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.

— As Digby points out, AP is having a no good, very bad week of coverage. But Jeff Sessions is having a worse one. "Garden variety hypocrisy," indeed.

— 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:

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com