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Judicial review is no joking matter

To the Editor:

It takes an individual with a brilliant mind to be an effective U.S. senator.

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is on the Senate Judiciary committee, which is charged with the interrogation of a United States Supreme Court nominee to determine whether or not that nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, is qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice.

A Supreme Court justice, a position that is held until the Justice voluntarily resigns or until their death, has the very profound responsibility of interpreting the Constitution of the United States of America. The decisions of the Supreme Court affects the lives and deaths of millions of people in the U.S. as is evidenced in the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling.

The seriousness of these proceedings should be uppermost in the minds of the inquisitors.

That brings up the relevance of the question Sen. Franken asked nominee Sotomayor (paraphrased):

"What was the only case that TV lawyer Perry Mason ever lost in the long running Perry Mason TV show?"

How could the answer to that question possibly help determine the qualifications of a Supreme Court nominee?

There seems to be a serious absence of brilliance or seriousness in that question and in the mind of the questioner. A 10-year-old child would realize the importance to their job and have asked a much more pertinent question!

Do we have a U.S. senator or a "has been" comedian serving Minnesota in Washington, D.C.?

Leo Heppelmann