The NYT solicited questions to ask Judge Sotomayor from such notable legal authorities as Michael Chertoff, Alberto Gonzales, and Ann Althouse. I wish I were kidding.

Knowing that many of you never experienced the mind-sharpening effect of law school, and may not know lawyers speak their own language, we provide a translation for non-lawyers of what these fine attorneys and one historian are really getting at.

Michael Chertoff, former thug.
1. Don’t you agree everything you’ve experienced/learned in life should be ignored while the conservative justices impose their Randian views upon the federal judiciary?

2. You agree that the French are deeply uncivilized, don’t you?

3. Don’t you think that the guy who said, "if the law says that, then the law is a ass" was wrong?

Stephen Carter, Yale Law School:
1. Do you think the President or Senate should care what a Justice thinks, or should a monkey pick justices?

2. By listing Justices you admire, please identify those who are complete jerks.

3. Why do you think Justice Scalia behaves like a complete jerk?

Alberto Gonzales, unindicted co-conspirator
1. Isn’t it true that an unimaginative jurist or unprincipled Attorney General would never figure out how to interpret the law to serve justice?

2. Since only foreigners and terrorists object to our anti-terrorist policies, shouldn’t we just tell our critics to f**k off?

3. Don’t you agree that since precedent is only sacred when we conservatives want to continue an injustice, but dispensable when we overturn 40 years of humane rulings, that Plessy v. Ferguson should still be the law of the land? Wasn’t the Fourth Amendment a mistake?

Ann Althouse, idiot savant:
1. You’re proof that a wise Latina is wiser than I am, aren’t you?

2. Since you’re a Catholic and we need diversity, do you agree with me that Scalia and Alito should immediately resign as soon as you’re confirmed?

James MacGregor Burns, historian:
1. Do you agree that Justice Scalia is a moron?

2. Shouldn’t the Supreme Court overturn Marbury vs. Madison and let Congress and the President destroy the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

3. Since the Supreme Court tends to be out of touch, do you agree that the most progressive/modern justices should be forced to retire now, leaving only the conservative Justices that are still stuck in the late 19th Century?

I’d like to believe these are the stupidest questions Judge Sotomayor will be asked, but I’m afraid at least half of the Judiciary Committee’s questions will take the cake.



John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley