Monday, July 13, 2009

SoSo Hits The Hill To Confab For SCOTUS ...

You Go , Girl !!!

The Senate Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor began today, without a whole lot of fanfare it appears today. Today was just the opening credits of the great drama expected to unfold over the coming days - although we don't really expect any huge bombshells or surprises. Barring any implosions, she will probably cruise through. Not that Senate Republicans will not try to test and find some chinks in Sotomayor's armor.

We've been over this before - to some huge cries of "Liberal RINO !!", and other names. The GOP has to be very careful with this. There are 47 million Hispanics, and appearing to attack Sotomayor can have residual consequnces in 2010 and 2012. But, the test has to be given, just like any Supreme Court nominee.

There was an interesting article in Time Magazine, via Yahoo!, that outlines the game plan for Republicans to poke and prod Sotomayor. The following are not listed.....

Asking whether the 'Wise Latina' comment would have been better if she had used the term 'Fly Girl' instead...

Test her temperament by bringing a chicken to the hearings, and asking her views on the legality of Cock Fighting. Picture Lindsey asking "Are you a Gamecock Fan?".....

Further test her mettle by assuming that Paella (Spanish) and Pulled Pork (Cuban) are Puerto Rican dishes....

Pepper the Bronx Native with endless and pointless questions about the new Yankee Stadium...

Ask her why most Puerto Rican women look great at 16, but totally fall apart by 23....

No, we don't expect those startegies to be used, although I would like to know the reason for the last one. According to TIME, there will be Four Points of Attack:

1. Life Experience vs. Rule of Law

2. The New Haven Case

3. International Law in America

4. The Second Amendment

There isn't a lot to go on here, but soem are better than others. Number One is a compelling argument, but like it or not, we are all products of our life experience, so there is a limited amount of ammo that be use with such a general topic. The others are more specific, and thus better ways to chip away at her. Arguing that a Judge who has more of a real-world experience than another is a bit weak - of course she does. She'll explain away the 2001 comment..

Number Two: Yes, it was a bit of an embarrassment to have your decision overturned a month before the confirmation, but it was a 5-4 decision, which means four sitting Supreme Court justices agreed with her, including the one you're replacing. It's not a slam dunk - it's another chit in the bag.

Number Four: She has made some decisions regarding State and Local government's ability to limit some weapons. While it will completely piss off the Gun Lobby and Second Amendment rights voters, it will not become the total shit storm topic that will get the General Public all riled up. There are members of the Court who feel the same as her on that, and you have to have views that are totally kooky to get people calling their Senator. Not good enough....

Number Three: This is probably the strongest argument. Sotomayor has long talked about referring to International Law to rule on issues that are not so clear with the Constitution. Why is this an incorrect way to judge? Because , despite it being over 200 years old, it has been particularly adept at providing guidance on how to rule - even as technology and other things have advanced. Soemhow, it just seems to always have an answer. The problem? It's just not very sexy, and again, it just doesn't rile up the electorate.

SoSo is just that - not great. But, she is probably about as good as some members already serving on SCOTUS, and she has the story and heritage to push her through. It's a bit ironic, isn't it? If she were a white guy, ot probably even a white woman, her views might have made it much harder for her to be confirmed. She couldn't get the less capable firefighters their promotions, but she'll get hers....

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12 comments:

pluvlaw said...

You can't get much higher than Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III calling you racist. That's like the pope attending your baptism...

Mike Reino said...

Takes one to know one ???

pluvlaw said...

If it does, Sessions would be like a blue-tick hounddog for sniffing them out.

west_rhino said...

Suppose he had nominated Chicagoan Hillary Rodham...

Call it cynicism, call it remembering Vince Foster, Hillary on the SCOTUS, though just a little harder to sell in some corners, would be much safer than having HRC as #4 in line of succession.

pluvlaw said...

You know...we had a long discussion here in the office before Hillary was offered State of whether or not she would have accepted a nomination to SCOTUS.

I can't remember what the consensus was, but I voted "no." I just don't think she's willing to admit defeat in her quest to one day be CINC.

Mike Reino said...

I agree, SCOTUS is way too quiet a gig for Hillary...

Anonymous said...

Mike-one needs to remember that Sec. of State has historically been a revolving door positon,with an average tenure of app.4years. I would not be surprised if Obama should tank by 2011 to see HRC resign so she could run again in 2012.Political history is replete with examples of enemy/friend/enemy occurances.A worse case scenario is Obama could wind up in a Carter-Kennedy 1980 primary fight that seriously hurt the Democrats all the way around...teg

west_rhino said...

Yes pluv, we did and I still think that stands as an option for Bill, though I suspect his qualifications for SCOTUS just aren't there in comparison with the other jurists, including quite a few he appointed.

OTOH, just how much time on the bench does the Constitution require a nominee to have?

One suspects within that framework we could appoint Ron Jeremy or Ginger Lynn.

Anonymous said...

At least Ginger Lynn would look better in a robe (lucky robe)...teg

love my puerto rican women mg said...

she is in

pluvlaw said...

Their is no constitutional requirement that a Supreme Court Justice have ever sat on a bench prior to assuming a seat on the Supreme Court.

Rehnquist was the most recent justice to have no prior judicial experience. Earl Warren and Louis Brandeis had never worn the robe either.

Personally, as a practicing atty, I can honestly say I would not care if someone had never worn the robe. Knowledge of the law, inherent sense of fairness and right/wrong and personal belief in the application of law are the only three things I think matter in a judge.

I can tell you firsthand, that there are plenty of practicing attorneys I know, who have never worn the robe and probably never will, who would make excellent judges.

Judicial experience is not and should not be a disqualifier.

west_rhino said...

So Pluv, if she passed the bar, what about Careena Collins on SCOTUS? Moye?