Today is expected to be the final day of confirmation hearings for federal judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's first nominee to the Supreme Court. Yesterday, Sotomayor was questioned about her views on abortion and the Second Amendment, and the Washington Post notes, "Like nominees of both parties before her, she declined to be forthcoming about a host of legal issues. Her demeanor was more relaxed, yet she took no chances, joking openly with Judiciary Committee members while increasingly avoiding their questions. By midafternoon yesterday, even two Democrats on the panel sounded frustrated by her long, legally detailed and often evasive replies."
The NY Post says she's "dodged" the abortion question: When Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) asked if state legislature can determine "what is death," Sotomayor responded, "Depends on what they're applying that definition to, and so there are situations in which they might and situations where the definition would or would not have applicability to the dispute before the court." There was also, as the NY Times put it, a "comical if awkward exchange with Mr. Coburn, on whether Americans had a right to self-defense" where "Judge Sotomayor broke with her resistance to hypotheticals to invoke one, imagining an instance in which, threatened with imminent harm, she went home, got a gun and came back to shoot him." To which Corburn responded by using Ricky Ricardo's line on I Love Lucy, "You’d have lots of ’splaining to do."
The Daily News' Juan Gonzalez called that exchange "one of the most hilarious moments of a boring and repetitive third day of her Senate confirmation hearing"; the Times' Gail Collins sums up the past three days in her op-ed: "SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Judge, before I read a string of anonymous comments about your temperament problem, I’d like to make you repeat that wise Latina remark again just for the heck of it." Politico breaks down how Sotomayor has defended herself. And of course, Tuesday's Daily Show segment about the hearings is good for some fun.
Sotomayor will be questioned about the New Haven firefighter case today.