Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), dove head-first into the personal when it was his turn to pepper Judge Sonia Sotomayor with questions, reading from anonymous listings in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary. "When you look at the evaluation of the judges on the second circuit you stand out like a sore thumb in terms of your temperament," said the South Carolina Republican, who went on to call Sotomayor a "bully." "I do ask tough questions at oral argument," she responded, before Graham cut her off. "Are you the only one who asks questions at oral argument?" he asked.
"No," Sotomayor replied. "Not at all." Finally Graham, who repeated that he liked Sotomayor personally and could end up voting for her confirmation, got even blunter. "Do you think you have a temperament problem?" he asked. "No sir," Sotomayor replied. "I can only talk about what I know about the relationship with the judges of my court and the lawyers who appear regularly before our circuit. And I believe my reputation is such that I ask the tough question but I do it evenly to both sides."
TPJ: Here's the full exchange:
I don't have a problem with her being seen by some lawyers as someone to be respected and yes, even feared at times. Should we honestly vote against a candidate for SCOTUS because some poor attorneys whined (anonymously of course) that she was too tough? Do we really want a push-over of a judge at the district level because some poor anonymous attornies can't hold their own and persevere in a district that is known for it's heavy work load and stressful environment? This isn't small claims court we're talking about. Since when did being known as a bit of a hard-ass prevent a justice from being nominated or seen as having a solid temperment? It sure as shit didn't stop Scalia whose known to be hard-nosed and caustic at times. She sat through Jeff Sessions yammering without popping his tiny, bulbous head off like a grape and whipping it across the room by his elfen ears--she passed MY temperment test.
Senator Graham's questioning near the end of the day on her temperament raised a red flag in my mind. She had received tough questioning from others too but Graham was going about it in a very (I thought) disrespectful, condescending manner, which seemed outright sexist to me. When male judges ask hard questions, are no nonsense and firm in their court they are considered tough but admired for their strength. No but when a female judge conducts court in that manner she is considered a, "bully" or unstable both of, which are historic pajoritive ways of saying a woman can't handle the pressure. As one female commenter (catrst) on HuffPo discussing this topic said, "Women are accused of "behavior unbecoming to a lady" when they are smart and assertive and men are patted on the back as being good leaders." TPJ: These clowns on the right think she's woefully unqualified yet Sarah Palin is qualified to the president?!!! OMG.
I understood that the "Wise Latina" comment would appear and sat patiently through the first, second and third time but as the day went on it seemed that it was all that the insecure pasty, old, white men could concenrate upon. It was like watching a movie stuck on the same scence for hours and hours--it was beyond annoying. Then when Graham came around for his last round of questioning and went to that "Wise Latina" well one more time and I groaned. So what ensued was this awkward moment where he looks up and grins, then proceeds to flippantly ask Judge Sotomayor if she remembered the "Wise Latina" comment!!
No, cheese brain!!! She had only been bombarded with it for the last 6 hours and weeks before in the press--Of course she remembered it Senator Graham Cracker!! I'm surprised he couldn't recite it back to her with how many times it's been brought up in the hearings so far. So then she just smiles politely at him while he fumbles with his papers trying to find the fucking quote. Then he proceeds to ASK HER TO REPEAT IT TO HIM!!!! Like he was some grade school teacher. His whole tone was like that of a tutor or therapist saying, "You really should seek anger management." And this coming from the man who wanted Hot Head McCain to be in charge of the nukes in being prez!!! It was then that I considered ripping my eyes out with a fork but obviously decided, wisely (maybe like a wise latina-Insert sarcasm-) to throw a pillow at the teevee instead.
The thing about Senator "Who Moved My Cheese?" Graham and those who think like them is that they are making a mountain out of a mole hill. No one is worried that Puerto Rican women are going to take over America and crush white culture beneath their fashionable yet professional heels because it's absurd. There hasn't been a historic and systematic oppression of white people by Puert0 Rican women and I don't think that a comment, which was taken out of context is the pre-determined signal for a race war led by Puerto Rican female judges!!! Hey Republicans!! Paranoid much?!! Then again I'm no Nostradamus.
The other point is that it's o.k. for an Italian American male to say (As Justice Alito said in his hearing) that his decisions couldn't help but be influenced by his heritage. However, it's racism for a Latina woman to make a similar claim?!! Pathetic and sad but that's today's Republican Party!! R.N.C pretty much means Racists, Nuts and Christians anymore. They've purged everyone else with any sense.
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