Because an effective democracy apparently requires the ad nauseam repetition of the same partisan talking points, the nineteen members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were granted the opportunity to deliver a prepared ten-minute opening statement today as the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor began. But in this fast-paced world we live in, nobody really has the time or, even if they did, the interest to listen to all of it. We recognize that. So to help you follow what is really an important moment for our country, we’ve condensed each senator’s opening statement into one sentence that encapsulates the essence of their message. (If you’ve been following us on Twitter today, then move along, you’ve already read these. If not, you should drop everything yes, even a crystal mug containing hot coffee and start following us immediately.)
Sen. Leahy (D-VT): People were skeptical about the first black, Jewish, and Catholic Supreme Court justices — let’s not make the same mistake again.
Sen. Sessions (R-AL): I am concerned by Sotomayor’s “Wise Latina” remark and her liberal record, and I fear empathy will ruin America.
Sen. Kohl (D-WI): One’s life experiences are actually kind of important.
Sen. Hatch (R-UT): Former Sen. Obama voted against plenty of judges himself, even a black woman with a compelling life story (hint hint).
Sen. Feinstein (D-CA): Sotomayor won’t tell the Committee one thing and then vote another, like some people on the Roberts court.
Sen. Grassley (R-IA): Good judges don’t make law, and Sotomayor seems like the type that will make law.
Sen. Feingold (D-WI): Sotomayor isn’t an activist judge just because she wants to see justice done.
Sen. Kyl (R-AZ): Sotomayor seems to decide cases based on who she wants to win and her Latina heritage.
Sen. Schumer (D-NY): Forget her speeches — Sotomayor’s judicial record shows that she’s a moderate.
Sen. Graham (R-SC): I wish you were Miguel Estrada, a Hispanic we Republicans can get behind.
Sen. Cardin (D-MD): The Supreme Court makes America a less discriminatory place, and Sotomayor will hopefully continue that.
Sen. Cornyn (R-TX): Sotomayor better not make laws and invent rights out of thin air.
Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI): The real activist judges are the right-wingers now on the SC, not those empathizing with the “little guy.”
Sen. Coburn (R-OK): I’m not sure Sotomayor knows the meaning of the word “objective.”
Sen. Durbin (D-IL): The SC could actually use some more empathy, if you ask me.
Sen. Klobuchar (D-MN): Your life experiences are a gift to be treasured, like a newborn kitten.
Sen. Kaufman (D-DE): The Supreme Court could use some diversity in all its many forms.
Sen. Specter (D-PA): You should really let cameras film the Supreme Court.
Sen. Franken (D-MN): I’m concerned about activist judges too — but the kind that strip away rights, not the liberal empathy kind.