Thursday, 16 July 2009

Brief translation of today’s Sotomayor hearing for those of you without access to C-SPAN 71. JON KYL (R): I want to go back through the—I’ve read your speeches, and I’ve read all of them several times. [I am committed to maintaining the appearance that I possess the minimum degree of competence and responsibility required by my office.] JON KYL (R): You’ve always been able to find a legal basis for every decision that you’ve rendered as a judge? [By which I mean: I'll read a few speeches a few times, but I can't be bothered to do the work necessary to actually acquire the minimum degree of competence and responsibility required by my office.] JON KYL (R): Issues which are similar is different, though, from an issue which is the same. [Just in case I didn't make myself absolutely clear: I don't possess the minimum degree of competence and responsibility required by my office.] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): What does [legal realism] mean for someone who may be watching the hearing? [Have you done your homework?] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): When Judge Rehnquist says he was a strict constructionist, did you know what he was talking about? [Because I don't think you've done your homework.] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): What is an originalist? [Do you know what happens to naughty students who don't do their homework?] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Do you believe the Constitution is a living, breathing, evolving document? [They get asked loaded questions designed to appeal to the teacher's constituents, that's what.] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Do you think Roe v. Wade changed American society? [Just in case you thought I was kidding about those loaded questions.] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Is there anything in the Constitution that says a state legislator or the Congress cannot regulate abortion or the definition of life in the first trimester? [Because I wasn't.] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): I like you, by the way, for whatever that matters. Since I may vote for you that ought to matter to you. One thing that stood out about your record is that when you look at the almanac of the federal judiciary, lawyers anonymously rate judges in terms of temperament. And here’s what they said about you. She’s a terror on the bench. She’s temperamental, excitable, she seems angry. She’s overall aggressive, not very judicial. She does not have a very good temperament. She abuses lawyers. She really lacks judicial temperament. [Everyone knows you're a bitch, but I'll refrain from agreeing with them for a few more questions to keep up the appearance of impartiality.] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Are you the only one that asks tough questions in oral arguments? [Exactly how long have you been such a bitch?] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Let’s talk about the wise Latino comment, yet again. [Now is you is, or is you ain't, my constituency?] LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): I can’t find the quote, but I’ll find it here in a moment—the wise Latino quote. I’ve got it: “I would hope that a wise Latino [sic] woman, with the richness of her experience, would more often than not reach a...

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