Opinion: Sotomayor hearing: The case that Perry Mason lost

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It turns out that Al Franken and Sonia Sotomayor were both big fans of TV’s “Perry Mason” when growing up. And like the judge, the newly minted Democratic senator from Minnesota said he too remembered that, in one episode, the TV lawyer’s client was actually guilty.

Lightening the mood, Franken asked which episode that was.

Sotomayor confessed she had no idea.

“Didn’t the White House prepare you?” Franken asked.

Sotomayor explained that she “was spending a lot of time on preparing cases.”

After a little more back and forth, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took charge:

“Will the gentleman from Minnesota tell us what episode that was?”


“I don’t know,” Franken said, to more laughs. “That’s why I was asking.”

The Obama White House is famous for its rapid response. Well, just minutes after this exchange, the White House has given us an answer. It’s... (drumroll):

‘The Case of the Deadly Verdict,’ which first aired on Oct. 17, 1963.

-- Steve Padilla and James Oliphant

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