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KARE: Franken Ponders Net Neutrality Question For Sotomayor

7/13/2009 11:13:33 AM

Newly installed Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) plans to ask Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about her view on network neutrality.

That is according to KARE Minneapolis, which reported that Franken prepped with a team of lawyers over the weekend to talk about what he should and shouldn’t ask Sotomayor, whose confirmation hearing began in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday morning.

“I think I want to talk about judicial activism and separation of powers,” Franken said at the meeting, according to KARE. “But I also want to deal with things [such as] net neutrality.”

Given that seniority dictates when senators get to question the nominee, expect Franken to bring up the rear.

The Obama administration is on the record in support of the principle of content and access nondiscrimination and of supporting a legislative approach to that principle if necessary.

Sotomayor has already passed muster twice, securing Senate confirmation for two previous federal judgeships.

Republican Senate leaders were laying out their case against Sotomayor in opening statements Monday, taking aim at what they said was President Obama’s theory of judicial empathy, which Senator Jeff Sessions said he feared could translate into a “liberal, results-oriented, relativistic” judicial worldview that would be “disqualifying.”

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said the nomination raises the issue of whether impartiality is a requisite or an option. “I’m proud of you, and I wish you well,” said Hatch after raising various issues.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was even prouder. She pointed out that Sotomayor would join the court with more federal judicial experience than any nominee in 100 years, with a wealth of knowledge about business law, antitrust issues, contracts law, and intellectual property, among others.

Sotomayor spent 11 years on the federal appeals court bench (2nd circuit) and six years in federal district court before that. Before that, she was a prosecutor in New York and at a private firm.

Feinstein’s opening statement was interrupted briefly by a protestor, who was quickly removed.

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