Graham to Sotomayor: Do You Have a Temperament Problem?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Ouch. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) just lit into Sonia Sotomayor for being “a terror on the bench” and “nasty to lawyers,” and for attacking lawyers she disagrees with, citing the comments of anonymous lawyers quoted in the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary.

“You stand out like a sore thumb in terms of your temperament,” he charged. “What’s your answer to these criticisms?”

Sotomayor: “I do ask tough questions in oral argument. … When I ask lawyers tough questions it’s to give them an opportunity to explain their positions on both sides and to persuade me that they’re right. I do know that in the Second Circuit, because we only give litigants ten minutes of oral arguments each, that processes are different in the Second Circuit than in most circuits across the country. Our court is generally described as a hot bench. … That means that they’re peppered with questions. … Lots of lawyers who are unfamiliar with the process in the Second Circuit find that process difficult and challenging.”

Graham interrupted her. “They find you difficult and challenging more than your colleagues,” he said, adding: “I never liked appearing before a judge who was a bully. Do you think you have a temperament problem?”

Sotomayor tried to say no, but Graham interrupted her again.

“I would suggest to you as you go forward that these statements are striking,” he said. “They’re not about your colleagues. Maybe these hearings are a time for self-reflection.”

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MSNBC Hosts Slam ‘Patronizing’ Questions by GOP Senator to Sotomayor
Pingback posted July 14, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

[...] hosts Tamron Hall and David Shuster on Tuesday repeatedly grumbled at the tough questions Senator Lindsey Graham posed to Sonia Sotomayor over the judge’s ability to keep her feelings in check. At one [...]

Comment posted July 15, 2009 @ 12:26 am

MSNBC Hosts Slam 'Patronizing' Questions by GOP Senator to Sotomayor…

Comment posted July 15, 2009 @ 1:20 am

Judge Sotomayor's temperament no doubt offends Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and in the most condescending of language the offended Senator insinuated that the learned Judge is a “bully” lacking polite bench manners. Perhaps he thought that if he could humiliate the Judge sufficiently, she would give free reign to her supposedly hot Latin temperament and thus blow her chances for confirmation. Our very savy Judge declined to take the poison bate. I say to the Judicial Committee, vote “yes” and pin a tail on the chauvinist donkey from South Carolina.

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