Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor

So I've lay quietly watching for the last few months and there really hasn't been much worth commenting on. Oh, sure, Obama rolled back most of the decisions Bush made by executive fiat, like abstinence-only "education" and the ban on stem cell research, but this was so obviously coming that its occurrence seemed more like a pro forma press release than an actual event. Sotomayor's nomination seems the same way, but it's important, so here goes.

Sonia Sotomayor comes to the Supreme Court from the Second Circuit, encompassing Vermont, Connecticut, and New York. She has the classic background of the liberal ethnopolitical giant: born into a racial minority, raised in a single-parent home, lifted herself into Princeton undergrad and Yale law school by her own boot straps, worked largely in public service. From what I've read, she seems an able and competent jurist with center-left leanings; when her appellate decisions were overturned by the Supreme Court, it was usually the conservative majority that did the overturning. Even if the identity politics is a bit stifling, I nonetheless approve.

In fact, damn near everybody approves, and they've been approving of her since Souter decided to retire. No, not since that flap over Bush v. Gore, just since he announced it publicly. Even two weeks ago, SCOTUSblog was publishing in-depth analyses of her decisions.

And her confirmation is a foregone conclusion. She's a logical successor to Souter who won't significantly alter the balance of the court, her personal narrative is absurdly compelling, and when push comes to shove, Obama has the votes he needs.

It will be interesting to see what the Republican smear machine tries to throw at her. Get the popcorn!

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