Senate Confirmation: What's the Point?
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Judge Sonia Sotomayor appears likely to be confirmed as the first Hispanic on the US Supreme Court. Republican Senators say they won't try to stop her. What did they learn from three days of pointed questions? What did they tell American voters about their own aims and objectives? Also, new bombings target foreigners in Jakarta, and a senior religious leader supports political protest as tens of thousands demonstrate on the streets of Tehran.
Banner image: Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor (L) greets Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina (C) and Jon Kyl of Arizona on the fourth day of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Bombings Target Foreigners in Jakarta ()
In Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, two suicide bombers attacked the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels. The attacks were almost simultaneous, killing at least eight people and wounding more than 50. Donald Emmerson is Director of the Southeast Asia Forum at Stanford University and Affiliated Scholar at the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.
- Donald Emmerson: Director of the South East Asia Forum, Stanford University's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
Senate Confirmation: What's the Point? ()
Forget those claims that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a "racist," a court-room bully or a "liberal judicial activist." Yesterday, Republican Senators called her "cordial," and "reassuring;" one said, "we do admire you and respect what you've accomplished." But, after a week of heavily covered hearings, liberals are disappointed and conservatives are still suspicious of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. It appears that she nailed down Senate confirmation with an unflappable performance that revealed almost nothing about what she really thinks. But Republican Senators laid out a blueprint for campaigns to come, with sharp questions about abortion, gun rights and same-sex marriage. If they didn't learn much about the US Supreme Court, what did voters, including Latinos, learn about the Republican agenda?
- Dahlia Lithwick: Senior Editor, Slate, @Dahlialithwick
- Curt Levey: Executive Director, Committee for Justice
- Eduardo Rodriguez: Past President, State Bar of Texas
- Kristen Soltis: Director of Policy Research, Winston Group, @KLSoltis
- Douglas MacKinnon: Press Secretary, then-Senator Bob Dole
A Critical Rafsanjani Speaks Out in Iran ()
At Iran's Friday prayer service today, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered the sermon while Basiji militamen fired tear gas and arrested protesters on the streets outside. A former President of Iran and bitter opponent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in today's sermon Rafsanjani said, "The wise people say they have doubt" about the most recent elections and, "we need to take action to remove this doubt." He also called for releasing political prisoners. Bourjou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times reports on the continued opposition to presidential elections eight weeks ago.
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