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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Odd Definition of Candor

While a Judiciary Committee vote on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court was scheduled for yesterday, Republicans held that vote for a week, as expected. The delay has not prevented a number of senators from making announcements about how they will vote. In addition to enormous Democratic support for Judge Sotomayor, a number of fair-minded Republicans, including Senators Lugar (R-IN), Snowe (R-ME), Collins (R-ME) and Martinez (R-FL), have already declared their support for Judge Sotomayor. Of course, a handful of less fair-minded Republicans have announced their opposition to the nomination.

Among their ranks is Judiciary Committee member Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who said he was voting against Sotomayor because her answers were “evasive, lacking in substance…” and “[i]t was quite apparent to me she didn’t want to answer my questions. She knew she could dissemble and delay and run out the clock, and she did.” Setting aside the fact that Judge Sotomayor repeatedly answered questions e.g., Ricci and its lengthy district court record and reliance on Justice Scalia's language in the Heller opinion, Senator Kyl seems to have different standards for different nominees.

You see, it wasn’t so long ago that Senator Kyl was praising John Roberts for being forthcoming. During the hearings, Senator Kyl said to Chief Justice Roberts,“I appreciate, frankly, your candor and the clarity of what you have said. And you've said a great deal here.” Here’s a sampling of what Senator Kyl thought qualified as candor, clarity and saying a great deal:

Of course, this isn't the first time Senator Kyl has changed his tune.

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