There is a good amount of smart commentary on the President’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, so I won’t add a lot more of my own. There are a few points I want to touch on, though.
If you need a one-line summation of Judge Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy, it seems to be this: to her thinking, the law is what she says it is.
That’s fine, I suppose, if she’s always going to rule on your behalf. It’s like having a “do whatever the heck you want” card. It kind of sucks for the whole “rule of law” thing, but these days that’s not quite as important as pushing the President’s agenda. The problem with Sotomayor is that her much-ballyhooed “empathy” doesn’t extend to everyone.
Witness the case of Mr. Bart Didden, a property-owner in Port Chester, New York. Didden’s property was in the way of a business project the city very much wanted, so its representative gave Didden an offer: either pay him $800,000 or give him a 50 percent share of his business or he would make sure the town took his property. Didden refused and the very next day, the town did exactly what their hired thug promised. Judge Sotomayor felt that was just fine.
As it is, the Supreme Court has smacked down most of her decisions it’s seen and it’s likely that number will go up when the Court considers her bafflingly ignorant and terse decision in the case of several firefighters who were discriminated against in New Haven, Connecticut because they had the wrong complexion.
If I were a conservative Senator about to take part in her confirmation hearing, I’d be figuring out ways to show America just how thin her legal mind appears to be. I’d also use the hearing to show that her administration-crafted persona as an altruistic empath clashes badly with her desire to become a judge so she could tell prosecutors what to do and “take control” of the courtroom. It’s not a long jump from controlling the courtroom to controlling Congress (and each one of us), which is exactly where her “because I said so” judicial philosophy leads when it gets to the highest court in the land.
Power-hungry. Contemptuous of the rule of law. Disinterested in the law, except when she can use it as a blunt weapon.
Those are some tags I’d like to see Republicans hang on Sotomayor from here on out.
Now, it’s roundup time.
Jules Crittenden is looking forward to the blood sport. I agree with him that court choices are vetted more closely than potential Presidents but I don’t think that has a lot to do with the speed and concentration of the hearing. A member of the Court will be with us a lot longer than a President and has the potential of distorting our democracy in a way a President cannot.
Stacy McCain wants to know what was with all the representin’ going on during the press conference? Hey, you can’t spell “empathy” without “North Bronx” or something like that.
Moe Lane’s thoughts on whether conservatives ought to fight this nomination or wait for the next one are brief and very much to the point.
Think that you can’t wait, because our coming out swinging is going to help the liberal cause with Americans? Funny: that’s what they said about Cheney throwing down on enhanced interrogation techniques. I’d suggest that people ask Nancy Pelosi how she thinks that one worked out, except that she responds to all questions like that these days by putting her fingers in her ears and shouting ‘LALALA!’.
Donald Douglas responds to his critics with some Matchbox Twenty.