Sonia Sotomayor, The Judge Who Killed The Republican Party

It is impossible to fail to comment on the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, but The Lion commits 2.7 impossibilities before breakfast every morning, which certainly leaves room for this impossibility.

Besides, The Lion would not want to interfere with the ongoing self-destruction of the Republican Party by injecting fact, reason, and logic into the conversation. Or rather, on the Republican side, name calling. Republicans no longer have conversations, and The Lion suggests that there is no longer any point in conversing with them.

Judge Sotomayor could well be the tar baby that traps the Republicans into revealing their psychotic, racist heart. The rational part of the country may soon have the pleasure of watching the Republicans burn on the pyre of their bigotry, their crude and oafish intellect, their utter abandonment of genuine American values and their derogation of the Constitution.

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4 Responses

  1. I’m not a Republican, but it seems to me that picking a Supreme Court Justice based on the criteria of gender and ethnic background is not a good thing for the country.

    Will she be a champion of the First Amendment? Unclear from her record. How does she feel about abortion and gay marriage? Who knows? Where does she fall on Executive Privilege? Not much of a paper trail there.

    So reserve your glee for the nonce, would you?

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    • If she had been picked solely on gender and ethnicity you would have an argument. But she wasn’t. Those elements were obviously considered, but she also has a seriously weighty judicial record and career. I doubt she would have been picked without that. And apparently she is well-respected by her colleagues and the legal establishment.

      The Republican side has decided to smear her based on one or two comments, taken out of context, naturally, and so far, I believe, one case, the New Haven firefighters deal. When the best they can throw at her are James ‘Dummy’ Inhofe and Rush ‘The Bouncer’ Limbaugh, the Republicans are in trouble.

      As for where she falls on various issues, it is likely she will take the standard line for SC nominees of late, which is that she won’t prejudice herself on issues that might come before her on the court.

      Examining her record and reading those tea leaves is fair, but asking her to declare her positions publicly in hearings amounts essentially to a litmus test. Her record should indicate if she is in the mainstream, generally – that is, if she’s a flaming lefty or righty that should show up and should be considered.

      The central questions should be is she intellectually and legally qualified, and is she emotionally stable and physically up to the demands of the job.

      And for the record, Ex, my glee is aimed at the disarray and crumbling of the Republicans, not at the selection of Sotomayor.

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  2. I don’t see any reason why we civil libertarians need to avoid “litmus” tests while right-wingnuts apply them all the time. Roberts passed a litmus test, as did Alito. As did Thomas and Scalia. Souter was not given a litmus test and he wound up being a disaster for the conservatives who originally wanted him, and a big hero for those of us who champion the First Amendment. I wouldn’t want to see Sotomayor turn into the anti-Souter, would you?

    Anyway, why is one’s interpretation of the Constitution considered a litmus test? That queston goes to the heart of whether or not someone is qualified to be a justice, and “qualification” depends on one’s own view of what the document means. In my opinion, champions of the First Amendment are the “strict constructionists,” and the Thomas-Scalia crew are the “activists.”

    So, yeah, I’d like to know where any judge stands on the Bill of Rights, including his or her attitude about specific details, before cheering about an appointment to the court.

    And, on a side note: If you think that the Sotomayor choice was not motivated primarily by her gender and ethnicity you must be taking naivete pills.

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    • Given a choice between a white male with the same record and intellect, and Sotomayor, what’s wrong with choosing her on gender and ethnicity? A minority woman on the Court, especially an intelligent one, might tilt a decision here or there towards the left through her arguments.

      And sure, I want to know where she stands on the Constitution and such, but my knowing will make no difference to the process. What I really want to know is if she’s honest, if she’s fair, if she has integrity, and if she’s smart enough for the job. If that’s what her record shows, and it’s likely predictive of her performing honestly, fairly, and intelligently, then put her on the Court.

      As to litmus tests, where do we draw the line? I don’t see that they work. If Judge A says he’s against abortion during his hearings and then on the bench changes his mind because of what he learns, what’s the worth of the test? Judge B could well work the other way. All a litmus test does is prove that a candidate has prejudged the issue and will not vote on the merits of the cases brought before him. Or that he’s a suck up and will say whatever he has to in order to win the nomination. Neither is a good outcome.

      I’d finally note that the wingnuts seem to be crashing and burning on all fronts, so I’d suggest that emulating them doesn’t seem to be useful or productive.

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