Does a Senator Have Some Splainin’ to Do?

Jul 15, 2009 3:46pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: It registered as a moment of levity inside the hearing room.   Yes, Judge Sonia Sotomayor was hypothetically talking about shooting a sitting US senator. And yes, that senator responded by channeling Ricky Ricardo.   As part of a discussion of the Second Amendment with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Sotomayor produced an unusual hypothetical:   SOTOMAYOR: “If I go home, get a gun, come back and shoot you, that may not be legal under New York law because you would have alternative ways to defend…”   COBURN: “You’ll have lots of ‘splainin’ to do.”   SOTOMAYOR: “I’d be in a lot of trouble then.”   Both Coburn and Sotomayor were laughing by the end of the exchange. But it left commentators buzzing about Sotomayor’s odd choice of hypotheticals — and how Coburn used a catchphrase made famous by Desi Arnaz’s character on “I Love Lucy.”   Though Coburn didn’t imitate Arnaz’s accent, Ricky Ricardo remains one of the most famous Hispanic characters in TV history. Sotomayor, of course, is the first Latino nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court.   Asked to respond, Coburn’s spokesman, John Hart, told ABC that “of course it was a joke”: “Before you fuel an ethnic controversy you should watch the exchange. Who is offended? Are you asking us to respond to people who are offended or people you believe might be offended?”
“Of course it was a joke. She was just talking about shooting the senator with a gun.”   

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