May 26, 2009

Sotomayor!

It's Sotomayor!

ADDED: Tom Goldstein analyzes the political dynamics of the nomination. He says Obama will not need to "invest additional political capital" over confirmation.
... Republicans cannot afford to find themselves in the position of implicitly opposing Judge Sotomayor. To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark....

... Sotomayor has an extraordinarily compelling personal narrative. She is a first generation American, born of immigrant parents. She grew up in a housing project, losing her father as an adolescent, raised (with her brother) by her mother, who worked as a nurse. She got herself to Princeton, graduating as one of the top two people in her class, then went to Yale Law. Almost all of her career has been in public service–as a prosecutor, trial judge, and now appellate judge. She has almost no money to her name.
Goldstein thinks Republicans will (should?) wait until Obama's next nomination to stage a fight — the way the Democrats went easy on John Roberts and fought hard against Samuel Alito.

To the extent that there is opposition, it will fall into 4 categories, Goldstein says: 1. that she's not smart enough, 2. that she's "a liberal ideologue and 'judicial activist,'” and 3. that she's "unprincipled or dismissive of positions with which she disagrees," and 3. that she's "gruff and impersonable." Goldstein outlines the response to these 4 arguments.

Here's what I think conservatives should do: Accept that she will be confirmed, but use the occasion to sharpen the definition of conservative judicial values and to argue to the American people that these are the better values.

123 comments:

Martha said...

CONGRATULATIONS to Sonia Sotomayor!

downtownlad said...

Have we ever had a four syllable pick for the Court before?

downtownlad said...

I was hoping Obama would pick Roy Amotos.

Martha said...

guess Obama does not follow Jeffrey Rosen's recommendations.....

Greg said...

downtownlad said...
Have we ever had a four syllable pick for the Court before?



Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar demands his own category.

--G.

Invisible Man said...

Let the Games Begin!

downtownlad said...

Well Republicans are going to have an extremely tough time opposing her.

Female.

Hispanic.

George H.W. Bush appointee.

Treacle said...

I only wish Sotomayor would free her inner-Frida and let that unibrow grow! ¡Felicidades mi fea!

downtownlad said...

Yes - Republicans should advocate strongly against judicial activism.

Take, for example, the New Haven firefighter case. Sotomayor allowed the affirmative action law to stand. She should have overturned the affirmative action law. Instead, she was an activist judge, by deferring to the law... Oh wait.

scinfinity said...

It does make one wonder how the Democrats managed to turn memos opposing a Hispanic judge being promoted by Bush into an attack on the Republicans leaking memos that were not behind any firewall.

...and the Democrats "went easy" on Roberts? Must've seen a different confirmation hearings. "Going easy" on a nominee is what the Republicans do for EVERY Dem SCOTUS nominee. Heck, they overwhelmingly approved Ginsberg whose own firm was guilty of racial discrimination if she actually abided by her own legal opinions.

MadisonMan said...

Is her Mom still alive? Can you imagine the pride?

wiki says that her previous nomination was held up by a "hold" by an anonymous Senator. I wonder if that (presumably Republican) Senator is still serving.

EDH said...

Maybe she can explain the difference between "empathy" and bias?

section9 said...

Actually, I think Althouse's recommendation is quite right. Republicans should go relatively easy on Sotomayor. This is a Base Pick for Obama, done to satisfy his Parteitag constituencies.

She is also, as mentioned earlier, Hispanic and female, so that's a twofer. Wait until the next pick for the Big fight and save your powder for when you're in a better position and you've built up better credibility.

Naturally, the next Republican Administration must nominate Ann Althouse as Associate Justice to balance out this Guevarist pick.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Have we ever had a four syllable pick for the Court before?

No. In fact, Sotomayor is the first SCOTUS nominee whose last name is over 3 syllabes.

AJ Lynch said...

"Republicans cannot afford to find themselves in the position of implicitly opposing Judge Sotomayor. To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark...."

Hmm I don'r remember . Did Democrats concern themselves with the "absolutely historic landmark" when Gonzalez was nominated for AG?

AJ Lynch said...

Four syllables! At last, we can check that box!

Crimso said...

I absolutely can't wait for her confirmation so she can get to work formulating policy!

Quayle said...

AJ is right.

"absolutely historic landmark" is the label applied only when the Dems do it.

Rice, Golzalez, or even Thomas for that matter - these are all mere political appointments.

Bart DePalma said...

Here's what I think conservatives should do: Accept that she will be confirmed, but use the occasion to sharpen the definition of conservative judicial values and to argue to the American people that these are the better values.

Do we have a choice?

...but use the occasion to sharpen the definition of conservative judicial values and to argue to the American people that these are the better values.

I would suggest that this is a good time to use Sotomayor to reacquaint the People with the liberal judicial value of allowing judges to rewrite laws to suit their personal policy preferences.

al said...

Sonia's on record as saying:


"The appeals court is where policy is made"


For someone who's not a lawyer (me!) that doesn't sound right. The youtube video doesn't provide context so it's hard to tell what was being discussed. Can anyone provide an explanation or more details?

SteveR said...

I call bullshit on how easy the Democrats went on Roberts. If Goldstein doesn't recognoze what went on, to include the "No" vote of Senator Obama as well as half the Senate democrats, than he's not worth paying attention to. He's either an idiot or partisan, maybe both.

Liam said...

"Did Democrats concern themselves with the "absolutely historic landmark" when Gonzalez was nominated for AG?"

The most historic measure of Gonzales: He was the first attorney general to (surreptitiously or unconsciously) pledge fealty to the president instead of to the Constitution. He imagined himself as Bush's employee instead of ours.

AJ Lynch said...

Liam:

Did you witness this secret pledge by Gonzalez? Inquiring minds want to know.

MadisonMan said...

Cue Senatorial Hypocrisy in three, two, . . .

I think Pam Karlan would be an excellent nominee for the next opening. Let's get a lot more women on the court. If Republicans in the Pro- or Anti- Court Nominee Cottage Industry are timid about going up against a woman -- Tom Goldstein seems to think they should be -- give them lots of women.

The Drill SGT said...

Steve R beat me to it:

Goldstein thinks Republicans will (should?) wait until Obama's next nomination to stage a fight — the way the Democrats went easy on John Roberts and fought hard against Samuel Alito.Roberts went 78-22 in confirmation. Half the Dem Senators, including Obama voted against. That is going easy?

Congrats to Sonia though, and good luck in the hearings. I don't know enough about her to wish her well, but good luck, regardless.

OhioAnne said...

Two words, Liam.

Bobby Kennedy.

Bissage said...

The view of some that the nomination of Sotomayor will require the President to invest additional political capital seems completely wrong to me. Absent of course some ethical problem, the President simply has the votes.

The term “political capital” always struck me as meaning something akin to “popularity.” But in this context, it seems Mr. Goldstein is using it to mean “favors.” That is, President Obama will get Judge Sotomayor on SCOTUS without having to pay anything in special favors.

A modest proposal: Henceforth, when we mean to say “favors” we should say “favors.” When we mean to say “popularity” we should say “mojo.”

Let’s use it in a sentence.

TV NEWS ANCHOR: “In tonight’s political news, the Senate confirmation of Judge Sotomayer is expected to proceed smoothly and President Obama announced today, through his press secretary Robert Gibbs, that he will be granting no special favors and that there will be no need for him to be going down to Louisiana to get him a mojo hand.”

Salamandyr said...

The Republicans should fight. They should stake out their case, make it to the people, and then stand on principle. Thus far, their strategy of "pick your battles" has led them to avoiding battle all the way into their home territory. If you want to stand for something, you have to do it every day. I'm sure Hispanics would like Sotomayer to be nominated. They probably would have liked Gonzelez nominated. The Democrats didn't think that was a good enough reason to vote for him, and it's no reason why the GOP should vote for her.

The default Republican position on "advise and consent" is to act as a quality control, but otherwise impartially confirm Presidential nominees. If Obama wanted that courtesy, he should have shown it when he was a Senator.

Balfegor said...

Well Republicans are going to have an extremely tough time opposing her.

George H.W. Bush appointee
.

Wait, what? Did you miss the past two decades of conservatives criticising Souter?That said, if she is, in fact, angry, thick-headed, and unwilling to do the legal legwork to shore up her opinions, isn't that better for conservatives than if Obama had chosen someone brilliant and likeable, and able to spin out opinions that make radical exercises in creative lawyering seem perfectly as though they flow naturally from precedent?

goesh said...

-11 yr. at the Court of Appeals counts for something.....

Kirby Olson said...

The blog has its edge back. A little hatred is a good thing, I think.

Hoosier Daddy said...

“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,” said Judge Sotomayor, .

Linky.

I feel so cheated that as a white male, I missed out on the "richness of experience."

Liam said...

Not smart enough? Granted, she's no Harriet Miers.
From the dailyprincetonian.com:
Sotomayor won the Pyne Prize during her senior year at Princeton, which is the highest academic award given to undergraduates. ... The Pyne Prize, an annual award given to one or more graduating seniors who have manifested exceptional scholarship, leadership and personal character, is the highest general award bestowed by the University upon an undergraduate.

Eli Blake said...

One other observation:

Over the past couple of weeks, we've seen that conservatives have been gearing up to oppose anyone that Obama picked as a 'liberal extremist and as a 'judicial activist.'

Ergo, Obama has absolutely nothing to lose by picking a real liberal because even if he had any interest in going the bipartisan route and finding someone that conservatives could live with, the opposition would have been all out anyway.

To sum it up: I think that conservatives tipped their hand too early and now they will pay for it.

TitusWantsEveryoneToBePresent said...

I want Beauregard Jefford Sessions the III...Senator from Alabama, to bring a dildo to the hearings and ask her if she has ever strapped it on and penetrated another womyn.

With a deep Southern accent, natch.

Aaron said...

Mmm, her comment that a latina woman is a better judge than a white man is frankly racist, sexist and myopic.

The racism and sexism is fairly obvious, but the myopic criticism is not. But it is myopic, limited in its view, because she ignores the greater diversity of life that exists. We are not merely divided up into racial and gender groups, but by religion, disability, sexual preference and so on.

the notion that the fact that she is a latina will change her decisions is the best argument ever to say this person is not suited to sit on the Supreme Court. What she is talking about is not reading the law, but making the law. i say let her run for congress, not the supreme court.

John said...

How exactly is she the daughter of immigrant parents? She is Puerto Rican. Last I looked that was part of the United States.

John said...

"Mmm, her comment that a latina woman is a better judge than a white man is frankly racist, sexist and myopic"

She also tried to use procedural maneuvers to keep the New Haven firefighters from getting a hearing before the Supreme Court. Her judicial temperment seems not to like white people very much.

MadisonMan said...

The Republicans should fight. They should stake out their case, make it to the people, and then stand on principle.

That would work if they had a case to stake, or any principles.

The danger for Republicants is that a party of No! is easily transformed into the party of the angry old man yelling at the Hispanic thugs to get off my lawn.

It's an interesting box that Bush has put the Republicans in. They've lost their ability to claim fiscal restraint and Obama has outmaneuvered them on Defense, for the time being. The Party of Judicial Restraint -- that doesn't play very well. All that's left is opposition to abortion. Good luck winning a nationwide campaign on that one.

American Liberal Elite said...

I second Liam; the "not smart enough" argument doesn't pass the giggle test.

John said...

Madison Man,

I don't think making the valid point that she tried to deny firefighters in New Haven a fair hearing and has written repeatedly that white people apparently don't have the proper temperment to be judges are pretty good points to make. You don't just yell no. You point out the stupid and racist things this woman has said, done and written and let them speak for themselves.

The Drill SGT said...

George H.W. Bush appointee..

As I remember it:

- Recommended by Daniel Moynihan, who had a deal with D'amato to split the appointments

- appointed by George H.W. Bush to the Federal District Court.

Appointing a former Assistant District Attorney to a trial court on the recommendation of both Senators is not the same class of mistake that Souter was.

Similiarly, just because a Bush appointed her to the trial court doesn't give her a pass now.

Greybeard said...

Lani Guinier.
It ain't a done deal.

SaraSays said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SaraSays said...

"Republicans cannot afford to find themselves in the position of implicitly opposing Judge Sotomayor. To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark."

How is it that Republicans never can afford to oppose a person of color, but it is rarely a problem when Democrats tie up nominations of Miguel Estrada.

Double standard strikes again!

TitusWantsEveryoneToBePresent said...

Harriet Meirs, not a done deal.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think her statement that she can make a better decision because she's a Hispanic female rather than whitey should disqualify her right off the bat.

But it's an imperfect world.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad man:

Why did you use the word thugs? I thought it was sufficient (for those old racist Republicans) that they simply be non-white!

Didn't you get the Dem talking points today or did your own prejudices slip there and cause you to type "thug"?

John said...

"I second Liam; the "not smart enough" argument doesn't pass the giggle test."

The only person saying that seems to be Jeffery Rosen, who was last I looked a liberal, and her former law clerks. The impression Rosen gave was that she was really unpleasent and there are a lot of people who have worked with her who don't like her.

garage mahal said...

What really matters is what Liz Cheney or President Gingrich thinks of the pick.

TitusWantsEveryoneToBePresent said...

She lived in the projects?

How ghetto.

traditionalguy said...

If they cannot beat her, then the repubbies had better not trash her.It is not wise to anger an hispanic woman in power over you.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Ooh, a Latina woman in power over me. I like this pick already!

Diamondhead said...

"Sotomayor won the Pyne Prize during her senior year at Princeton, which is the highest academic award given to undergraduates. ... The Pyne Prize, an annual award given to one or more graduating seniors who have manifested exceptional scholarship, leadership and personal character, is the highest general award bestowed by the University upon an undergraduate."

She won a prize as an undergraduate? Get this woman on the Supreme Court!

Lem said...

Even more important, Republicans cannot afford to find themselves in the position of implicitly opposing Judge Sotomayor. To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark. It really is impossible to overstate its significance. The achievement of a lifetime appointment at the absolute highest levels of the government is a profound event for that community, which in turn is a vital electoral group now and in the future.

We tell people with one side of our mouth that race and ethnicity are not important and with the other side we say race and ethnicity are very important.
We are so schizo.

John said...

"If they cannot beat her, then the repubbies had better not trash her.It is not wise to anger an hispanic woman in power over you."

That is what the Dems did to Linda Chavez. If there is one thing the Dems can't stand, it is a minority who thinks for themselves.

ricpic said...

How low can you go? Sotomayor low!

Bissage said...

Unfamiliar as I am with women of the Puerto Rican-American persuasion, I was surprised to find that Judge Sotomayor bears little physical resemblance to Natalie Wood.

MadisonMan said...

I can't figure out: Who are her hometown Senators that will be shepherding her through? Connecticut's or New York's?

Would you rather have Dodd/Lieberman or Schumer/Gillibrand? (I can't think that Gillibrand would have much success doing the shepherding, since she's such a newbie; and how much do the views of Dodd and Lieberman hold sway in the Senate? They're losers! Don't get me started on Schumer).

Sotomayor is a big Yankees fan. Boo!

AJ: I used the word thugs thinking of that actor in Gran Torino and I can't believe I'm forgetting his name and I'll think of it just after I hit publish.

Carter said...

Puerto Ricans ARE Americans, right? So she's not a first-generation daughter of immigrants.

ricpic said...

Natalie Wood hailed from the Russian branch of the Puerto Rican community.

Salamandyr said...

That would work if they had a case to stake, or any principles.The best way to build muscles is to use them. The best way to discover principles is to take stands.

MM, I pretty much agree with the rest of your analysis, though I don't really think Obama has outmaneuvered Republicans so much as adopted their positions and attempted to file the serial numbers off. But the GOP is not going to become a majority party by becoming a rubber stamp for the Democrats, and even if they could, why bother? We've got Democrats for that. The political utility of Republicans is how they differ from the Democrats. If they don't differ we might as well be a one party state.

Salamandyr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

John

I won't say she was unfair to those white firefighters. i don't know, either way.

But clearly her bigoted comment calls into question her fairness in THAT case. that alone should preclude a promotion.

ricpic said...

I guarantee all those advising Republicans not to fight the Sotomayor nomination are lefties oh so interested in the wellbeing of the Republican Party.

class-factotum said...

Almost all of her career has been in public service–as a prosecutor, trial judge, and now appellate judge. She has almost no money to her name.How does one get to this point without savings? I put myself through college and grad school and then saved money as a Peace Corps volunteer. I wonder about her financial acumen.

ricpic said...

Yes, lefties are SO concerned that Republicans do what's good for Republicans.

Lem said...

If its Sotomayor, you know it has to be good ;)

She will spice up the court.

NKVD said...

She's a racist. She thinks that due to her genetic background she is superior to others.

She is the perfect liberal choice in an identity driven regime.

AJ Lynch said...

Mad Man:

Clint Eastwood.

Yeah but why did you say thugs? And is it wrong today to kick thugs off your property?

MadisonMan said...

Because that's what Clint would say.

Sure, he's saying it to Hmong in that movie. (I think -- I didn't see it) But Clint would use the word thug, I think.

As to whether it's wrong to kick thugs off your property: what are they doing there? Answer that, and you have your answer.

John said...

"Almost all of her career has been in public service–as a prosecutor, trial judge, and now appellate judge. She has almost no money to her name.How does one get to this point without savings? I put myself through college and grad school and then saved money as a Peace Corps volunteer. I wonder about her financial acumen."


She started out with nothing and probably had a lot of debts. I don't begrudge her that at all. Better that than somoene like BO, who starts out with nothing, never does anything but public service yet winds up a millionaire.

Lem said...

Scalia and Sotomayor will get along just fine.

Scalia will take off on Colombus day and she will come in and work that day ;)

Bill said...

"She is a first generation American, born of immigrant parents."

Carter: Puerto Ricans ARE Americans, right?Apparently this line has since been edited out of the linked story.

John said...

"As to whether it's wrong to kick thugs off your property: what are they doing there? Answer that, and you have your answer."


Which part of my property is so hard to understand? Last I looked trespass was still tresspass even if you have a nice reason.

John said...

Yes Pureto Ricans are Americans. This woman is not a first generation immigrant. It is just appalling that anyone could write as much in a news publication.

MnMark said...

"Sotomayor won the Pyne Prize during her senior year at Princeton..."

Sorry, but a minority woman winning a prize from a liberal university doesn't have much significance. At most it means she was one of the best minority women at the school. Maybe she actually was one of the best students there, but that's the price of affirmative action and the soft bigotry of low expectations: liberal awards to minorities mean very little.

The double standard here is grotesque. The woman doesn't even have enough political sense to refrain from explicitly stating her bigotry ("a latina like me makes better decisions than white men"). The Republicans should politely and firmly question her qualifications and temperment very closely and vote strictly on principle. Ultimately that's what people respect.

The Drill SGT said...

She started out with nothing and probably had a lot of debts. I don't begrudge her that at all. Better that than somoene like BO, who starts out with nothing, never does anything but public service yet winds up a millionaire...

Lost in all that poorness, she was also a partner in a NYC law firm, so she had a few years to pay off student loans :)

rdkraus said...

Wendy Long of NRO:

Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important that the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.Repub's should do two things:

1. Use this an opportunity to explain just why her approach is so wrong, wrong, wrong. They should research and pull apart everything she has ever written and said for examples of why she is not fit for the Court. They should, again, use this opportunity to explain to the American People their view of what Justices should be doing and why.

2. Like Democrats, they should dig up every piece of dirt they can find and use it against her. They should take her statements in and out of context to show that she is a a racist and a sexist. They should use every bit of innuendo and smear available. This was never the Repub way in the past, but it is the "change" that Democrats established during Bush's presidency.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It is just appalling that anyone could write as much in a news publication..

Well maybe 30-40 years ago but journalism isn't what it used to be. Facts tend to get in the way of the theme.

Lem said...

It has been a tradition in the supreme court that the most junior member of the court speaks last during conference.

Good thing too ;)

Dennis said...

She's going to judge by experience, intuition, and urges. Reason, analysis, and facts are over-rated.

AJ Lynch said...

It should be interesting to see what Trooper will tell us about the origin of the term "NewYorkrican".

rhhardin said...

Unionizing the Supreme Court is next. Is DC a right to work state?

Liam said...

"Sorry, but a minority woman winning a prize from a liberal university doesn't have much significance."
So true. I liked it better when 43 and his minions stocked D.C. with conservative graduates of Regent University and Liberty University and other top-tier schools. Monica Goodling was someone I could believe in as a employment gatekeeper.

ricpic said...

Just watch, Republicans will pay courtly deference to this totally predictable vote against traditional America.

MadisonMan said...

Hoosier, thank for that link.

I will note that further down, she notes that she questions her own opinion, sympathies and prejudices when making a decision. (No word on how well she questions it).

She also approvingly quoted several law professors who said that “to judge is an exercise of power” and that “there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives.”

“Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see,” she said.

That rings true to me.

Big Mike said...

Here's what I think conservatives should do: Accept that she will be confirmed, but use the occasion to sharpen the definition of conservative judicial values and to argue to the American people that these are the better values.

I respectfully beg to disagree. Republicans were deferential when Ginsberg was nominated, and the response to such deference was the fulmination against Roberts and Alito.

Let her have it with both barrels.

Lawgiver said...

garage said,

...President Gingrich thinks of the pick.

I like the sound of that, it would be very interesting. Gitmo would reopen, we would expand the wars in the middle east and don't ask don't tell would be DoD policy.

Oh wait...

Big Mike said...

Make that "Bork her with both barrels."

Jen said...

MnMark said @ 9:46. I was going to quote you but it doesn't deserve quoting.

Are you kidding me? Are you that threatened?

What garbage.

former law student said...

The term “political capital” always struck me as meaning something akin to “popularity.” But in this context, it seems Mr. Goldstein is using it to mean “favors.”

"Political capital" is what Clinton used up when he made getting gays into the military his first crusade. Trying to sell Hillcare used up what was left. From then on, eliminating welfare and sending jobs to low wage Mexico, Clinton became a Republican.

“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,”

First of all, do we know she's Hispanic? On the radio she sounded like a Hadassah lady, Principal Goldberg of P.S. 28. But yeah, coming from humble beginnings yet making it in a man's world exposes you to more of life than someone who's in the third generation to go to Yale. But, also by this Sotomayoran logic, Clarence Thomas should make better decisions than, say, CJ Roberts, because Sotomayor's life parallels Clarence Thomas's.

How exactly is she the daughter of immigrant parents? She is Puerto Rican. Last I looked that was part of the United States.

Last time I looked, Puerto Rico was not a state. Do I have to buy a new flag, now?

Colonials who move to the parent country experiences the same things as a "real" immigrant does. Unless you think Yue Ping Onn from Hong Kong would not have been an immigrant when he moved to Manchester, pre-1999. Similarly, while it's true that New Caledonians are just as French as Sarkozy, a Kanaka moving from the island to the Hexagon has pretty much an immigrant experience.

Where was Sotomayor born? What was her first language? How old was she when she came to NYC?

"The appeals court is where policy is made"

For someone who's not a lawyer (me!) that doesn't sound right.

It's descriptive, not prescriptive. She immediately said that it was not a good thing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

She also approvingly quoted several law professors who said that “to judge is an exercise of power” and that “there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives.”

“Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see,” she said.
.

I don't disagree. Then again she seems to think she can come up with better conclusions because of her race and gender than a white male. That's not just saying her perspective is affected by personal experience (race/gender) but it will come to a better conclusion.

I suggest our liberal commenters play word substitution with her quote and replace wise Latina woman with 'wise white male' and let me know how that sounds.

If you cannot honestly say such a quote would not sink a conservative candidate then we clearly live in different worlds.

The Drill SGT said...

How exactly is she the daughter of immigrant parents? She is Puerto Rican. Last I looked that was part of the United States.

Last time I looked, Puerto Rico was not a state. Do I have to buy a new flag, now?
I and others fail to understand how somebody born as a US citizen can be called an immigrant, unless it is to burnish some PC credential.

former law student said...

replace wise Latina woman with 'wise white male' and let me know how that sounds.

Fatuous.

MadisonMan said...

That the quote is from the Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley speaks volumes.

Now, was she asked to talk because they knew she'd give a speech that was just so or because she'd give a compelling, thought-provoking speech?

btw, in some cases, I'm pretty sure her race/gender does lead to a better understanding of the case, and likely to a better decision (better = more just). In other cases, a white male would likely do better. Because not all people are exactly equal.

former law student said...

I and others fail to understand how somebody born as a US citizen can be called an immigrant.

OK, call her a migrant then. To me the important part of being an immigrant is struggling to acculturate, learning the new language, leaving home forever.

Sotomayor had much more of an immigrant experience than, say, some real immigrant who moved from London, Ontario, to Rochester, New York.

F15C said...

Sotomayor's hope that she as an hispanic female would render better decisions than a white male could is despicable bigotry at best and utterly racist at worst.

Had a white or black or asian male uttered the complimentary statement with the comparison being to hispanic women, those men would not only not be considered for the Supreme Court, they would be out of work and ridiculed mercilessly - and rightfully so.

This matter demonstrates the ugly double-standards that drive so much of our politics and drive them to the point that bigotry and racism is completely acceptable and even laudable - as long as it comes from people who are in the contextually and politically correct protected classes or groups.

Liam said...

I wondered how long before Bork would pop up. Come on folks, we have to be forward looking and not relitigate the past (like Cheney said the other day while mentioning 9/11 about 25 times).

pete-who said...

To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark.

Would Americans of Mexican, Venezuelan, or even Cuban ancestry have that much affinity for someone of Puerto Rican descent? Isn't this kind of like expecting Iowans to get excited about a nominee from California, just because the Californian is caucasian?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sotomayor had much more of an immigrant experience than, say, some real immigrant who moved from London, Ontario, to Rochester, New York..

She was born in the Bronx but had an immigrant experience.

That's like saying I'm not a doctor but play one on tv.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BarryD said...

Sotomayor won the Pyne Prize during her senior year at Princeton, which is the highest academic award given to undergraduates. ...No matter where someone falls in the political spectrum, can we at least agree that one's undergraduate "achievements" have little bearing on what most of us call "the real world"?

That doesn't disqualify her, or anyone.

But who cares about some academic award someone got as an undergrad?!?

former law student said...

She was born in the Bronx

Thanks. I did ask that a few comments back.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

But who cares about some academic award someone got as an undergrad?!?

The people who still want to see Obama's transcripts from Oxy and Columbia.

Palladian said...

"... Republicans cannot afford to find themselves in the position of implicitly opposing Judge Sotomayor. To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark...."

I'm sorry but I refuse to accept this sort of ethnic bribery. The implication is that if you oppose or criticize someone from a "designated oppressed group™" then you're going to be summarily branded a racist, which is the modern equivalent of being accused of witchcraft. This kind of nonsense leads directly to one of the uglier forms of tyranny: the rule of tribalism. Democrats and other assorted ne'er-do-wells and criminals know exactly what they're doing. And so does everyone else. But who's going to stop it? Who else is going to say "no" to this kind of manipulation?

former law student said...

Sotomayor's hope that she as an hispanic female would render better decisions than a white male could is despicable bigotry at best and utterly racist at worst.

She spoke about the difference in experience that comes along with starting as an outsider, then becoming an insider, not race and gender per se. The twenty-year sergeant can likely make better decisions than the newly minted second lieutenant. Because he started as a backwoods hick, Abe Lincoln was able to make better decisions than someone who grew up with servants emptying his slop jar.

Juba Doobai! said...

First Hispanic? Republicans should wait? Does anybody remember that brilliant guy from El Salvador, Miguel Estrada? I hope Republicans have the balls to do to Sotormayor what Democrats did to Estrada. Payback's a bitch it's true. It's even better when the one being paid in kind is a leftist who disregards the separation of powers and the proper role of the courts. I can only hope the GOP in Washington will do a full body xray to find their balls.

Hoosier Daddy said...

She spoke about the difference in experience that comes along with starting as an outsider, then becoming an outsider, not race and gender per se..

Not per se, but specifically a wise Latina women. That's not quite the same as being an outsider.

The twenty-year sargeant can likely make better decisions than the newly minted second lieutenant..

That's fine if you're simply comparing experience but we aren't.

Because he started as a backwoods hick, Abe Lincoln was able to make better decisions than someone who grew up with servants emptying his slop jar..

I'm not sure how you quantify that but I'll say his inability to find a halfway qualified commander for the Army of the Potomoc for the first 3 years of the war raises some question there.

F15C said...

FLS: "She spoke about the difference in experience that comes along with starting as an outsider, then becoming an insider, not race and gender per se. The twenty-year sergeant can likely make better decisions than the newly minted second lieutenant."

Then why didn't she just say so?

Your attempted defense presumes knowledge that Sotomayor was thinking something different that what she said - even though her words were achingly clear.

Your defense does not address her naked bigotry in stating that a white male could not have as rich and robust life experience to help them make judgments as a hispanic female of approximately the same age.

crypticguise said...

Finally we will have a Supreme Court Justice who openly admits she is violating her oath of office by attempting to "formulate policy"

What a country!

Frodo Potter said...

@pete-who. You raise an important point. In fact, there tends to be, relatively speaking, bad blood between Cubans and Puerto Ricans. I’m not sure she will necessarily reflect the values of Mexican-Americans either.

I think Republicans should play this one carefully. She is likely to be confirmed, but that doesn’t mean Republicans can’t take the opportunity, as Professor Althouse pointed out, to make some points about conservative judicial philosophy, and perhaps conservative philosophy in general. Perhaps the problem is that Republicans are not quite sure just what that philosophy is.

I agree with many of those who have defended her intellectual qualifications. She may be a lot of things, but let’s not kid ourselves that she’s not smart. The problem is that intelligence doesn’t always translate into humility or common sense.

MadisonMan said...

Then why didn't she just say so?

Because she's a lawyer. I think they're trained in obfuscation.

Glen said...

MadisonMan said:
The danger for Republicants is that a party of No! is easily transformed into the party of the angry old man yelling at the Hispanic thugs to get off my lawn.Whereas the previous "party of NO!" is easily transformed by their negativity into the the party of Hope and Change. Gotta love the MSM.

MadisonMan said...

Well, Obama did have a long list of things he was going to change. (That he's not now making the changes was totally predictable)

The Republicant problem is that all they want is power. How does that differ from Democrats?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Because she's a lawyer. I think they're trained in obfuscation..

That means bullshit right MM? ;-)

MadisonMan said...

Yes. Sorry, I should've been clearer :)

F15C said...

"Because she's a lawyer. I think they're trained in obfuscation.."

So a white guy walks into the Senate to be confirmed as a member of the Supreme Court and is asked questions. He answers one saying:

"I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a hispanic female who hasn’t lived that life,” said the white guy."

Would he be confirmed?

MadisonMan said...

No.

A white man who answers a question to the Senate with that kind of pablum is too stupid to be a SC justice.

ZZMike said...

"It's descriptive, not prescriptive. She immediately said that it was not a good thing."

You'd think that someone about to sit on the Supreme Court would be a little more careful about "Think first, then speak".

Her "experienced latina" comment is unpardonable.

Obama will probably follow in his idol's footsteps (FDR) and try to enlarge the Court so we can have all minorities, all diversities represented. 100 Justices ought to be about right.

Jim C. said...

"She got herself to Princeton, graduating as one of the top two people in her class"

Nitpick: why can't Goldstein just say "second in her class"?

former law student said...

why can't Goldstein just say "second in her class"?Given that Goldstein is a careful speaker -- a necessary trait for one who argues in front of the Supreme Court -- I would suppose that Sotomayor was tied for first.