Here are a few selected clips on issues of import as we head toward day three of the hearings. I’ll be liveblogging the hearings this morning, beginning at 9:30 am ET.
— Charlie Savage catches a back and forth that also caught my ear yesterday:
Judge Sotomayor replied that she did not consider the Gonzales v. Carhart ruling to be a precedent making it settled law that health exceptions for abortion laws are constitutionally unnecessary.
“That was, I don’t believe, a rejection of its prior precedents,” she said. “Its prior precedents are still the precedents of the court. The health and welfare of a woman must be — must be a compelling consideration.”
Her answer highlighted an irony of the 2007 ruling. In that case, the majority opinion did not assert that it was overruling the 2000 partial-birth abortion case and striking down health exceptions. Rather, it asserted, based on a congressional finding, that no health exception was necessary for this type of procedure.
Now that’s effective litigation.
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg mourns the lack of fiery Latina in the hearing room. Jay Newton-Small sees little passion on display. Journamalism lives. It’s a confirmation hearing, what did they expect? Everyone should have learned the lessons of Bork, most of all a SCOTUS nominee: act high-handed and mercurial during your hearings, and you turn off the very Senators you seek to persuade.
— Conversely, Ann Gerhart sees confidence and warmth.
— Eugene Robinson nails identity politics to the wall.
— Glenn Beck? Moh-ron.
— The right-wing Committee for Justice has put together two ads claiming 17-year federal Judge Sotomayor wants to take away your guns and supports terrorism. It is to laugh. Except, I’m not kidding.
— For my money, the best moment yesterday was this exchange with Sen. Russ Feingold on Korematsu: