Sotomayor, Kagan Browbeat Scalia over Voting Rights Act Argument
Sotomayor, as a liberal Washington Post columnist noted, “allowed the lawyer for the Alabama county seeking to overturn the law to get just four sentences into his argument before interrupting him. ”
When Sotomayor would not relent, Justice Anthony Kennedy had to say, in remarks directed at her, “I would like to hear the answer to the question.”
When the lawyer started talking, Kagan then interrupted him. And in what was described as a “breach of decorum,” Kagan interrupted Scalia’s questioning to argue with Scalia directly on the bench.
Sotomayor would not let Justice Samuel Alito get a word in as well, and Chief Justice John Roberts had to says, “Justice Alito,” to signal that he had the floor.
And when the lawyer for Alabama was about to make his concluding arguments, Sotomayor allowed him four words–”Thank you, Chief Justice”–before aggressively interrupting him.
“Do you think that the right to vote is a racial entitlement in Section 5?,” Sotomayor asked.
Before he could explain, she interrupted by saying she had “asked a different question.”
“Do you think Section 5 was voted for because it was a racial entitlement?” Sotomayor asked.
And so it went, and the mainstream media that always describe Scalia as “acerbic” for his aggressive questioning did not judge Sotomayor and Kagan by the same standards. Instead, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post said Sotomayor’s and Kagan’s performances proved they were “ready for battle.”