Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 14, 2009

ON SESSIONS' MIND.... If I didn't know better, I might think Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has a preoccupation with issues related to race and ethnicity. That couldn't be, could it?

This morning, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) castigated Sotomayor for not ruling with her fellow Puerto Rican colleague, conservative Judge José A. Cabranes, when she decided to deny an en banc appeal in Ricci v. DeStefano, a process in which all judges of a court hear a case (as opposed to a three-judge panel of them). Sessions seemed to indicate that people of the same ancestry should vote the same way:

"You voted not to reconsider the prior case. You voted to stay with the decision of the circuit. And in fact your vote was the key vote. Had you voted with Judge Cabranes, himself of Puerto Rican ancestry, had you voted with him, you could've changed that case."

Now, why would Sessions find it necessary to point out that Cabranes is "of Puerto Rican ancestry"? Does Sessions think judges of similar ethnicities should vote together for some reason.

Put it this way: imagine how absurd it would have been if, during Alito's confirmation hearings, Russ Feingold pressed him on why he didn't vote in a certain case with another Italian-American judge.

Lillian Rodriguez- Lopez, president of the Hispanic Federation, called Sessions' comment "baffling."

Then again, given Sessions' background on issues related to diversity, maybe it's not.

I know the Senate GOP caucus was in a bit of a jam when Arlen Specter switched parties, but making Jeff Sessions the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee was a mistake -- and the nationally televised hearings this week only help make this mistake more obvious.

Steve Benen 2:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Comments

hey, GOP - how's that minority outreach goin' for ya this week?

Posted by: zeitgeist on July 14, 2009 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Sessions, the gift that keeps on giving...

Posted by: TonyB on July 14, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

All this shows is that Sotomayor does not pander to her ethnic heritage and those like her, that she bucked the trend of the other off-white jurists. One would think, based upon all that has been thrown at her, that this would be applauded by Sessions.

Posted by: bubba on July 14, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sessions was rhetorically man-handled. He's is intellectually out-classed and is too stupid to realize it.

Posted by: Winkandanod on July 14, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

"...making Jeff Sessions the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee was a mistake..."

This was not a mistake. Jeff Sessions (R-KKK) stands for equal justice for all (whites). Jeff Sessions (R-ALA) stands for the most republican value of all - strict constructist interpretation of the (original) Constitution.

Oh, for the good old days when women could not vote and blacks not only could not vote, they only counted as 3/5th of a person. Oh, for the good old days when only white male property owners had the right to vote.

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on July 14, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Sessions said that to prove that he knows Puerto Ricans exist.

Posted by: Memoirgirl on July 14, 2009 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Sessions: It horrifies me to think that you might decide judicial questions according to your ethnicity. However, if you had done so in this case, you would have reached a decision I agree with and that would have been a good thing. I think.

Posted by: noncarborundum on July 14, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

hey, GOP - how's that minority outreach goin' for ya this week?

Pretty well, I would think. The GOP is reaching out to even further entrench itself as a minority party.

Posted by: Stetson Kennedy on July 14, 2009 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

come back from gettin' my teeth cleaned at the dentist's and find josh marshall has stolen swarty's "annie hall' post...

sweet.

Posted by: neill on July 14, 2009 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I give Sessions enormous credit for not calling Sotomayor a Mexican. Truly, he has come far in the last 40 years.

Posted by: inkadu on July 14, 2009 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like Sessions himself is a racialist! Should he know this himself? He's probably incapable of having such an epiphany.

What an embarrassment Sessions is to the race of humankind! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on July 14, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

It was somewhat surprising to see little Jeffie's look of confusion when Sonya handed him his own ass. As much as he has his head up it, one would think he would find it quite familiar.

Is there literally NO-ONE in a Republican leadership position who can present a respectable face to the country? Unbelievable.

Posted by: Acorvid on July 14, 2009 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK
As much as he has his head up it, one would think he would find it quite familiar.

It may just be that he has no idea what his ass looks like from the outside.

Posted by: noncarborundum on July 14, 2009 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

One would think, based upon all that has been thrown at her, that this would be applauded by Sessions.

If one expects honesty and consistency from these assholes, maybe.

Posted by: DH Walker on July 14, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know how she responded?

Posted by: whichwitch on July 14, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know how she responded?

We can be pretty sure Sessions doesn't.

Posted by: CJColucci on July 14, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sessions is on to something here. Puerto Rican judges are confusing us - one votes this way, the other that way! Can't they all just stick to the official Puerto Rican position?

Posted by: Chris S. on July 14, 2009 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Senate Republicans must have gotten talking points to mention as many Hispanic names as possible so they look like they only have a problem with ALL of them, just, you know, this one.

Posted by: joejoejoe on July 14, 2009 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Is Dick Durbin NUTS??? I'm reminded of a comment heard last night on Charlie Rose...referencing another nomination session some time back when Mary McGrory (?) suggested a banner be put in the back of the room where the senators could see it ...it would read:
THIS ISN'T ABOUT YOU!!!!! After phony Southern Gentleman assasin Lindsey Graham did his 30 minutes (I really like you and since I might vote for you that should matter to you)it would be loverly to hear someone actually pursue a line of questioning that did something to present her record in dispute of the two issues REPUGS keep harping on...

Posted by: Dancer on July 14, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't it be funny if all minority groups have a "clock party."

The GOP, anti-tax...groups had tea bagging parties.

The DEMS should have a clock party...meaning wear a big clock around their necks like Flavor Flav to count the days, hours, minutes of the GOP demise.

Posted by: annjell on July 14, 2009 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

liberals are totally obsessed with racism, unless it's minority on white racism.

Put it this way: imagine how absurd it would have been if, during Alito's confirmation hearings, Russ Feingold pressed him on why he insisted that white males would reach better conclusions than Hispanic females.

Posted by: Luther on July 14, 2009 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Luther, you are totally wrong.

Remember the white camera guy in San Diego that was beat up on camera by an Aghani - it was a black guy that saved his life.

Remember the white guy that had a seizure and fell on the subway train tracks in NY - it was a black guy that saved his life.

These had national attention - so that's why I bring these up.

It's sad that "whites" that hold racist views, end up getting their lives saved by some of the people they hate because they are not "white."

I am so glad there's more than just whites in my family.

Posted by: annjell on July 15, 2009 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

This is sessions' way of courting the Hispanic vote.

Posted by: CDW on July 15, 2009 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

I reckon something truly special in this site.

Posted by: Jeannette Netzel on March 24, 2011 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK
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