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Brief translation of today’s Sotomayor hearing for those of you without access to C-SPAN 71.

July 14, 2009, 8:05 pm

JON KYL (R): I want to go back through the—I’ve read your speeches, and I’ve read all of them several times.

[I am committed to maintaining the appearance that I possess the minimum degree of competence and responsibility required by my office.]

JON KYL (R): You’ve always been able to find a legal basis for every decision that you’ve rendered as a judge?

[By which I mean: I'll read a few speeches a few times, but I can't be bothered to do the work necessary to actually acquire the minimum degree of competence and responsibility required by my office.]

JON KYL (R): Issues which are similar is different, though, from an issue which is the same.

[Just in case I didn't make myself absolutely clear: I don't possess the minimum degree of competence and responsibility required by my office.]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): What does [legal realism] mean for someone who may be watching the hearing?

[Have you done your homework?]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): When Judge Rehnquist says he was a strict constructionist, did you know what he was talking about?

[Because I don't think you've done your homework.]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): What is an originalist?

[Do you know what happens to naughty students who don't do their homework?]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Do you believe the Constitution is a living, breathing, evolving document?

[They get asked loaded questions designed to appeal to the teacher's constituents, that's what.]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Do you think Roe v. Wade changed American society?

[Just in case you thought I was kidding about those loaded questions.]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Is there anything in the Constitution that says a state legislator or the Congress cannot regulate abortion or the definition of life in the first trimester?

[Because I wasn't.]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): I like you, by the way, for whatever that matters. Since I may vote for you that ought to matter to you. One thing that stood out about your record is that when you look at the almanac of the federal judiciary, lawyers anonymously rate judges in terms of temperament. And here’s what they said about you. She’s a terror on the bench. She’s temperamental, excitable, she seems angry. She’s overall aggressive, not very judicial. She does not have a very good temperament. She abuses lawyers. She really lacks judicial temperament.

[Everyone knows you're a bitch, but I'll refrain from agreeing with them for a few more questions to keep up the appearance of impartiality.]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Are you the only one that asks tough questions in oral arguments?

[Exactly how long have you been such a bitch?]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): Let’s talk about the wise Latino comment, yet again.

[Now is you is, or is you ain't, my constituency?]

LINDSEY GRAHAM (R): I can’t find the quote, but I’ll find it here in a moment—the wise Latino quote. I’ve got it: “I would hope that a wise Latino [sic] woman, with the richness of her experience, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”

[Latino women clearly ain't my constituency.]

DICK DURBIN (D): While white victims account for about one-half of all murder victims, 80 percent of death penalty cases involve victims who are white. This raises from obvious questions we have to face on this side of the table. I’m asking you if it raises questions of justice and fairness on your side of the table.

[I am a white person. You are not. Will you protect white people like me from people like you?]

JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS, III (R): Aren’t you saying there that you expect your background and—and heritage to influence your decision-making?

[White people have history; minorities have ethnicity. Will you people treat us white folk with the respect our history demands?]

JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS, III (R): When I present evidence, I expect the judge to hear and see all the evidence that gets presented. How is it appropriate for a judge ever to say that they will choose to see some facts and not others?

[Do you hold my truths to be self-evident?]

JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS, III (R): Judge, on the—so philosophy can impact your judging. I think it’s much more likely to reach full flower if you sit on the Supreme Court, and then you will—than it will on a lower court where you’re subject to review by your colleagues in the higher court.

[If I put this cookie on the table and leave the room, will it still be there when I get back? Because this is my cookiemy white cookieand how am I to know you won't eat my white cookie when I leave the room and replace it with a brown cookie?]

JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS, III (R): Was the fact that the New Haven firefighters had been subject to discrimination one of the facts you chose not to see in this case?

[Because I see what you did with their fine white cookies.]

JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS, III (R): Had you voted with Judge Cabranes, himself of—of—of Puerto Rican ancestry—had you voted with him, you—you—you could have changed that case.

[You people are always doing that to our cookies.]

JEFFERSON BEAUREGARD SESSIONS, III (R): But do you think that Frank Ricci and the other firefighters whose claims you dismissed felt that their arguments and concerns were appropriately understood and acknowledged by such a short opinion from the court?

[Do you even feel bad when despoil the purity of our fine white cookies?]

CHUCK SCHUMER (D): Now, I’m just going to go to a group of cases here rather than one individual case. We could go—we could do this all day long where sympathy, empathy would be on one side, but you found rule of law on the other side and you sided with rule of law.

[Will you idiots stop worrying about your damn cookies and act like fucking adults already?]

(x-posted.)

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