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Pat Leahy says GOP blocks Sotomayor for Supreme Court -- in 1998

May 27, 2009 |  6:40 am

Tuesday, before his excursion out West to Sin City, Nev., President Obama announced his choice for the Supreme Court vacancy, U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor.Sonia Sotomayor's high school graduation photo before she was appointed to the federal bench

As The Ticket reported at length here and over here, in an attempt to head off anticipated Republican opposition, the president emphasized her housing-projects-to-judicial-chambers success story and her varied and lengthy legal experience. And the White House produced, in effect, a photo album of her life, including family photos at baseball games, yada, yada.

Obama referenced the fact that Sotomayor has already been confirmed by the Senate twice -- once, when Bush I named her to the federal bench at the suggestion of late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and again when President Clinton elevated her to the appeals court.

But look what we found in the C-SPAN video archives! A clip of Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy speaking on the Senate floor against a "hold" on her confirmation placed by an anonymous senator, who must surely be Republican, although who can know because it was anonymous, according to Senate rules. So, conveniently, no one can prove it wasn't.

But Leahy seems sure, and he also seems sure of the motive -- one Republican or possibly an entire gang of them was seeking to prevent Sotomayor from being nominated to the Supreme Court.

But wait one minute! The Supreme Court?

This video clip is from 1998! As in, last century. What did Leahy know 11 years ago that the president only announced Tuesday?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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