Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama Nominates Judge Sotomayor for SCOTUS

Obama's SCOTUS nomination is a Hispanic pick, a liberal who won't shift court balance as one court liberal (Souter) is replaced by another.

The New Republic shared concerns about Sotomayor pre-nomination - "not that smart":

The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."
TNR's Rosen is now in damage control on that article, saying he supports Sotomayor's confirmation.

LA Times on Sotomayer's "Courts make policy", she was joking. Patterico commenter has this to add:
As a district court judge, she had a habit of apologizing to criminals during sentencing, telling one drug dealer that he was a “victim of the economic necessities of our society.” And she was soft on corruption in at least one case.
Judicial Confirmation Network - "indulge left-wing policy preferences"
President Obama has threatened to nominate liberal judicial activists who will indulge their left-wing policy preferences instead of neutrally applying the law. In selecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee, President Obama has carried out his threat.
Judge Sotomayor will allow her feelings and personal politics to stand in the way of basic fairness. In a recent case, Ricci v. DeStefano, Sotomayor sided with a city that used racially discriminatory practices to deny promotions to firefighters. ....The poor quality of Sotomayor's decisions is reflected in her terrible record of reversals by the Supreme Court.
SCOTUSblog mentions The Ricci case, which has heightened importance, as Judge Sotomayor's own decision may get overruled by the Supreme Court next month. The Ricci mystery is - why didn't she explain herself in the case? (She made an unsigned decision.)

Rush calls Sotomayor as racist, referencing Sotomayor's statement, shared by Hot Air"
"Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life." - Judge Sotomayor
What this pick tells us? "Race and Gender Matter"; it's "a reminder of the power of identity politics." Or as Frum puts it - Can Sotomayor pass the Biden test?

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