Jeff Sessions continues to embarrass himself, and those of us who have the misfortune to be represented by him, in the Sotomayor hearings. I know he thinks he's firing up his base -- and, sadly, he probably is -- but he could at least do a little research before he blathers. Said research might show him that *gasp* all Puerto Ricans don't think alike.More...
This morning [Tuesday], Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) castigated Sotomayor for not ruling with her fellow Puerto Rican colleague, conservative Judge José A. Cabranes, when she decided to deny an en banc appeal in Ricci v. DeStefano, a process in which all judges of a court hear a case (as opposed to a three-judge panel of them). Sessions seemed to indicate that people of the same ancestry should vote the same way:
SESSIONS: You voted not to reconsider the prior case. You voted to stay with the decision of the circuit. And in fact your vote was the key vote. Had you voted with Judge Cabranes, himself of Puerto Rican ancestry, had you voted with him, you could’ve changed that case./p>
(Yeah, wow. She voted to uphold the lower court's decision. Why, that's the definition of judicial activism...oh, wait. It's not.)
Jeff's opposition researchers apparently missed another little tidbit -- his pet Puerto Rican jurist Cabranes served on the board of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a group that right-wingers are trying to paint as pro-terrorist, with some very thin, substandard paint. Sessions claims Sotomayor is unsuitable for the bench because of her past association with LatinoJustice PRLDEF. Does he think Cabranes should be removed as well?
At least Sessions isn't the only one embarrassing himself at the hearings. Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has video of Tom Coburn's Ricky Ricardo imitation, and he notes wryly:
How many more days is this thing going to go on? You think these Republican whiteboys still have time to "inadvertently" blurt out "My name Jose Jimenez," "Eez not my job, man," and "I am the Frito Bandito"?
And Glenn Greenwald quotes Samuel Alito's opening statement at his confirmation hearing:
But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, "You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country" . . . .
When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.
Gee, I wonder why that obvious evidence of "bias" and "empathy" didn't send Republicans running for their fainting couches.