The US Supreme Court and Partisan Politics

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The first morning of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings for the US Supreme Court began and ended without her uttering a single word.  Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee held forth at length, in a debate they conceded was more about politics than the law. Democrats called her a "moderate" with a classic American story. Republicans said her "empathy" for one side means prejudice against the other. They raised hot-button issues including women's rights, the death penalty and affirmative action. We hear about the first day of hearings on a nominee who's widely expected to be confirmed.  Are both parties in the business of setting agendas?

Credits

Guests:
Dahlia Lithwick - Legal Affairs correspondent for Slate - @dahlialithwick, Philip Howard - Covington and Burling, Manuel Miranda - Chairman, Third Branch Conference, Daphne Evitar - Legal Reporter, The Washington Independent

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Katie Cooper, Karen Radziner, Sonya Geis