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Day Two: Sotomayor and ritual reassurances

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 14, 2009 09:42 AM

Scroll down for liveblog and updates…

Today, it’s the SCOTUS ceremonial dance with the Senate.

Republicans will delicately challenge Sonia Somotmayor on racial preferences, Second Amendment rights, property rights, sovereignty issues, and her extracurricular speechifying.

Democrats will bloviate about pet causes (“consumer-friendly” laws, the environment).

Sonia the Wise will assuage skeptics with repeated insistences that she’s “fair,” “impartial,” and committed to the rule of law.

Absent that “meltdown,” Lindsay Graham will pronounce himself satisfied with her ritual reassurances.

And Sotomayor will be one cleared hurdle closer to overcoming yet another set of “incredible odds” to complete her “compelling personal story.”

The morning news round-up:

WaPo: Sotomayor and the search for bipartisanship

Dallas Morning News: “Jane Roe” — Norma McCorvey — was one of the protesters arrested yesterday for disrupting the opening day of hearings.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line zeroes in on Sotomayor’s incoherence:

The real question is this: if Sotomayor’s practice is to “strengthen both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of our justice system” by carefully addressing the “arguments and concerns” of the parties, why did she depart so fundamentally from this practice in the Ricci case?

***

9:45am Eastern: Sotomayor is now fielding questions about Ricci from Sen. Leahy.

Sotomayor told the panel that effective judging is about “keeping an open mind.”

Sotomayor on her wise Latina comment: “I do not believe that any ethnic or racial group has an advantage on sound judgment.”

10:02am: On gun rights, Sotomayor says “one of my godchildren is a member of the NRA and I have friends who hunt.”

Sen. Sessions: “I liked your statements on ‘fidelity to the law.’ If you had been as clear over the last 15 years, we wouldn’t have as many problems today…What do you really believe?”

Soto: “Let me be clear: I believe judges should apply the law, not make it.”

Ritual reassurances, ritual reassurances.

Soto re-explains her wise Latina comments: It was a “bad play on words” that “fell flat.”

So bad she repeatedly used it a half-dozen times before friendly audiences.

Spin, lady, spin.

10:29am Eastern…

Sessions: Will you follow binding SCOTUS decision in Adarand on racial preferences to apply strict scrutiny to government affirmative action classifications?

Soto wanders on disparate impact.

From Senate GOP:

JUDGE SONIA SOTOMAYOR: “[I] Would Not Prejudge Any Question That Came Before Me If I Was A Justice On The Supreme Court.” (Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing, 7/14/09)

JUDGE SOTOMAYOR: “Prejudices Are Appropriate”

JUDGE SOTOMAYOR: “I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and gender but attempt…continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.” (Women in the Judiciary, 40th National Conference of Law Reviews. 3/17/94)

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SENATE REPUBLICAN COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

***

Andy McCarthy tries to make sense of Sotomayor’s Ricci defense:

When Sen. Sessions was grilling Judge Sotomayor on why her panel gave such shoddy treatment to such an important case, the judge kept saying they relied on a “thoughtful 72-page opinion” from the district judge. What she didn’t mention was that before her panel attepted to bury the case in an unpublished ruling, the district judge dug the grave by attempting make certain that no one got to see how “thoughtful” the 72-page opinion was — it, too, was unpublished. This was not an effort to “explain why the law requires what it does”; it was an effort to make the law go away.

***

Legal Times: Sotomayor stays “noncommittal on national security.”

Pretty much the standard, left-wing stance on national security, isn’t it?

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