Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sotomayor fallout: Living Constitution is (publicly) dead

Deconstructionism takes a hit in the Sotomayor hearings:

First, Sotomayor embraced legal formalism and rejected legal realism, critical race theory, and the host of other academic deconstructionist fashions of the past eighty-odd years. (For my thoughts on how those movements themselves act as the driver behind the judicial confirmation mess, see my column in today’s Examiner.) It’s hardly surprising that Mike Seidman reacted as strongly as he did to Sotomayor’s testimony: we have a Democratic Supreme Court nominee openly rejecting as illegitimate the major academic movement to which Seidman has devoted his life. Sotomayor explicitly repudiated the “empathy” standard of judging articulated by the president who nominated her, and completely retreated from her own past race- and gender-conscious statements about the law.

Author says it "represents a major victory for conservatism. ... It’s hard for me to see why Sotomayor’s statements couldn’t be used pretty powerfully to undercut the legitimacy of a full-blown transnationalist like Harold Koh, or anyone firmly rooted in the Critical Legal Studies school." The "living Constitution" guff has been killed off in the public realm. One of the benefits of GOP backbone - it creates the need for Liberal hypocrisy, to deflect from that fact that most people disagree with the Liberal position on things.

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