Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, May 26th, 2009.


On the Right: Spittle and Spite

Obama Administration, Republican Party, Supreme Court

I’ve been watching Tom Tancredo on The Ed Show claiming that SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sonia Sotomayor is a racist. This claim is made based on this quote from Judge Sotomayor: “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.” (Thanks Jill Filipovic.)

Tancredo doesn’t get the quote right, of course. In his rendering of it, she just says that Latina women make better judges than white men. And he sat on the Ed Show television panel, bouncing and spitting in outrage, and screaming racist, racist, racist. I think that’s pretty much the plan.

The conventional wisdom seems to be forming that Sotomayor will be confirmed fairly easily. The right-wing interest groups will be screaming and spitting about her for the next several days, but the GOP itself (the CW says) doesn’t want to take her on for fear of further alienating Latino voters. They’re going to complain and call her a leftist, but they know her record is more moderate than some others President Obama might have nominated — or might yet nominate, if the Sotomayor nomination fails.

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SCOTUS Nominee: Sonia Sotomayor

Obama Administration, Supreme Court

The Washington Post profile of Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Souter, sounds really good to me.

At Yale, her classmates recall a young woman with a brilliant legal mind who was tough when arguing for her views. And although they said she never forgot her modest background, and always identified with the disadvantaged, her main passion was for the law, not a particular political agenda. …

… In 1984, George Pavia, a New York lawyer representing Fiat and other Italian business clients, said he was looking for a young lawyer with courtroom experience to help with products liability cases. He said he found Sotomayor “just ideal for us in terms of her background and training.”

“She is liberal, as am I,” Pavia said. “Liberal without being a flaming type of do-gooder or anything of the sort. To call her a centrist would not be accurate. To call her wild-eyed would also not be accurate. She is far too rational, far too interested in the underlying facts.”

Sotomayor grew up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in the Bronx and was educated at Princeton and Yale Law School. People quoted in the profile praise her for being even-handed and non-ideological in her judgments.

In an article published before the announcement, Peter Baker of the New York Times announced that “the Left” already was unhappy with President Obama’s short list of potential nominees, which included Sotomayor, because we lefties would only be content with a “full-throated, unapologetic liberal torchbearer to counter conservatives like Justice Scalia.”

“It’s quite likely the left is not going to get what it wants,” said Thomas C. Goldstein, co-head of the Supreme Court practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and founder of Scotusblog, a well-read Web site. …

… “Unless Obama restrains his compulsion toward centrist consensus and appoints real progressives to replace not only Souter but Ginsburg and Stevens, our right-wing court may get even more conservative,” Jeff Cohen, founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, wrote on a Web site for progressive commentary, OpEdNews.com.

Personally, I think most of “the Left” will be fine with Justice Nominee Sotomayor. We’ll see.

Update: CNN has published Sotomayor’s resume and her record on notable cases. Scroll down for the record. From what I see she tends to side with the individual against government and corporate interests. Righties are going to have a fit. I like this lady.

Update: Scott Lemieux ‘s take on Sotomayor

It’s a good, solid pick. Not a home run like Karlan would have been, but I also don’t think she’ll be another Breyer; I see another Ginsburg at worst. For me, she would have been #2 among the viable candidates after Wood, and I don’t think Wood is clearly more liberal; they’re within a range in which appellate court records don’t reveal enough information to make firm judgments.

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