to the spirited junior senator from New York, whom Patrick Leahy attempts to cut short.

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SOTOMAYOR VOWS 'FIDELITY TO THE LAW'

In her closing statement at Day One of the confirmation hearings, Sonia Sotomayor took aim at critics who question her of impartiality as a Supreme Court justice.

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Talkin' 'Bout Her Reputation

Senator Lindsey Graham questioned Judge Sotomayor about her reputation during the second day of the hearing. Graham cited anonymous ratings of judges submitted by lawyers. Some comments called Sotomayor "tempermental, excitable," "overly aggressive," "nasty to lawyers," and "a bit of a bully." Sotomayor explained that her circuit is known as a "hot bench" where lawyers are peppered with questions, but lawyers who are unfamiliar with the process of the second circuit find that courtroom style "difficult, and challenging." "If I may interject, Judge, they find YOU difficult and challenging, more than your colleagues," Graham countered.

 

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