WATCH LIVE: Day 4 Of Judge Sotomayor’s Senate Confirmation Hearing (UPDATED X4)

The proceedings should begin at about 9:30 AM Eastern; today, the Judiciary Committee is likely to conclude the second round of questioning.

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UPDATE: Lindsey Graham just showed us an important part of the Republican playbook here.

He was persistently questioning Judge Sotomayor about a memo she signed in 1981 regarding the death penalty.

Graham justified his persistent focus on such an obscure topic by explaining that both Judge Roberts and Judge Alito had been extensively questioned about memos they had written and groups they had belonged to in the past.

That confirms what a lot of people have been saying from the start–that the GOP has no real legitimate reason to oppose Judge Sotomayor’s appointment, but they’re seeking revenge for what they feel was unfair treatment of Republican appointees–Bork, Thomas, Alito and Roberts.

So the GOP’s over-the-top opposition to Sotomayor has nothing to do with the  law, but everything to do with politics.

UPDATE II: BREAKING: Sen. Jeff Sessions just declared that there will be no filibuster on Judge Sotomayor’s nomination.

Not like they could have sustained it, anyway, but I’m glad to see there are at least some limits to Republican obstructionism. Of course, that doesn’t make up for their reprehensible questioning of Sotomayor, but I’ll take what I can get.

More updates after the fold…

UPDATE III: Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy just announced that his committee will vote on whether or not to advance Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the full Senate on Tuesday, July 21st:

The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman says he’ll set a vote in his panel next week on confirming Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy says the vote will be Tuesday unless committee Republicans object. Under the panel’s rules, the GOP can delay the vote for a week.


Democrats plan a final Senate vote to confirm Sotomayor in early August, to allow her to be seated on the court before a Sept. 9 hearing in a campaign finance case.

[Emphasis mine]

UPDATE IV: Republicans trashed empathy when Obama praised it, but relied on it when Ricci and Vargas were testifying. Double standard much?