13 July 2009

Sotomayor confirmation hearings began today

So far today the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor have been just the Senate Judiciary Committee members' commentary and Sotomayor's speech. Her speech was so deep, articulate, and moving, with her narrative of how her Puerto Rican immigrant mother worked hard with her and her brother despite their low income. As for the senators, Republicans pressed Sotomayor with the usual "activist judge"/alleged racism, while Democrats had all sorts of hopeful and praising things to say. Heck, even South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham decided to be nice for once.

There were also some celebrity guest appearances at today's session. When the newly elected Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) - yes, the former Saturday Night Live/Air America Radio star Al Franken, in case you've been living in a cave all year - began his remarks, Norma McCorvey (the Jane Roe of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case) hollered along with another protestor. Then, when another Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of my home state California, began speaking, another protestor yelled: "Her record--What about the unborn. Abortion is murder! Stop the genocide of unborn Latinos!" Then, SJC chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) actually had to remind the audience to remain silent for the rest of the session. I actually saw the Feinstein incident live on PBS (locally on the digital KQED World channel). Because I always wake up late during the summer, I missed most of the earlier senators remarks. The hearings started at 10AM Eastern, which is 7AM in the Pacific Time Zone. Unfortunately, 10AM is my average wake-up time when there's nothing to do during the day. I think I need to move to the East Coast if I want to keep my sleep schedule and political informacy.

But later during the afternoon on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (KQED broadcasts it live from Washington, that's why it's on at 3PM PT), I got to hear a condensed version of the session, but not Franken. You can watch Franken getting interrupted on the Washington Post website.

Tomorrow, I'll wake up early to watch Round 2 of the hearings.

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