The proceedings should begin at approximately 9:30 AM with questioning by Texas Senator John Cornyn.
[Live video moved to most recent thread]
UPDATE: Sure enough, Sen. Cornyn starts off by–again–asking Judge Sotomayor about her “wise Latina” remarks.
She’s been a federal judge for 17 years. She authored hundreds of decisions and participated on hundreds more on a wide variety of issues, yet the GOP is focusing on a single line from a speech more than her entire career as a judge.
The problem here is that no Republican can show that the sentiment she expressed in that speech in any way unfairly or unduly influenced her decisions. Even if she does believe–as the GOP is implying–that minority judges will come to better decisions on discrimination cases than white judges, no Republican has been able to point to a single decision where that belief has unduly come through in her decision.
Some may point to Ricci v. DeStefano, but remember, one of the plaintiffs in that case was Hispanic. That means that, by ruling the way she did, Judge Sotomayor ruled against a fellow Hispanic, which completely undermines the GOP’s inaccurate portrayal of her judicial philosophy.
UPDATE II: Right now, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin (D) is questioning Judge Sotomayor. After him, the last Republican on the Judiciary Committee–Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn–will question her, followed by the remaining Democrats: Sens. Whitehouse (RI), Klobuchar (MN), Kaufman (DE), Specter (PA) and Franken (MN).
Once questioning is completed, the Committee will take a break and then go into a closed session, which is routine for Supreme Court nominees.
After lunch–about 2:00 PM Eastern–there will be another round of questioning, but this time Senators will be restricted to 20 minutes each.
UPDATE III: Am I the only one who thinks the media coverage of the Sotomayor hearings are skewed?
It seems to me that the news networks are more likely to air a Republican Senator questioning Judge Sotomayor than a Democratic Senator. Whenever the GOP is questioning her, the media pays rapt attention; whenever a Democrat is questioning, they’re more likely to cut away to other things.
One justification I’ve heard for the disparate coverage is that there are more Democrats on the Committee, so the media is trying to balance things out. But the reason there are more Democrats on the committee is because the American people voted more Democrats into office; the partisan breakdown of the committee reflects the will of the American people.
It’s not the media’s job to compensate for the partisan disparity of the Judiciary Committee. Their job is to cover these proceedings as completely and thoroughly as possible, not to handicap the GOP’s minority.
UPDATE IV: The closed session has ended and the second round of questioning has began; Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy is up first, and this time Senators only get 20 minutes for their questioning (though they can choose to use less if they would like).