Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reactions to Sotamayor SCOTUS Pick

Reactions to Sonia Sotamayor are coming fast and furious across the blogasphere. For your reading pleasure, a quick punditry roundup:


This nomination should be judged principally on two grounds: 

(1) her judicial opinions (which Scotusblog's Tom Goldstein comprehensively reviews here) and 

(2) her answers at her confirmation hearing. 

But based on everything that is known now, this seems to be a superb pick for Obama.

It is very encouraging that Obama ignored the ugly, vindictive, and anonymous smear campaign led by The New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen and his secret cast of cowardly Eminent Liberal Legal Scholars of the Respectable Intellectual Center. People like that, engaging in tactics of that sort, have exerted far too much influence on our political culture for far too long, and Obama's selection of one of their most recent targets both reflects and advances the erosion of their odious influence. And Obama's choice is also a repudiation of the Jeffrey-Rosen/Ben-Wittes/Stuart-Taylor grievance on behalf of white males that, as Dahlia Lithwick put it, "a diverse bench must inevitably be a second-rate bench."

Obama has also ignored the deeply dishonest right-wing attacks on Sotomayor, beginning with the inane objection to her perfectly benign and accurate comments on videotape that appellate judges, as distinct from district court judges, "make policy." Lawyer Anonymous Liberal thoroughly eviscerated that line of attack as the shallow and deceitful argument it is. A similar avenue of certain attack -- that Sotomayor said in a 2001 speech that a female Latina judge has experiences that can inform her view of cases -- is equally frivolous. There are a whole range of discretionary judgments which judges are required to make; does anyone actually doubt that familiarity with a wide range of cultural experiences is an asset?  

Minty-fresh Dem Arlen Specter approves:

I applaud the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Her confirmation would add needed diversity in two ways: the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the high court. While her record suggests excellent educational and professional qualifications, now it is up to the Senate to discharge its constitutional duty for a full and fair confirmation process.


I just heard Ed Whelan, who's nuts, on NPR talking about the Sotomayor pick, and he predictably decried the Ricci opinion, saying that Sotomayor didn't even bother to give her opinion about those white firefighters who were discriminated against, in his view.

Yeah, um, Sotomayor didn't write the opinion at all. She participated in it. That's kind of how appeals court opinions go.

Mike Huckabee made known that he is opposed to Maria Sotomayor, so it's a good thing Obama picked Sonia.


Oops. The Republican National Committee prepared a detailed set of talking points for key Republicans to use regarding the Sotomayor nomination -- and then accidentally sent it to the media.

And last, but not least, Glen Beck, via twitter:

Does the nominee still have Diabetes? Could the Messiah heal her, or does she just not want to ask? What is protocal on miracle healings?

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