Tuesday, May 26, 2009

President Obama picks Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court

And it's a poor choice, in my view. Although technically qualified, the following exchange alone would have put her off my short list:

Given the implied attitude above, it is scarcely surprising that Judge Cabranes, a fellow Clinton appointee, objected to the opinion she participated in of Ricci v. DeStefano that contained "no reference whatsoever to the constitutional issues at the core of this case." (from The Case Against Sotomayor ) Frankly, I think her primary qualification is that she would make history as the first Hispanic woman on the court.

That being said, she should be confirmed without any senate theatrics. Why? Because she is the President's choice. Elections have consequences- and the right to choose judges is one of them. The "Advise and Consent" function of the Senate was intended to prevent an ambitious President from stacking the courts with cronies that would make him emperor- it was not intended to let partisans effectively overturn the election. The rule of thumb should be that any objection that would not be grounds for impeaching a sitting judge should not be grounds for denying confirmation; any lesser standard would be a de facto attempt to change our form of government.

I know this position has made me unpopular with both sides over the years, most recently with UUs opposed to Justice Alito. But my position has been consistent through six administrations: the US can survive bad appointments better than it can survive the subversion of democracy.


Steve Caldwell said...

Regarding the comment, it's hard to have any context with a 20-40 second video clip to understand exactly what she is saying

This article on Huffington Post may provide more context on Judge Sotomayor's remarks about "policy":

"Where Policy Is Made": Sotomayor's Court Comment Explained

Joel Monka said...

The article is the best take on an attitude that her career suggests means more than the author of that article thinks; some of her decisions that have been reversed make that clear. But I shan't argue when my whole point was that it doesn't matter- the Constitution doesn't even require that she be a lawyer; she is A) The President's choice, and B)Not a crook or otherwise unfit, and so should be confirmed.