Thu Jul 16, 10:13 am ET
Republicans didn't waste a moment today trying to focus on Sonia Sotomayor's views on affirmative action -- and her habit of dodging questions.
It's Day 4 of her confirmation hearing, a day likely to be remembered for the upcoming testimony of New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci. He was on the winning side of a Supreme Court race-discrimination ruling that overturned an appellate court decision in which Sotomayor participated.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., opened the questioning today by pressing Sotomayor on her claim that she was bound by precedent in ruling against the white firefighters. Sotomayor, who has danced around the question all week, started to review the facts of the case when Kyl interjected. "The question I asked was very simple," he said, apologizing for the interruption and reminding her of the question: What was the precedent by which she was bound?"
A few minutes later, he stopped her again: "Let me interrupt again, because you're not getting to the point of my question," Kyl said, adding that Sotomayor would never let a lawyer get away with indirect answers in her courtroom. He said Sotomayor would admonish an elusive lawyer by saying, "That's all fine and dandy, counsel, but you're not answering my question."
And on it went.