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Sotomayor hearings: Feingold takes a swipe at Bush administration

July 13, 2009 |  8:28 am


Sen. Russell D. Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, singled out what he called one of the most important qualities for a Supreme Court justice: courage.

He brought up courage while recounting actions by the high court to counter anti-terrorism efforts by the Bush administration. The implication: The court showed courage standing up against President Bush.

He noted that, in recent years, the Supreme Court repeatedly rebuffed the Bush administration on a number of fronts. The court said no, he said, to “setting up a law-free zone in Guantanamo Bay,” where suspected terrorists have been held for years.

The court said no when the Bush administration tried to strip habeas-corpus rights from prisoners at Guantanamo. He cited other examples as well.

He quoted former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who said that a “state of war is not a blank check for the president.”

Feingold is the sixth of 19 senators delivering opening statements in the first day of Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing.

-- Steve Padilla

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Photo: From left, Dianne Feinstein, Russ Feingold and Charles Schumer. Credit: Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images