Mayor Bloomberg was running a tad late today when he flew down to Washington on his private plane in order to testify on behalf of Sonia Sotomayor. The mayor quickly livened up what have been my most accounts slow-going confirmation hearings with the early line, "I strongly believe that she should be supported by Republicans, Democrats and independents. And I should know because I've been all three."
A drier speech on behalf of Sotomayor was given by her old boss, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau. Morgenthau said that Sotomyor "didn't treat minorities different than anybody" during her 5 years as ADA and she "took on every kind of criminal case that comes into an urban courthouse, from turnstile-jumping to homicide." He also recounted an early case against child porn in 1983 where Sotomayor "left the jurors in tears."
Bloomberg was in fine form today, addressing the issue of diversity that has been such a hot button topic since President Obama first announced the nomination. The mayor said, "On the issue of diversity, the Supreme Court currently includes one member who grew up in Brooklyn and one who grew up in Queens. And so there's no doubt that having someone who comes from the Bronx would improve the diversity of this court."
Both Bloomberg and Morgenthau defended Sotomayor's involvement with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. After the two of them spoke, the afternoon's hearing also heard from former Yankee and Met pitching great David Cone, who talked about Sotomayor's role in issuing an injunction during the 1995 players' strike. Cone said, "Because of her decision, baseball is in far better shape today that it was 15 years ago.”
The confirmation hearings are getting ready to wrap up with the judiciary committee expected vote on Tuesday.