Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota is the first out of the gate after the lunch break. More references to humble beginnings and overcoming obstacles to achieve the American Dream. Klobuchar makes a good point, that all judges’ life experiences effect their decision making process.
Next up is Senator Kaufman from Delaware. He says appointing nominees to SCOTUS is Congress’s most important job besides declaring war. OK – not really happy with the militarism of that statement. But at least he’s moved beyond gendered language and said “she” when referring to a nominee. Takes a jab at people who focus on “activist judges” and “litmus tests.” Then says that he sees “no biases” in Sotomayor’s catalog of rulings. Oh, snap. Now there’s another reference to humble beginnings. This seems to be the theme of the day. Even though he says he thinks men and women have the same life experiences, he believes that diversity on the court is a good thing because it will reflect a broader spectrum of life experiences. How does that work? Very confused. Then another baseball reference. What’s the big deal about balls?
Arlen Specter is the third Democrat in a row to speak. The former Republican is talking about how diversity on the court is important. Now he’s saying that he is more concerned about which cases that SCOTUS didn’t decide to hear, rather than which cases they actually heard because he says that it leaves a lot of confusion about what the actual precedent on issues is. He’s really focused on terrorist surveillance and the FISA courts and SCOTUS’s refusal to hear these cases. He says he wants to know what her standard will be for deciding which cases will be heard by SCOTUS.
Finally – time for Al Franken. I’m hoping he’ll make some jokes. He’s got an awesome fro going. Lookin HAWT. Two minutes in his speech and nothing about the SCOTUS or Sotomayor. Just a bunch of promises that he’ll work hard to do a good job. OK, but get to the point at hand. Another protester, Norma “Jane Roe” McCorvery, interrupting the hearings with anti-abortion rants. Franken finally gets around to speaking about SCOTUS at the 5 minute mark. He’s worried about “judicial activism” and wants “deference to Congress.” Says that judicial activism is on the rise and that the term applies equally to both sides. Says Justice Thomas is the most activist judge on the court. Snap!
Senator Schumer, a total rock star in my book, only gets 5 minutes to speak. He’s cheering the American Dream – America is “the only place in the world where a minority woman could make her way up from the projects to the highest court in the land.” “America, America . . .” I think he’s actually waving a little flag up there. Here come the fireworks. Oh, no. Now he’s saying “America is God’s noble experiment.” VOMIT!
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the final speaker before Sotomayor. She’s wearing a snazzy gold jacket. Best dressed of the day, imho. Predictably, another reference to growing up in the South Bronx and rising above humble beginnings. Recap of Sotomayor’s professional chops. Yes, we get it. Sotomayor is overly qualified. Oh good, a melting pot reference, and now she’s cut off. Time to swear in Sotomayor.
Finally – Sotomayor gets the floor. Big shout out to her mom at the outset of her speech. Now she’s talking about her experience with the American Dream. Now it’s really time to cue the fireworks and the marching band soundtrack. Hard work and education make anything possible. Mom is crying. After the patriotic narrative, Sotomayor moves on to recount her legal experience and gives a baseball reference herself. Says she will adhere to precedent, just as she has in every decision that she has made in over ten years as an appellate judge. More about dreams and hope. Cue another firework. It’s the Constitution that makes these dreams possible. Wow! What a way to end.