Jeff Sessions: More Reality-Based Than Patrick Leahy

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 15, 2009

To wit:

In endorsing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy did some creative rewriting of history. And he put quote marks around it.

Trying to head off criticism of a controversial comment, Leahy misquoted Sotomayor’s own words in kicking off the second day of her confirmation hearings.

[. . .]

LEAHY SAID: “You said that, quote, you ‘would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would reach wise decisions.’”

THE FACTS: If that’s all Sotomayor said, the quote would barely have mattered to opponents of her nomination. The actual quote, delivered in a 2001 speech to law students at the University of California at Berkeley, was: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Leahy’s revision dropped the controversial part of the phrase, the part that has attracted charges of reverse racism.

By contrast . . .

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-ALA. SAID: “You previously have said, ‘the court of appeals is where policy is made.’ And you said on another occasion, ‘The law that lawyers practice and judge declare is not a definitive—capital L—Law that many would like to think exists.’”

THE FACTS: Sessions quoted Sotomayor correctly in both cases.

A real press corps would have Patrick Leahy sweating over these kinds of errors.

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