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May 27, 2009

Comments

"Any moment now, I suppose someone will ask how we know she's in this country legally."

I want to see her birth certificate!

Is it possible Inhofe meant "her personal race preferences, her personal gender preferences, or her personal political preferences"? That is, "her personal (race, gender, and political) preferences"? Not that this is a whole lot better -- it would seem to be an accusation of racism and sexism as well as political bias.

Yep, looks like white, straight male is still the "default" ethnicity/orientation/gender, and anything else is a deviation from the norm. White straight men can be trusted to make unbiased, objective decisions because they are Everyman.

I'm reading Inhofe as making a kind of attribution error. I don't think it would even occur to him that a conservative candidate (like Sandra Day O'Connor) would make decisions based on her experiences or ethnicity.

Nothing terribly surprising about this nomination: Politically advantageous minority, a woman, very liberal, on record as hostile to the 2nd amendment, fairly young. I would have been shocked if it hadn't been somebody like her.

Eh, elections have consequences. He was never going to nominate Alex Kozinski, much as I would have liked that.

But that's nothing compared to Mike Huckabee thinking her first name is Maria.

She reads a plea and scrapes her knee
Her robe has got a tear
She waltzes on her way to Court
And bristles on the stairs
And underneath her robes
She has Guevara in her laire
I even heard her singing in the Court room

She's always late for argument
But her reasoning is for real
She's always late for everything
Except for Ally Mcbeal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Maria's [sic] not an asset to the Court room

I'd like to say a word in her behalf
Maria [sic] makes me laugh

How do you oppose a judge like Maria [sic]?
How does she view a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a case that defines Maria [sic]?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A noun!

Many may like to plea and like to brief her
Many may think she ought to understand
But how do you ask for a stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a witness on her stand?

Oh, how do you oppose a judge like Maria [sic]?
How do you read her ruling in your hand?

When I'm before her I'm confused
Out of sorts and bemused
And I never know what to argue
Unpredictable as weather
She's a lefty like Dave Souter
She's a liberal! She's an activist! She's a lamb!

She'd outlawyer any lawyerer
Drive an expert from his expertise
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is liberal! She likes Che!
She's a riddle! She's a gay!
She's a headache! She's an angel!
She's a girl!

How do you oppose a judge like Maria [sic]?
How does she view a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a case that defines Maria[sic]?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A noun!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how can she issue a stay
And listen to all you say
How do you control a judge's stand

Oh, how do you oppose a judge like Maria [sic]?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

"He didn't wonder whether Alito's personal race or gender -- or even his impersonal race or gender, whatever those might be -- would weigh too heavily with him, or prevent him from ruling fairly. I wonder why not?"

Alito wasn't on record making any remarks about how wise Italian-American men made superior jurists?

“I wonder why not?”

Troll bait hilzoy? ;)

I mean, I’m sure you’re aware of her public statements.

“I would hope that a wise Caucasian man of Italian descent with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a [insert ethnicity here] woman who hasn't lived that life.”

Democrats would not have raised that public statement in Alito’s confirmation process? (Actually, they would not have, as he would never have even been nominated with a statement like that on the record.)

(On preview I see Brett beat me to it.)

I realize that no one is truly impartial and objective, but when you are on the public record stating that your ethnicity and gender will influence your judicial philosophy, at a minimum it opens the door to questioning your objectivity during confirmation hearings.

Should a judge’s philosophy and ideology be fair game during confirmation hears? I think that’s a fair question. Since you raised Alito’s confirmation, and since this is Obama’s nominee, let’s go to Obama’s floor statement on Alito (1/26/06):
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=2006_record&page=S190&position=all

As we all know, there has been a lot of discussion in the country about how the Senate should approach this confirmation process. There are some who believe that the President, having won the election, should have complete authority to appoint his nominee and the Senate should only examine whether the Justice is intellectually capable and an all-around good guy; that once you get beyond intellect and personal character, there should be no further question as to whether the judge should be confirmed.

I disagree with this view. I believe firmly that the Constitution calls for the Senate to advise and consent. I believe it calls for meaningful advice and consent and that includes an examination of a judge’s philosophy, ideology, and record. When I examine the philosophy, ideology, and record of Samuel Alito, I am deeply troubled.

And of course, Obama then voted against Alito.


“Meanwhile, Paul at PowerLine headlines his post "Che Guevara In Robes".”

And said it was how a friend referred to her, and that he thought it was a joke. All the other quotes in the post come straight from “the lawyers' evaluation of Judge Sotomayor from the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary”.

I realize that no one is truly impartial and objective, but when you are on the public record stating that your ethnicity and gender will influence your judicial philosophy, at a minimum it opens the door to questioning your objectivity during confirmation hearings.

Well, the alternative, of course, which most people engage in, is to simply pretend that your ethnicity and gender DON'T influence your judicial philosophy.

there actually was a bit of a racket over Alito's ethnicity, stirred-up by noted legal scholar: Chris Matthews.

Ugh

Where did you find that song?

Ugh is a master songster

"Well, the alternative, of course, which most people engage in, is to simply pretend that your ethnicity and gender DON'T influence your judicial philosophy."

Everyone has failings, but you might be more worried about a particular failing in somebody who viewed it as a virtue, than in somebody who actually agreed it was a failing.

I think her quotes should be placed into some context, she followed her "controversial" quote with this:

Each day on the bench I learn something new about the judicial process and about being a professional Latina woman in a world that sometimes looks at me with suspicion. I am reminded each day that I render decisions that affect people concretely and that I owe them constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives and ensuring that to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that I reevaluate them and change as circumstances and cases before me requires. I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences but I accept my limitations. I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.

From:

Oh, how do you oppose a judge like Maria [sic]? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

Posted by: Ugh

Very good! Is there something in the water? When I first read about Huckabee's adventure in misnaming, my first thought was, 'Ah, the Hispanic von Trapp'.

Maybe it's just the refrain, "How do you solve a problem like Maria".

OCSteve: "“Meanwhile, Paul at PowerLine headlines his post "Che Guevara In Robes".”

And said it was how a friend referred to her, and that he thought it was a joke. "

When I read this, I thought you meant a friend of Sotomayor called her that, but Paul meant a friend of his. Saying something trivially insulting like that, and saying that one of your friends may have meant it as a joke, is hardly exculpatory. And when you look at the woman's actual judgments, they aren't radical at all.

"Well, the alternative, of course, which most people engage in, is to simply pretend that your ethnicity and gender DON'T influence your judicial philosophy."

Everyone has failings, but you might be more worried about a particular failing in somebody who viewed it as a virtue, than in somebody who actually agreed it was a failing.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore

Do you have any evidence that the White Guys on the bench acknowledge that their ethnicity and gender influence their views? That they regard this sort of thing as a failing? That they have done anything to redress specific failures, if the above are shown to be true?

These sorts of arguments strike me as disreputable; saying that the happily married for many years Democratic congressman is morally inferior to his opposite number who is a twice-divorced serial adulterer because at least the adulterer acknowledges there is such a thing as 'standards', even though he himself doesn't live up to them seems a bit ripe.

It strikes me that this seems to be a Southern thing, culturally speaking.

I can see where a torture advocate like Yoo would be against empathy. Makes the day's work more difficult, I'm sure.

For Point.

Where did you find that song?

A combination of Rodgers and Hammerstein, childhood, and 12 week old newborn 5am punchiness.

Oh, how do you oppose a judge like Maria [sic]? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

Posted by: Ugh


That is just beautiful.

And said it was how a friend referred to her, and that he thought it was a joke.

Jesus H, Steve. As MaryL pointed out, the friend was not a friend of Sotomayor, but a friend of Powerline's. Were you really presenting that as an unbiased, not at all derogatory, view? JFC.

The idea that Sotomayor should shed the unreliable trappings of her gender and ethnicity, in order to see things the White Male Way - which is of course the only truly 'unbiased' way - has got to be some kind of apotheosis of un-self aware privilege. I want to laugh at the same time I want to start shooting people.

It really does seem as though Obama's election triggered a reduction process in the GOP and RW commentariat that burns off all but the craziest of the crazy. This could be a good thing, in that 'normal' people who are still in the GOP can no longer avoid knowing exactly what it is they're sending money to and voting for.

"Undue influence" is Inhofe both trying to sound legally spiffy, and weaseling. If Thomas or Scalia are influenced by their religious faith, why, that's not undue influence. So it doesn't count. It's only when one's personal experiences might "influence" one away from what Inhofe things proper that they become undue.

For crying out loud, we have a sitting Justice who longs for the days when a crucifix hung in every American classroom. I didn't hear any "originalists" gnawing their hands about this rather clear repudiation of the Establishment Clause.

Well we can all take some comfort, I suppose, in the fact that the GOP campaign against Sotomayor would have been exactly the same (with a few different MadLib nouns and adjectives) no matter who Obama chose.

I am, I suppose, a little surprised that Brett has labeled her "very liberal."

Sotomayor, like everyone on Obama's shortlist, is a centrist. She was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush.

I understand that anyone Obama appoints will be labeled "very liberal" in GOP talkingpoints. And I'll gladly acknowledge that she's not Brett's ideal justice.

But why can't we, at least in this discussion, talk honestly about where she stands?

excellent rogers & hammerstein pastiche, ugh.

but what the occasion really calls for is bernstein/sondheim, don't you think?

like the headline which read, "i've just met a judge named maria".

after all, 'sotomayor' is hardly an austrian name.

there is a Judge in Spanish Harlem

The conservatives should just let this one pass without comment. Ultimately Sotomayor is a small "c" conservative appointment. With Justice Sotomayor we will have an overwhelming Catholic bias on the Roberts’ Court. Roberts' deference to the existing structures of the powerful is a habit of mind ingrained by parochial education and reinforced by his study of classics in university, rather than something bred by the Enlightenment, like physics say. With a Catholic majority of six this bias need not be articulated. It is established as the background before any discussion begins. No matter how progressive, a Catholic pick has more in common with the Roberts-Scalia-Alito-Thomas-Kennedy axis than Obama envisages. A Catholic woman may have more intellectual independence, but it will be experiential rather than from legal reasoning. The American founding documents are premised on individual claims of rights and conscience against Crown and Church. I would have prefered Obama pick someone from the West, where frontier organization preserved the individualistic, pragmatic and congregationalist mindset. The O'Connor seat remains unfilled.

One can crush children's testicles in the daytime and still exhibit empathy ..........

..... at the opera, at night, after the business of the day has been done.

Question for all of the "law and order" types who are loudly objecting to the concept that Ms. Sotomayor's experiences/background should in any way inform her judgment. Suppose you were faced with two candidates for the bench. One has spend a couple of decades as a District Attorney; the other has spent a couple of decades as a Public Defender. Is one set of experiences merely going to provide impartiality, while the other will provide unacceptable bias? (No prize for guessing which history goes with which.)

Is there any question that someone with a background in the DA's office (which she has, by the way) would have that presented among their qualifications by any conservative putting forth the nomination? No way on earth that doesn't get brought up!

Ben - people on the 'extremes' tend to view any movement away from their position as being far more 'on the other side' than it really is. So what a moderate might perceive as being a slight difference, an extremist will perceive as a huge, yawning gap.

Of course, that starts with the assumption that the people in question are all acting out of good faith. Some people are very very conservative, and will thus see Sotomayor as one-removed-from-Che because they have a very distorted perspective. Others will deliberately portray Sotomayor as a raging leftist when they know that to be false, simply because they'd rather have a Justice fitting their own ideology.

I couldn't possibly dream of indicating into which camp Brett likely falls.

Tony Scalia's love song:

I once met a girl named Maria,
check her visa .... with any luck
her middle name is Sharia.

It is not for us to sympathisize
nor ask to empathize
but to relate and emulate
the Federalist Society whom we fellate.

I long for the days everlasting
when white was white and Puerto Rican ...
was white to central casting.

From the bench she speaks as if "could" would take the place of our beloved "should"
On the whole, I prefer Natalie Wood.

She's got her eye on my guns,
and even my holster
Good God, we need Coulter and a Luntzian pollster.


"Well we can all take some comfort, I suppose, in the fact that the GOP campaign against Sotomayor would have been exactly the same (with a few different MadLib nouns and adjectives) no matter who Obama chose."

No matter who he might plausibly have chosen. There were, of course, people he could have chosen who Republicans would not have campaigned against, it's just that they're not people he would have considered nominating.

The GOP campaign against the nominee would have been the same regardless of who Obama chose, only because there was never any chance he'd nominate somebody materially different.

Oh, and Mythago, she is indeed a leftist, for all that she's not a "raging" one.

"But that's nothing compared to Mike Huckabee thinking her first name is Maria."

That's easy: she's from Puerto Rico! Who is the only Puerto Rican woman Huckabee is familiar with?

Greenwald brings us shocking news: There are already two stinking empaths on the court. One was praised as such by the president nominating him the other claimed it in his hearings (referring to his immigrant background as the source). The first one is Thomas, the second is Alito.
WE can't allow more Papist empathic non-WASPS! [/snark]

Politically advantageous minority, a woman, very liberal, on record as hostile to the 2nd amendment, fairly young

Well, Brett, I don't know her record on the 2nd amendment, but she wasn't the most obviously liberal of the publicly discussed finalists, less so of the earlier possibilities (i.e. Karlan), and those under consideration were hardly liberal extremists to begin with. I mean, I understand that everyone to the left of Dick Cheney is now a retroactive Democrat, but she was a prosecutor, and she was appointed to the bench by George H W Bush.

And your claim that she is "fairly young" is just false in context. She is just short of 55 years old, has lived with diabetes since childhood, and looks like she is a bit overweight (not disturbingly so, and far less so than I am, but more so than you'd expect to correlate with an extended lifespan). By comparison, some recent justices' ages when they joined the court:
Alito (2006): 56 (actually 55.5 if you pay attention to precise dates, not just years)
Roberts (2005): 50
Breyer (1994): 56
Ginsberg (1993): 60
Thomas (1991): 43
Souter (1990): 51
You will note that this puts Sotomayor slightly below average age for recent Democratic nominees - but well above average age for all recent appointees, even if Thomas were to be excluded. In fact, when the term starts she will be scarcely, if at all, younger than was the oldest recent Republican appointee (Alito) when his term started.

Here's the speech that the objectionable quote comes from.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/politics/15judge.text.html

The quote comes on the last page, toward the end of the speech.

She's generally arguing that gender and ethnicity influence the decisions that judges make.

Does anyone think that is not true?

In the sentence that has everyone hot and bothered, she's expressing a hope that the arguably richer (her claim not mine) life experience a wise Latina might bring to the table would result in better decisions than a white man might make, more often than not.

She hopes that life experience similar to her own might make someone like her a better justice than a (let's stipulate otherwise equal) white man.

Quel horreur.

I'd say that she, perhaps, slights the range of experience that white men bring to the court. Then again, given the context we're talking about, maybe the range isn't that broad.

I'm sure the flying monkeys are being released even as we speak, and that we're about to be treated to a solid month's worth of non-stop fingernails-on-the-blackboard screeching. And yes, I know the liberals started it all with Bork.

But her statement here just really doesn't freak me out.

She hopes a wise Latina woman would bring a richness of experience to the court that would let her make even better judgements than an otherwise equal white man.

All I have to say is, let's find out.

Seriously, everyone should follow hilzoy's links from a couple of posts back and check out the SCOTUSblog summary of her opinions.

Sotomayor is middle of the road.

oh Maria Maria
She reminds me of a west side story
Growing up in Spanish Harlem
She's living the life just like a Supreme Court Justice . . .

So what a moderate might perceive as being a slight difference, an extremist will perceive as a huge, yawning gap.

You're not being fair to "extremists." I'm not a moderate and I don't like Sotomayor's moderation (I'd much rather have a liberal...or even a leftist, which is what Sotomayor has become as of 1:01 pm in Brettworld). But I can be disappointed (if utterly unsurprised) in her nomination, while simultaneously being much, much happier with her than with Alito or Roberts.

At some level this is about being able to draw (and/or acknowledge) distinctions among those with whom one disagrees. I'd much rather have Alex Kozinski (who Brett mentions admiringly upthread) on the SCOTUS than Alito, Scalia, Roberts, or Thomas. This isn't because Kozinski is necessarily less conservative, but because he is more libertarian.

The GOP campaign against the nominee would have been the same regardless of who Obama chose, only because there was never any chance he'd nominate somebody materially different.

Materially different from what? All of Obama's shortlist were centrists who (unsurprisingly) reflect Obama's frankly non-activist conception of the role of the Supreme Court in American life. This is quite different from the kind of activism (in all but name) being pursued by the right of the current court. It's also very different from the liberalism of a Marshall or a Brennan, let alone from the leftism of the actual left of the American legal profession (e.g. Duncan Kennedy or Roberto Unger).

Yet Republicans choose to denounce Obama's centrist choices as liberals or leftists.

It's an interesting question how they would have reacted to Obama choosing a conservative (no more or less likely than his choosing an actual leftist, IMO). Is partisanship or ideology more important to the contemporary Republican Party? I honestly don't know.

Ugh is probably too young to be familiar with them, but The Capitol Steps did "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scalia" many years ago.

In fact, the Capitol Steps have been around so long that they did "If You Knew Souter Like I Know Souter" -- back when Souter was the little-known judge from New Hampshire who Poppy Bush had just nominated for the Supreme Court!

--TP

Right on, Tony... and that's The Tram Duth!

Ugh is probably too young to be familiar with them, but The Capitol Steps did "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scalia" many years ago.

Heh, that does ring a bell, now that you mention it.

The Capitol Steps are awesome. They came to Memphis not all that long ago, but wouldn't you know it, I was out of town that weekend. D'oh!

How old is Ugh? I'm 26, and I'm familiar with the Capitol Steps, although not that particular song. It's believable.

When you're wingnut
you're wingnut all the way
Through the froth in your mouth
spills the nonsense you say

When you're wingnut
You think liberals stink
You repeat talking points
And you don't have to think

You never make sense
Your brain is like a cabbage
You're terribly dense
Your intellect's been ravaged
By Michael Savage

Then you're wingnut
Like all dittoheads be,
And you'll worship the Rush
Till he finally ODs.
When you're wingnut,
You stay wingnut!

It is now amusing, if not sad, that Yoo has nothing interesting to say beyond the typical talking points. One need not be a lawyer at all to write his piece, much less a Cal-Berkeley law professor and former OLC attorney.

Meanwhile, the WSJ, stalwart defender of objectivity and racial blindness, leads the front page with:

HISPANIC PICKED FOR COURT

Somehow, I doubt they headlined Alito as "Italian," or "Caucasian" when he was picked.

But, hey, at least they included the first two and last two letters of "Hispanic." Not only on the top headline, but in the first paragraph or headline of several other articles two days. Well, to be fair, it's not "several" unless I count the stories that lead with "Puerto Rican" or "Puerto Rico," the one that calls her La Jueza Empatica, the...well, you get the idea.
http://online.wsj.com/public/search/page/3_0466.html?KEYWORDS=sotomayor&mod=DNH_S


The NYT, before anyone asks, used the following headline:

OBAMA PICKS SOTOMAYOR FOR COURT

Like she had a personal identity or something. But it's definitely the liberals who are all about race. Just ask Brett.

As for Sotomayor's oh-so-shocking hope that the background she shared with her audience gives her (and would give them) an edge, anyone know whether Alito ever boasted about their Italian heritage, say at a Sons of Italy speech or something? Ginsberg never bragged a little at a yeshiva about smart Jews? I'm fairly sure Brandeis did. And you know, when Justice Scalia helped holier-than-the-Pope billionaire Thomas Monaghan develop Ave Maria School of Law, he might have just possibly intended to promote a traditional Catholic viewpoint in the practice of law and policymaking. http://copywrite.org/2007/04/30/ave-maria-law/


Good grief.

"Alito ever boasted about their Italian heritage, say at a Sons of Italy speech or something? Ginsberg never bragged a little at a yeshiva about smart Jews? I'm fairly sure Brandeis did."

I don't know why, but that made me giggle.

"But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, "You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country."

When I have cases involving children, I can't help but think of my own children and think about my children being treated in the way that children may be treated in the case that's before me.

And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account. When I have a case involving someone who's been subjected to discrimination because of disability, I have to think of people who I've known and admire very greatly who've had disabilities, and I've watched them struggle to overcome the barriers that society puts up often just because it doesn't think of what it's doing -- the barriers that it puts up to them.

So those are some of the experiences that have shaped me as a person."


Oh no! Alito favors immigrants because his grandparents were immigrants! He's going to be soft on illegal aliens!

(Yes, I know that quote is out of context, but, since the use of out of context quotes is a staple of conservative discourse and the the substance of conservative objections to Sotomayor, I don't see why I can't use the same tactics against Alito. Sauce for the goose, etc.))

I'd be pretty unnerved if she thought UNWISE people made superior jurists.

My request:

Fit her into the Stingray closing song. Shouldn't be too hard, but I'm rather low on brain cells at the moment.

Oh, awesome.

Funny, I don't recall it being quite that cheesy.

Slartibartfast,

that was so awsome.

They just don't make great romances like they used to.

My favorite Gerry Anderson, though, was Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons.

That Captain Scarlet was a much better actor than those other puppets.

Whoops, didn't include his theme.

Seriously, was that Johnny Mathis?

Brilliant slarti.

Hey, Gary. Since it seems sparsely populated around here about now, can we go off topic so I can ask you to point me in the direction of a good description of the distinction between leftists and liberals? I've poked around, but found nothing satisfying or that would enable me to recall later well enough to describe to someone else that distinction. Forgive my writing. I've been drinking.

"can we go off topic so I can ask you to point me in the direction of a good description of the distinction between leftists and liberals?"

We went round on this here around four years or so ago. :-)

It can be a bit of a long discussion, because opinions tend to be a bit subjective.

But basically, liberalism and leftism come out of different traditions. Liberals tend to be amerliorists, and lefists tend more to be more radical, if not outright revolutionists. Liberals tend to want to change things peacefully, through process, and leftists tend to want to overthrow the process in favor of something different.

I could write about this at much greater length, but not this late in the evening tonight.

In the Thirties, the liberals supported FDR, and the leftists wanted revolution. In the Fifties, the liberals supported Adlai, and the leftists divided into those willing to work with communists, and those unwilling. In the Sixties, liberals wanted to work within the electoral system, and leftists wanted to overthrow it.

Etc.

This is way overly superficial and reductionist, but ask me again tomorrow.

"I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions and personal citations when this thing's over with. That goes for ever' last one of you regardless of your race, color or your creed. Now let's get this thing on the hump — we got some flyin' to do."

CaseyL: “Jesus H, Steve. As MaryL pointed out, the friend was not a friend of Sotomayor, but a friend of Powerline's. Were you really presenting that as an unbiased, not at all derogatory, view? JFC.”

Of course it’s biased and derogatory. (Well, to some it would be a compliment. There’s plenty of Che chic on the far left.) I just didn’t think it fair to implicitly attribute the quote to the poster. After all, plenty of folks reading it here would see “Powerline” and never bother to click the link and read that a) he was attributing it to someone else, and b) it was meant as a joke. Of course the “friend” could be imaginary and he still chose to use the quote to headline the post.

“The idea that Sotomayor should shed the unreliable trappings of her gender and ethnicity, in order to see things the White Male Way - which is of course the only truly 'unbiased' way - has got to be some kind of apotheosis of un-self aware privilege. I want to laugh at the same time I want to start shooting people.”

I haven’t seen much opinion suggesting that. What I’ve mostly seen is opinion that if a conservative appointee had a similar statement on the record (my ethnicity and gender will allow me to make better decisions than this other person’s ethnicity and gender) – the nomination would be dead based on that one statement. Empathy is a good thing – as long as it’s the right empathy.


Ben:” Sotomayor, like everyone on Obama's shortlist, is a centrist. She was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush.”

She was selected by Daniel Patrick Moynihan based on an existing deal with Alphonse D’Amato.


“The conservatives should just let this one pass without comment.”

She’ll be confirmed. The GOP knows it’s a lost cause.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0509/23022.html

They’ll mostly use the hearings to lay the groundwork for the next pick, which is where the real battle lines will be drawn. Still, as Obama says: “I believe it calls for meaningful advice and consent and that includes an examination of a judge’s philosophy, ideology, and record.”

The problem is not her being grilled but that real grilling seems to be only acceptable for Dem nominees while asking GOP nominees simple questions (or, G*d beware, demanding meaningful answers) is considered character assassination etc.
(There should also be some punishment for senators abusing the hearings for posturing instead of questioning).
I could see an actual use for harsh interrogation techniques here ;-)

"What I’ve mostly seen is opinion that if a conservative appointee had a similar statement on the record"

If the issue is conservative vs liberal then you're barking up the wrong tree. I don't see where Sotomayor is markedly liberal. Even if she were, you'd still be barking up the wrong tree.

If a *white man* claimed that his life experience gave him a perspective that was not well represented on the bench, and that he hoped might yield better decisions, you are right, he would be laughed out of town.

Not because there's anything wrong with being a white man. But because there are already plenty of white men on the bench.

I am, I suppose, a little surprised that Brett has labeled her "very liberal."
I'm not. It's the same talking point that gets used against a Democrat being considered for anything these days - regardless of whther their actual record would support the claim, it gets trotted out to try and scare people.
John "No law can prevent the President from crushing the testicles of a terrorist's child" Yoo

Make that John "No law can prevent the President from crushing the testicles of a SUSPECTED terrorist's child" Yoo. It would be despicable even if it was 'known terrorist', but that, coming from a lawyer (!) advising the president (!!), makes it simply fascist.

"Seriously, was that Johnny Mathis?"

Gary Miller, apparently.

"She was selected by Daniel Patrick Moynihan based on an existing deal with Alphonse D’Amato."

She was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush. I'm unaware that Senators can appoint judges against the will of the president.

Or do you contend that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were selected by Orrin Hatch?

It is politics, get over it! She will be confirmed. She will probably even get more votes than Allito did (52-48 as I recall). That ought to make at least some of you happy. Obama even voted against Allito. What does everyone expect will happen. The Republicans contrary to what Democrats are saying will be back in power at some point, sooner or later. At that time there will be hell to pay. Bipartisanship is a pipe dream. Both sides perpetuate the partisanship right down to us rank and file. I am guilty myself, but that is only because I am conservative therefore I am always right! Hahahahahah!!!

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