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box johnson



Joined: 25 Nov 2008
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Sotomayor nominated to Supreme Court  Reply with quote  

Obama nailed it? Conservatives are already grumbling...
Post Tue May 26, 2009 11:46 am
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zeem



Joined: 29 Apr 2003
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Quote:


http://www.slate.com/id/2219036/
Checking the BoxesObama's calculus in choosing Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.
By John DickersonPosted Tuesday, May 26, 2009, at 11:15 AM ET

Checking boxes: That's the crude shorthand that usually attends a president's Supreme Court pick. By picking Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has checked a lot of boxes.

* Woman: Check. (She'll be the third in history if she makes it.)
* Hispanic: Check. (She's the first Hispanic nominee.)
* Bipartisan: Check. (She was first nominated by President George H.W. Bush.)
* Experienced: Check. (She's been confirmed by the Senate twice and has more federal judicial experience than those sitting on the court did when they were nominated.)
* Liberal: Check.
* Smart: Check. (She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and has a law degree from Yale.)
* Legal range: Check. (She has been a prosecutor, trial judge, and private lawyer.)
* Biography: Check and check. (Obama praised her "extraordinary journey." Sotomayor grew up in a housing project and lost her father at age 9.)

As a bonus, Sotomayor is even credited with saving baseball. No word yet on her stance on apple pie.

To undo Obama's pick, Republicans will have to uncheck those boxes. It might be possible to argue that Sotomayor either is too liberal or too out of the mainstream, but in making that case, Republicans risk damaging their party's already dismal standing with women and Hispanics. (History check: Last year, Obama won among Hispanics 67 percent to 31 percent.)

Going into this debate, Republicans have been mulling the opportunity and challenges. The math of the Senate makes it likely Obama will get his nominee. As a thoroughly crude political matter, the confirmation seems very secure. Obama already has a nearly filibuster-proof majority with 59 Democrats. It's also unlikely that the two moderate female Republican senators from Maine would vote against Sotomayor. (The two other GOP women might not, either.)

But just because the math points toward confirmation doesn't mean Republicans don't have political opportunities. As Republican Sen. John Cornyn said last week at a breakfast with reporters, his party is traditionally strong on judicial issues. (Of course, he also admitted Republicans are facing extinction.) The nomination offers the opposition a chance to talk about values in a way that reminds conservatives why they like Republicans, and it also allows Republicans a big platform to make the case that the president is on the ideological left. "It's a big television moment," says one senior Senate leadership aide. "It's definitional."

But the nomination and how to respond to it come at a moment when the GOP is having an identity crisis. On the one hand, people like Gen. Colin Powell are arguing that the party should be more inclusive. That means expanding beyond its base in the South and not relying so heavily on its appeal to "Joe the Plumber" types. If Republicans beat up on Sotomayor too much, they might set back this effort.

On the other side of the debate are conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, who will argue the nomination fight provides the perfect opportunity for the party to make proud declarations about what conservatives really believe. That means railing against judges who would legislate from the bench and lambasting the scourge of identity politics, which they see in the Sotomayor pick itself and in her decision in a case involving white firefighters charging the city of New Haven with reverse discrimination.

In early reaction to the pick, Republicans were already targeting what they saw as Sotomayor's judicial activism. "We will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law evenhandedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The political downside for Obama becomes acute only if Sotomayor is found to be a closet radical in a way that would shock a wide range of people. On the upside, he has answered Latino groups that have been complaining that they are underrepresented in the administration.

Obama knew Sotomayor least well of all the final picks. He met with her last Thursday and was obviously impressed. He made the decision Monday. Describing Obama's process for picking his nominee, senior White House officials refer to his arguments against now-Chief Justice John Roberts. As a senator, Obama said that 95 percent of the issues that come before the court can be decided based on the Constitution and statute. But that remaining 5 percent is disproportionately important, aides say. "The Constitution was written 220 years ago. They had no concept of what we were going to be dealing with," said one aide. "So by definition you have to bring some judgment to it, and his feeling is that judgment should have some view of how real people live."

In announcing the nomination, Obama praised Sotomayor's "practical understanding of how the law works in the everyday lives of the American people" and the "wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey."

Roberts, it turns out, has been a "relentless champion of the overdog," as one senior administration official put it. Sotomayor's presence will not only help stem the court's rightward move (particularly on civil rights cases), but she can also argue for her judicial worldview in public. In addition to "empathy," the much-discussed Obama criterion, that administration official used the term imagination last week in describing what the president was looking for. Obama wanted someone who had the talent to explain the law to the public in plain language.

Obama got a laugh when he said Sotomayor "saved baseball"—she issued the ruling that helped end the strike in 1995—but his underlying point served his message: This is a judge willing to use the law in ways that every American can understand and appreciate.
Post Tue May 26, 2009 11:50 am
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
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On the wrong side of the Copyright debate, check. Represented agro-business, check.

Yeah.. this is what I expected. A corporate shill that, through use of stereotypes, can be perceived as being a liberal pick. Even though everything about her says that she's a centrist.

Change I can poop on.
Post Tue May 26, 2009 12:08 pm
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
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redball wrote:
On the wrong side of the Copyright debate, check. Represented agro-business, check.

Yeah.. this is what I expected. A corporate shill that, through use of stereotypes, can be perceived as being a liberal pick. Even though everything about her says that she's a centrist.

Change I can poop on.


Also according to Wikipedia:


Quote:

Abortion

In Center for Reproductive Law and Policy v. Bush,[43] Sotomayor upheld the Bush administration's implementation of the "Mexico City Policy" which requires foreign organizations receiving U.S. funds to "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations". Sotomayor held that the policy did not constitute a violation of equal protection, as the government "is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds".

Post Tue May 26, 2009 12:20 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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I'm glad she is a woman. There's no real good reason why the court only has one woman on it right now. There should be 5. Some of the decisions now that there's just been one woman on the court have been embarrassing for the court I thought.

It's also cool she's hispanic. That kind of shit matters.

It's bafflingly hilarious that the republicans are dumb enough to now attack the first hispanic woman nominee. It's like they don't know shit about the demographics of the United States going forward.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 7:19 am
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the mean
Certified O.G.


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Someone find that thread where we speculated about this pick. I think I nailed it.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 7:28 am
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redball



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What matters is how she'll interpret the law. Not gender or ethnicity.

The Republicans have absolutely no problem with her. They're only bristling as part of their broader BHOisTHEDEVIL! 2010 campaign.

mean: this one?
Post Wed May 27, 2009 7:31 am
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the mean
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Here we go:

the mean wrote:
I have a feeling that I am going to be very disappointed with his pick. We need someone in the Brennan/Marshall/Warren mold to counter the strong conservatives on the bench. I seriously doubt that's what we'll get.


the mean wrote:
I'm concerned that he will try to play from the middle. I just don't see him, early in his first term, appointing someone who will rile up the conservatives more. I hope I'm wrong.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 7:35 am
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the mean
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Oh yeah, also - Sotomayor is a racist.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 7:48 am
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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redball wrote:
What matters is how she'll interpret the law. Not gender or ethnicity.



I disagree. I don't think I'm comfortable with a supreme court of all white heterosexual men. The more the supreme court reflects the actual demographics of the country they preside over, the better I think. We had it in that recent case about the strip search of the schoolgirl. The men on the court were all like "yo I used to get naked like wicked times, it's no deal". None of them really understood what it meant specifically for a young girl to have that done to herself. And it definitely influenced their decision.

This is a decent article sort of about this problem in the courts:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/2009-05-05-ruthginsburg_N.htm

Even if she's not a super liberal, that she's a hispanic woman is a good thing for the court. I think moreso than if they had put in a super liberal who was a man.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 8:08 am
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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the mean wrote:
Oh yeah, also - Sotomayor is a racist.


REVERSE racist. Which really...is the best kind.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 8:08 am
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cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
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"reverse racist" reminds me of "opposite marriage" in a way. bizarre terms.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 8:15 am
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the mean
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I'm with Futurist here. The race/gender/sexual orientation makeup of the Court is important.

I am also going to begin to use the term "super liberal." Redball and Futurist need to collaborate to come up with a photoshopped comic book character.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 8:20 am
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cakes



Joined: 15 Dec 2006
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the mean wrote:
I am also going to begin to use the term "super liberal." Redball and Futurist need to collaborate to come up with a photoshopped comic book character.
that would be excellent.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 8:21 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
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redball wrote:
What matters is how she'll interpret the law. Not gender or ethnicity.
All of those things matter.
Post Wed May 27, 2009 9:46 am
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