Sunday, July 12, 2009

Frank Ricci and Ben Vargas to Testify at Sotomayor Hearing

On Monday, the Senate will kick off the confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama's first Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. Per the Constitution:
"[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint... Judges of the supreme Court...."
I don't know about the "consent" part but it appears the Republicans are poised to provide plenty of advice!

Expect employment law to figure prominently in the hearings (although the Republicans have lined up several Second Amendment heavyweights as well). The media coverage of the Ricci case (white New Haven firefighters case) has been everywhere.

On top of the media blitz, none other than Frank Ricci himself is listed as a witness to testify at the hearings. Mr. Ricci (in case this wasn't obvious from the name) is the lead Plaintiff (aka a white New Haven firefighter) in the Ricci case. To quote a friend of mine upon hearing the news: "Wow! A real person!"

I would also like to note that two professors from my beloved alma mater, George Mason, are also set to testify: Neomi Rao (teaches Constitutional Law... not sure what she's testifying on), and Ilya Somin (I suspect he'll discuss property rights/eminent domain).

CBS News has published the full list of the witnesses released by the Senate Judiciary Committee (Democrats and Republicans).

UPDATE 7/12/2009: Upon closer examination, Lieutenant Ben Vargas of the New Haven Fire Department is also on the list. Although Ricci is often thought of as the white firefighters case (or a case of reverse discrimination), Mr. Vargas is actually Hispanic. His situation was discussed briefly in Justice Alito's concurring opinion.