Quote of the day (ninja edition)

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, knows his ninjas.

By Mike Madden
Published July 14, 2009 4:15PM (EDT)

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Orrin Hatch may be a conservative Republican from Utah, but don't let anyone tell you he doesn't know his ninja gear.

At confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination this afternoon, Hatch and Sotomayor found themselves debating gun laws -- and running a bit farther afield. Here's their exchange:

HATCH: As a result of this very permissive legal standard -- and it is permissive -- doesn't your decision in Maloney mean that virtually any state or local weapons ban would be permissible?

SOTOMAYOR: Sir, in Maloney, we were talking about nunchuk sticks.

HATCH: I understand.

SOTOMAYOR: Those are martial arts sticks.

HATCH: Two sticks bound together by rawhide or some sort of a...

SOTOMAYOR: Exactly. And -- and when the sticks are swung, which is what you do with them, if there's anybody near you, you're going to be seriously injured, because that swinging mechanism can break arms, it can bust someone's skull.

HATCH: Sure.

The hearings are about to let out so senators can attend their weekly party lunches, and the show is set to pick up again at 2 p.m. Eastern. So far, no word on whether the later session will deal with throwing stars.

Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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