Sotomayor sidesteps on abortion, guns in grilling
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
Associated Press Writer Jul 15, 6:05 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) � Supreme Court nominee
Sonia Sotomayor sidestepped volleys of pointed questions on abortion and gun
rights from senators Wednesday, keeping her demeanor cool and her opinions
mostly private as she neared the end of a marathon grilling on the road to all
but sure confirmation.
(ap) - When a REPUBLICan nominee does this, it's
"evasive", "difficult" and an issue in general, but when a DemocRAT does it,
it's applauded by the AP... She "kept her cool" in that face of those Racist
White Men.... Nice job, Sonia! - tha malcontent)
After more than 10 hours of questioning by Judiciary Committee senators over two
days, Sotomayor had yet to make a slip - certainly not the gaffe that even
Republicans concede would be necessary to derail her nomination to be the first
Hispanic and third woman to serve on the high court. She was due back for still
more questioning on Thursday.
(Do they ever give the number that Clarence Thomas
is in the "Black Supreme Court Justice" order as they just did in the "Woman"
order for Sonia as to add to her, Barry and the DemocRAT Party's badges? - tha
The appeals court judge, 55, avoided weighing in on any major issue that could
come before her as a justice, instead using legal doctrine, carefully worded
deflections and even humor to ward off efforts to pin her down.
(She was even Humorous while being evasive?... Damn
she's great, ain't she?... Let's have pie. - tha malcontent)
Appearing more at ease in the witness chair, Sotomayor defused a tense exchange
on gun rights by joking about shooting a GOP critic and charmed Democratic
supporters with nostalgic praise for fictional attorney Perry Mason.
(She joked about shooting a GOP critic and charmed
DemocRATS with make believe?... Is this for ****ing real?... - tha malcontent)
Republicans, frustrated in their attempts to undercut President Barack Obama's
first high court choice, said they were still worried Sotomayor would bring bias
and a political agenda to the bench.
(REPUBLICans are dismissed by the AP as "frustrated"
and "worried"... I will have to check my archives for their take no Roberts
during (43)'s term and see what their tone was. - tha malcontent)
"It's muddled, confusing, backtracking on issue after issue," complained Sen.
Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Judiciary panel. "I frankly
am a bit disappointed in the lack of clarity and consistency in her answers."
(The REPUBLICans are "Complainers"... Just ask the
ever objective Associated Press! - tha malcontent)
Her rulings - except for a much-debated reverse discrimination case - have not
shed much light on her positions either, though she is considered unlikely to
disturb the Supreme Court balance in replacing generally liberal Justice David
("Much debated"?... She was ****ing OVERTURNED by
the Court she is about to be Seated on!... For the love of God, this is like
Bizarro World! - tha malcontent)
On abortion rights for example, Sotomayor has not ruled on any case that
squarely confronts the issue. As an appeals court judge she dismissed a
challenge to the so-called global gag rule on U.S. foreign aid, deciding against
an abortion rights group. But in her opinion she used the phrases
"anti-abortion" and "pro-choice," typically used by abortion rights supporters.
(The ONLY "Right" that we want "less" of according
to the dishonest left as they dance around the Murder of babies for convenience.
- tha malcontent)
The hearings are expected to continue Thursday with more questions for Sotomayor
and testimony from outside witnesses. A vote by the full Senate to confirm her
is expected in early August, time enough to allow her to don the robes of a
justice before a scheduled hearing on Sept. 9 on a case involving federal
campaign finance law.
The cavernous hearing room on Capitol Hill was filled for a third straight day,
and tourists waited in line outside for their few moments to witness history.
(To witness History?... What History?... She's
Hispanic?... Way to get past Race, Liberals! - tha malcontent)
Among the audience members sat Frank Ricci, a white New Haven, Conn.,
firefighter whose reverse discrimination claim was rejected by Sotomayor's court
panel. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling late last month, and Republicans
plan to showcase Ricci on Thursday as part of their effort to portray her as a
judge who has let her biases trump the law.
(Well... Way down here where nobody is reading, the
AP decides to illustrate a MAJOR problem with this Nominee... Predictable as it
is sad. - tha malcontent)
On Wednesday, Sotomayor declined repeatedly to respond to questions designed to
elicit her personal and legal views about a woman's right to end a pregnancy,
saying she couldn't address it in the abstract and wouldn't do so in any
specific way since the issue is likely to come before the court.
("A woman's Right to end a pregnancy"... Ooooooooor,
an irresponsible woman's "choice" to stop a beating heart of another Human for
convenience... You say tomato - tha malcontent)
The Supreme Court in 1992 "reaffirmed the core holding of Roe v. Wade that a
woman has a constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy in certain cases,"
Sotomayor told Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., adding that the ruling said the court
should consider whether any state regulation "has an undue burden on the woman's
But she refused to be drawn out by Coburn, a leading abortion-rights foe, on
whether a late-term abortion would be appropriate, or whether technological
advances that allow an early-term fetus to survive should have any bearing on
the legal standard for ending a pregnancy.
(How about advances that have us MORE informed about
the baby that is being executed since that TERRIBLE Law was made in Roe v
Wade?... We shall see when the Court visits again... And it will. - tha
"All I can say to you is what the court's done and the standard that the court
has applied," Sotomayor said. "We don't make policy choices on the court; we
look at the case before us."
Earlier, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked how the Obama administration could
have known her position on the issue.
"I was asked no question by anyone including the president about my views on any
specific legal issue," she said.
She was no more forthcoming on the issue when pressed by an abortion rights
supporter, Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa. Asked whether the 1992 ruling reaffirming
Roe was a kind of "super" precedent, she didn't respond directly.
On her second day fielding questions, Sotomayor sidestepped when Cornyn asked
whether she stood by or disavowed a controversial 2001 remark that a "wise
Latina" judge would often make better decisions than a white male.
She said she stood by her explanation Tuesday that the words were a rhetorical
flourish gone awry.
(Remember how the "Free Press" went after Trent Lott
(R) for his joke at a 100th Birthday roast?... Yep. - tha malcontent)
Cornyn persisted, asking whether she would regret it if her audience of students
understood her to be saying that the quality of a judge depended on race, gender
"I would regret that," she said of any misunderstanding of remarks that have
caused more pre-confirmation controversy than any other issue.
Sotomayor, appearing more relaxed on the third day of nationally televised
Senate hearings, shared a few light moments with her interrogators while
fielding questions on serious issues.
("Relaxed" in the face of her "interrogators"...
Classic! - tha malcontent)
Asked by Coburn whether the Second Amendment confers a right to personal
self-defense, Sotomayor posed a hypothetical in which the senator threatened her
with bodily harm and she went home to get a gun and shoot him.
(I gotta find this exchange in context, something
the AP is failing to do. - tha malcontent)
"I don't want to suggest I am, by the way," Sotomayor said, to laughter from the
audience and Coburn.
Coburn responded with his own jibe: "You'll have lots of 'splainin' to do.'" His
remark echoed a refrain often heard on a 1950s situation comedy, "I Love Lucy,"
in which the main character's Cuban-born husband Ricky Ricardo would often say
with exasperation, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do."
At another point, when Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said she had run into
Sotomayor's mother in a ladies' room and noted that she "has plenty of stories
she'd like to share about you," Sotomayor begged the senator with a laugh,
"Don't give her the chance!"
And she shared a chuckle with the Senate's only professional comedian, Sen. Al
Franken, D-Minn., about their mutual love of the TV series "Perry Mason."
Asked by Franken at the close of his questioning which was the lone case the
prosecutor Hamilton Burger won during the show's run, Sotomayor was at a loss.
"Didn't the White House prepare you for that?" Franken asked with mock
incredulity, referring to the meticulous rehearsals Obama's team held with
Sotomayor to get her ready for her Senate grilling.
"You're right," Sotomayor said. "But I was spending a lot of time on reviewing
(Stuart Smally... That's great. We have a
make-believe person in the Senate referring to make-believe in a Senate Hearing
for a Supreme Court Justice... Bizarrro World in deed. - tha malcontent)
Associated Press Writers David Espo and Ann Sanner contributed to this report
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