NPR logo More Questions On The Court & The Sotomayor Hearings

More Questions On The Court & The Sotomayor Hearings

Here are some court- and Senate Judiciary-related questions from readers.

Harry Grinage of Virginia, Minn., writes:

When were the Supreme Court Confirmation hearings first televised?

1981, with Sandra Day O'Connor.

From Jon Cohen of Philadelphia:

Did Supreme Court nominees always testify in person before the Senate Judiciary Committee?

Nope. The first one was Harlan Fiske Stone, in 1925.

And from Brett Sonnenschein of Brooklyn, N.Y.:

I was surprised to find out that Al Franken is a member of the Judiciary Committee since he isn't a lawyer. This seems odd to me since so many senators are lawyers and being on the Judiciary Committee would seem to require a good amount of legal knowledge. Are any other members of the Judiciary Committee non-lawyers?

There was a note in Neil Lewis' article in the New York Times the other day about Franken being one of five senators of the 19-member Senate Judiciary Committee who are not lawyers. Actually, I count six (though I could be wrong). Including Franken, I have Tom Coburn (R-OK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), and Herb Kohl (D-WI).