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Sotomayor and Alito

May 27, 2009 Leave a comment

alito

President Obama’s selection of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is being criticized by some conservatives as “identity politics.” hilzoy quotes one example in one of her posts today, from Senator James Imhofe: “In the months ahead, it will be important for those of us in the U.S. Senate to weigh her qualifications and character as well as her ability to rule fairly without undue influence from her own personal race, gender, or political preferences.” hilzoy then notes: “Strange to say, Senator Inhofe had no such concerns about Samuel Alito. 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?”

Glenn Greenwald wrote a long post on this issue today, including a quote of a passage from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning of Alito I will quote from this at length, since it is so telling. Hypocrisy in action can be ugly to watch.
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Categories: Politics

John Yoo on Sotomayor

May 27, 2009 Leave a comment

sotomayor

I’m sure that at some point in the not too distant future, no one will understand why John Yoo gets to have a public voice on the issues of the day. The greatest mystery in this regard is why the Philadelphia Inquirer hired him recently to write a monthly column. Ideological balance? Okay, but aren’t conservatives available who aren’t war criminals? Aren’t lawyers available who don’t deserve to be disbarred for writing memos justifying torture?

Isn’t it amazing then that his thoughts on Sonia Sotomayor should see the light of day? But then, we do have the American Enterprise Institute to thank for this. In his post at their blog yesterday, we learn that “President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor shows that empathy has won out over excellence in the White House. … Obama had some truly outstanding legal intellectuals and judges to choose from—Cass Sunstein, Elena Kagan, and Diane Wood come immediately to mind. The White House chose a judge distinguished from the other members of that list only by her race. Obama may say he wants to put someone on the Court with a rags-to-riches background, but locking in the political support of Hispanics must sit higher in his priorities. Sotomayor’s record on the bench, at first glance, appears undistinguished.”

My oh my. As Andrew Sullivan wrote yesterday, “This is the same man whose own legal memos were of such poor quality they forced an investigation from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog. How painful is it when they remove these people’s sense of shame?” Or as hilzoy noted today, after quoting other commentary on the selection of Sotomayor, “Of course, none of these responses really compares to John ‘No law can prevent the President from crushing the testicles of a terrorist’s child’ Yoo informing us of the real meaning of the Sotomayor nomination: that despite his best efforts, empathy has triumphed — and that this is a bad thing.”

Categories: Politics, Today's News