Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dancing with Sotomayor

Another confirmation hearing, another elaborate shooting match. Yesterday was nothing more than speechifying from the blowhards on the judiciary committee, and today begins the ritual waltz of question-and-avoidance. Why do we bother with these hearings again?

-I love the Republicans' attempts to destroy Sotomayor for having the temerity to admit that objectivity and impartiality are impossible (but nonetheless worthy) aspirations for mere mortals.

-I'm also amused by their attacks based on "her" opinion in the Ricci case, which was actually a per curiam opinion from the entire court and which agreed with precedent from several other circuits. The Supreme Court actually decided to change the standards for discrimination claims when they took Ricci, meaning they changed the law. Sotomayor was just unfortunate enough to be on the panel that heard the case before SCOTUS made the change.

-In responding to Russ Feingold's questions about executive power, Sotomayor says she hasn't had enough cases on the Youngstown Steel framework to answer his questions. WHAT?!? Who's supposed to believe that? That's from Con Law I, lady, and it's one of the most significant legal questions raised by the previous President's misbehavior. Really? You really didn't study up on that one for a congressional hearing? Really?

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