This week, the Wonk Room will live blog Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings. Yesterday, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III attacked Sotomayor for not behaving like other Puerto Ricans, and the right-wing Committee for Justice released an ad claiming that Sotomayor led a terrorist organization. This morning features questioning by Senators Cornyn and Coburn, we’ll see if they can clear the low bar set by Sessions and the CFJ. We will be updating this thread throughout the day.
5:49: And that’s a wrap . . . for today.
5:45: Cardin highlights one of Sotomayor’s major religious liberty cases, Ford v. McGinnis, in which she held that a prison could not deny Muslim inmates their First Amendment right to participate in the traditional meal celebrating the conclusion of Ramadan merely because prison officials determine that this traditional celebration was not sufficiently important to Muslims.
5:38: Cardin’s up, then recess for the day.
5:36: Broken Record Watch: Grassley still thinks that land developers are immune from statutes of limitations. And, for the record, Mr. Didden made an enormous profit on this land because it was seized by eminent domain. The only question in Didden’s lawsuit was whether he would get a massive windfall, or an awesomely massive windfall.
5:27: Sotomayor says that she has “no quarrel” regarding certain principles governing judicial neutrality, then cuts herself off, says “no quarrel sounds equivocal,” and fully endorses the principles. This may be a subtle dig at Roberts and Thomas, who routinely said that they have “no quarrel” with decisions that they stridently opposed once they were confirmed to the Court.
5:22: Ok, Grassley is making the utterly insane argument that a case called Baker v. Nelson is a Supreme Court precedent that forbids the Court from mandating marriage equality. Here is the entire text of Baker v. Nelson:
Appeal from Sup. Ct. Minn. dismissed for want of substantial federal question.
5:20: Your humble blogger is back. Just in time to get hit with a fistful of crazy by Chuck Grassley, it seems.
4:28: Your humble blogger has to duck into a meeting. No one say anything crazy while he’s gone.
4:24: Sessions doesn’t remember the Roberts and Alito hearings very well:
4:18: SCOTUSBlog makes a funny. Sotomayor references a British study on the use of precedent. SCOTUSBlog: Sessions “probably not happy with the reference to international law.”
4:11: Sessions doesn’t know what a board of directors does. He again claims that Sotomayor authorized an organization she sat on the board of to take positions that he disapproves of, but the New York Times reports that she had virtually no role in shaping the organization’s litigation, and ABA rules forbid the board members of legal organizations from supervising an attorney/client relationship.
4:09: Shorter Broken Record Watch: Foreign Law. Talmud. Scalia. Unelected Rabbis.
4:04: Irony Watch: Sessions complains about people who try to “promote agendas through the law.”
4:01: Broken Record Watch, Part II: Now Sessions is attacking Sotomayor for following a binding Supreme Court precedent regarding the Second Amendment. Federalist Society darling Judge Frank Easterbrook disagrees with with Sessions.
3:55: Broken Record Watch: Sessions goes right to “wise Latina.”