13 July 2009

Thoughts About the Sotomayor Confirmation Hearings

(1) The Democrats ought to stop with their rags-to-riches identity politics saga. Sure, it is important to have a diverse court. But diversity is, as I've argued here and here before, is not a good in itself. It generates better decisions. The Democrats ought to simply make that argument and let the Republicans choke on it.

(2) The Democrats ought to stop with their rags-to-riches identity politics saga. They ought to calmly remind the Republican whiners on the judiciary committee (and their abettors among the right wing commentariate) that Sotomayor is more accomplished - both academically and in terms of legal and judicial experience - not only than any member of the Senate but, arguably, than any member current member of the court.

(3) The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee ought to continue pointing out two things to their Republican colleagues. First, the Court arguably is as right-wing today as it has been for a long time. And, second, our extremist justices have also refined - through repeated practice - the art of judicial activism. I commented on these patterns here and here during the election campaign last year - follow the links. So, the Republicans are simply blowing hot air when the drone on and on about the danger that Sotomayor will politicize the bench.

(3) The New York Times ran a good story about the pattern of judicial appointees being coached to "speak capably" but "say little." Sotomayor's remark about "fidelity to the law" is of a piece with that pattern. But The Times has also run this editorial urging the members of the Judiciary Committee to suddenly reverse their traditional practice and pose penetrating questions during the confirmation hearings. I don't recall the Editorial Board being so concerned during the confirmation hearings for any of the current right wing justices. Given the composition of the court, lets start that new pattern the next time a Republican President appoints a nutter.

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Blogger Stan B. said...

And thank god we have the honorable Republican Senator Jeff Sessions present to give voice to just how shameless, hypocritical and unscrupulous a human being can possibly be!

14 July, 2009 01:24  

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