Will Sotomayor make history?

10 July 2009 |permalink | email article

Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor who will replace Justice David Souter, begin starting on Monday. Al Franken, the Senate’s newest member, met with her yesterday and, while not a lawyer, has been assigned to the committee.

A Washington Post story yesterday reported that the 55-year-old New Yorker typically handed out tougher prison sentences than her colleagues in the federal courthouse in Manhattan, especially to white-collar criminals.

Nearly half of the people Sotomayor sentenced for financial fraud and other white-collar crimes got at last six months in prison. By contrast, roughly one out of three while-collar convicts received similarly lengthy prison terms.

Sotomayor served as a trial judge from 1992 to 1998, when she joined the federal appeals court in New York.

Much attention will focus on the demeanor of Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the highest ranking member Republican member of the Judiciary Committee.

In 1986, the ambitious young United States Attorney was denied a seat on the federal bench because of his own allegedly deep-seated hostility to the notion of civil rights.

He has questioned Sotomayor’s past service on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, suggesting she may be unsuitable for the bench. Last week Sessions claimed that the mainstream civil rights organization took “extreme” positions in litigation, a position he clarified this week.

Briefs.  No surprise that Sen. Roland Burris, disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s appointee to the Obama seat, won’t run for election to his seat. He could never quash documented allegations of ethical misconduct in past associations with the governor….The lunch tab to feed LAPD officers at the Michael Jackson memorial service came to just under $50,000 and were provided by a caterer 80 miles away. No wonder taxpayers are steamed with the city staring at a $500 million deficit.

Read ‘em and weep

“Pullin’ a Palin.” Resigning Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as defined by the Urban Dictionary: 1. Quitting when the going gets tough; abandoning the responsibility entrusted in you by your neighbors for book advances and to make money on the lecture circuit.

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