Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dems Try to Railroad Sotomayor Hearings

The networks reported last night that the the Senate judiciary hearings on the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor are scheduled to start July 13. But what ABC, at least, neglected to note is that Democrats set the date without even the courtesy of running the schedule by their Republican counterparts. (Classy!)

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell noted that the scheduling move diminishes bipartisan collegiality and threatens the confirmation process itself, by making the hearings less informative: According to McConnell, Democrats'

decision to rush Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing is puzzling. It risks resulting in a less-informed hearing, and it breaks with years of tradition in which bipartisan agreements were reached and honored over the scheduling of hearings for Supreme Court nominees. And it damages the cordiality and good will the Senate relies on to do its business. These kinds of partisan maneuvers have always come with consequences.”

McConnell also contrasted the Democrats' rush to confirm Sotomayor with the Democrats' careful, studied, meticulous review of the records of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

Justice Sotomayor has been prolific: Yet Democrats propose to allow senators only 48 days to review Judge Sotomayor’s 3,625 cases. At that pace, Senators would need to analyze 76 Sotomayor cases per day. Note that Democrats, in contrast, took the leisurely pace of reviewing just six cases per day for the Roberts hearings.

What is it about Sotomayor's record that Democrats are trying to hide? If she's this fabulous nominee of which they claim to be so proud, then why not use her confirmation hearings to showcase her "Latina wisdom" and her "empathy"? It could be a love-fest for identity politics; it's shocking that the Democrats wouldn't want to savor every minute -- rather than cutting it short.

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