Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sotomayor hearings: Lots of ‘splainin’ to do

In this morning’s questioning, Cornyn continued to be befuddled by the whole concept of a “wise Latina woman.” “Isn’t that a contradiction in terms,” he asked?

Cornyn was also befuddled by the notion that there is some “indefiniteness” in the law, which is kind of the reason we have a Supreme Court in the first place.

Cornyn was still further befuddled by the notion that judges bring “life experiences” to the bench, which is why we don’t pick the Supreme Court by putting the names of every American into a giant hat.

Tom “OMG, Lesbians in the Bathrooms!” Coburn posed a hypothetical case about abortion: “Let’s say I’m 38 weeks pregnant and we discover a small spina bifida sack on the lower sacrum... Would it be legal in this country to terminate that child’s life?” Sotomayor explains to him very gently (because you know what pregnant men are like) that abortion is actually regulated at the state rather than the federal level.

Coburn asked over and over whether there is a “right to personal self-defense.” Finally, she set up a scenario:
But, under New York law, if you’re being threatened with eminent death or very serious injury, you can use force to repel that, and that would be legal. The question that would come up, and does come up before juries and judges, is how eminent is the threat. If the threat was in this room, “I’m going to come get you,” and you go home and get -- or I go home. I don’t want to suggest I am, by the way. Please, I’m not -- I don’t want anybody to misunderstand what I’m trying to say. If I go home, get a gun, come back and shoot you, that may not be legal under New York law because you would have alternative ways to defend...

COBURN: You’ll have lots of ‘splainin’ to do.

SOTOMAYOR: Waaaa, Ricky!

I may have added that last bit.

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