The Austin Chronicle

Martinez Corners Cornyn

By Richard Whittaker, July 10, 2009, News

While the special session was generally peaceful, not everything under the dome was completely convivial. On July 1, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, dropped by the Capitol Agricul­tur­al Museum for a meeting over boxed lunches and cupcakes with members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, as well as Austin's Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez and other elected officials. The discussion was polite, ranging from education provision to the tone of the immigration debate, with attendees trying to find common ground. As Cornyn got up to leave, Martinez squeezed in one last question, probing the Senate Judiciary Committee member about the barrage of "rhetorical questions" to Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor on his website. Cornyn responded that, while she has "a compelling story that makes us all feel good about America" and he will oppose a filibuster of her nomination, he will wait until after her July 13 confirmation hearings to decide how he will vote. The questions, he added, were simply "public education" about her record. Martinez was unconvinced. "He's taking judgments from Sotomayor and turning them into questions," he said, adding that he is concerned that Cornyn is painting her as an activist jurist.

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