New Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken said he planned to ask Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about protection of key individual rights, including "access to the Internet."
Franken, the most junior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had been expected to bring up network neutrality at Sotomayor's nomination hearing, and he did.
In his opening statement, Franken said he was chiefly concerned about two things, judicial activism and new barriers to individual rights. In the latter category, he said that the court was "the last place a person can go to proect the free flow of information on the Internet."
It was Franken's first official appearance since being sworn in last week. It was briefly interrupted by a protestor who was quickly escorted out. It was the second such interruption of the day.