Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sessions Gets Owned

There is an old lawyering maxim: Never ask a question you don't know the answer to. Senators presumably have their own, related maxim: Never make a snide comment unless you're absolutely sure it can't get thrown back in your face like a boomerang. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Republican leading the Senate's anti-Sotomayor efforts, forgot that lesson and paid the price:
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), seeking to discredit Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, cited her 2001 “wise Latina” speech, and contrasted the view that ethnicity and sex influence judging with that of Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, who “believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices.”

“So I would just say to you, I believe in Judge Cedarbaum’s formulation,” Sessions told Sotomayor.

“My friend Judge Cedarbaum is here,” Sotomayor riposted, to Sessions’ apparent surprise. “We are good friends, and I believe that we both approach judging in the same way, which is looking at the facts of each individual case and applying the law to those facts.”

Cedarbaum agreed.

“I don’t believe for a minute that there are any differences in our approach to judging, and her personal predilections have no effect on her approach to judging,” she told Washington Wire. “We’d both like to see more women on the courts,” she added.

Of course, we all know the intellectual firepower Jeff Sessions brings to the table. Which is why it is all the more appalling we let someone like Al Franken share the floor with him. After all, Franken is just like Ann Coulter, if by "just like" we mean "has sound, mainstream policy positions in contrast to Coulter's proud advocacy of massive civil and human rights violations." But they do both sometimes make vulgar jokes.

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