Sonia Sotomayor Jokes About Senate Frequently Taking Time Off

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor cracked a joke during Supreme Court arguments Monday about Congress leaving town on recess for large chunks of the year.

“You’re making an assumption, which is that the Senate has to take a recess. But the Senate could choose, if it wanted to, and I think there might be some citizens that would encourage it to never recess,” she said. “And to work every day, which lots of people do.”

The comment elicited laughs in the Supreme Court chamber.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli responded, “That’s true. They could — they could decide not to take a recess.”

The case, National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, was about President Barack Obama’s use of executive power to temporarily fill government posts while the Senate is unofficially on recess.

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