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What Does Sen. Sessions Do All Day, Anyway?

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Judge Sonia Sotomayor is going through the initial steps of her confirmation process to the U.S. Supreme Court.  One of the things she gets to do is meet with Senate leadership – both Democrats and Cons.  One Senator in particular has an interesting view on the matter: Sessions doesn’t think there should be 9 members of the U.S. Supreme Court for the beginning of their next work year.  That’s the conclusion I draw after reading this absurd quote:

Sessions, who is to meet Wednesday with Leahy to discuss scheduling Sotomayor’s confirmation process, said he thought hearings should wait until September.

I don’t think it’s good to rush,” he said.

Justice Souter is retiring in August.  The next work year begins in October.  How ready would a Justice Sotomayor be for her workload if her hearings don’t even start until September?  They don’t last one day and then she’s confirmed.  The confirmation process takes weeks.  Alito’s process started on Jan. 9, 2006 and the final Senate vote took place on Jan. 31, 2006.  If Sessions wants Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings to wait until September, she is almost guaranteed to begin work after the rest of the justices.  What possible purpose could waiting that long serve?  Nothing will be rushed, especially in the Senate, where time runs quite differently than it does for the rest of us.

Just as importantly, what does Sen. Sessions have to do until then?  Is his workload so onerous that he won’t have time to adequately review Sotomayor’s work history?  No, of course it isn’t.  I’m all too aware after the Con-led Congress earlier this decade that Senators don’t read the bills they vote on.  So it’s a pretty good bet that neither Sessions nor any other potential opposition in the Senate will actually delve too deeply into Sotomayor’s cases.  They’ll have some staff do some work, but it will all be from an extremist viewpoint – they’re looking for things they can throw to their fringe base to prove that the Senators are standing up for their interests.  They won’t have anything of real substance to object to, but that’s beside the point.

No, what Sessions will be doing is rubbing elbows (begging for money) at cocktail parties with their corporate bankrollers, not reading the legislation he’s voting on, not reviewing the cases Sotomayor has worked, nor any of a thousand other more critical activities that would actually serve this nation and his constituents.  And that is incredibly offensive.


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