Sonia Sotomayor Hearings Underway

By Chris Ariens 

The Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings are underway on Capitol Hill. The three cable news channels are covering them live, as is PBS. HLN is keeping a small box in the lower right corner reminding anyone watching in an airport that the hearings are on. And PBS is doing it old-school — no banners, no boxes. The cable nets are taking commercials. At 10:44am, CNN was in a break when a protester had to be removed from the hearing room. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy warned, “I will direct the police to remove anybody who does any kind of an outburst either for or against the nominee.”

• On FNC, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier kicked off coverage at 9amET. Carl Cameron is in the hearing room with additional coverage from Major Garrett Chris Wallace, Juan Williams, and Supreme Court correspondent Shannon Bream, featured in her hometown South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Saturday, will contribute throughout the hearing.

• On CNN, Wolf Blitzer is anchoring special coverage joined by Gloria Borger, Candy Crowley, John King, Jeffrey Toobin, and Jessica Yellin. CNN has not replaced, and insiders tell us does not have plans to replace former Supreme Court correspondent Kelli Arena.

• On MSNBC, Chris Matthews is anchoring with Andrea Mitchell on set, Norah O’Donnell on the Hill and reports from NBC’s justice correspondent Pete Williams.

> Update: FNC, CNN and MSNBC went away from the Senators’ opening statements at the Sotomayor hearing to take live coverage of Pres. Obama naming Dr. Regina Benjamin as his Surgeon General nominee. CNN and MSNBC remained with the White House announcement through Dr. Benjamin’s comments.