Despite the relative boredom of the Sotomayor confirmation hearings, there have been a few pretty priceless moments. I present to you one of the best:
Senator Sessions, somewhat offhandedly said, “Mr. Henderson, It’s good to work with you. Senator Leahy and I are talking during these hearings; we’re going to do that crack cocaine thing that you and I have talked about before.”
Henderson paused for a minute and then laughed to himself and said, “Thank you, Senator, I appreciate that.”
Of course, Sessions was speaking to Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, who has suggested that the penalties for crimes involving crack cocaine are out of balance to the penalties for crimes involving the powdered variety. Apparently realizing his mistake, Sessions clarified his statement so that everyone knew the “crack cocaine thing” was his way of saying he plans to bring the penalties for both types of offenses in line with one another.
Particularly interesting to me is that Sessions is one of those Republican Senators who just wouldn’t let the “wise Latina” comment die this week. Though it was taken out of context and Sotomayor has admitted that it was a failure as a piece of rhetoric, she has been grilled for it over and over again. I’m curious to know who will be grilling Sessions about his “crack cocaine thing.” It doesn’t seem fair that Sotomayor’s remarks are taken out of context and used against her and Sessions’ aren’t. Perhaps a hearing for Sessions is in order as well.