UPDATE, 6:20p: Thoughts on the Sotomayor nomination and confirmation process by Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice:
Although the numbers in the Senate ensured that the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor was never in doubt, those of us committed to restoring the rule of law to the federal judiciary have many things to be happy about in how Sotomayor's confirmation battle played out. Those include Republican senators' courage in mounting a strong opposition; the repudiation of the living Constitution philosophy that has been so fashionable in recent decades; the multi-edged defeat of identity politics; the strong signals sent to the White House about future Supreme Court picks; and the profound change in the politics of judicial confirmations wrought by the explosion of the Second Amendment issue....
The engagement of the Second Amendment community will long be remembered as the most significant aspect of this confirmation battle. Although the NRA's decision to oppose Judge Sotomayor and score her confirmation vote got the most attention, the grassroots mobilization of gun owners from the bottom up is probably the biggest story. As a result, gun rights emerged as the most influential issue in this and probably future Supreme Court confirmation battles....
By all reports, the WH was very surprised at how big the gun issue turned out to be, and it is unlikely that a President will ever again choose a Supreme Court nominee with a record that can be characterized as hostile to the Second Amendment.
One need only recall the mere 3 GOP votes against the elevation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court to know that the Republican leadership - Sens. McConnell, Kyl, Thune, Cornyn, and on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Sessions - and most of the party's other senators deserve tremendous credit for refusing to be cowed by the "you better vote for the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee" attitude of the WH and Senate Democrats.
Republican senators should be proud not only of their votes today, but also of the tough but fair questions they asked Sotomayor during her hearings and of the powerful floor statements they made in opposing her. As a result, Americans got the teaching moment they deserved. For the first time since the nomination of Robert Bork in 1987, the confirmation battle saw a serious debate about judicial philosophy and the proper role of judges, rather than just an argument about case outcomes.
It could have been an even grander debate if Judge Sotomayor and her WH handlers had not chosen to run away from, rather than defend, the philosophy of empathy and ethnicity-based judging espoused by the President and by his nominee in her many speeches. Perhaps the most memorable moment of Sotomayor's confirmation hearings was her explicit and complete repudiation of President's Obama's call for judges who rule from the heart in the most difficult cases.
I share the frustration of liberal legal commentators over Sotomayor's refusal to stand and fight for the concept of a living Constitution, but there's a huge silver lining: the living Constitution is now dead as a defensible judicial philosophy outside academia. There is no doubt that judicial activism will live on surreptitiously in the courts, but it is doubtful we will ever again see a Supreme Court nominee who has openly espoused it, no less one willing to defend it during his or her confirmation hearings.
Finally, it has been a bad summer for the purveyors of identity politics. Not only was the President forced to beat a hasty retreat from his old-school, victim-based take on last month's incident in Cambridge, but his Supreme Court nominee denied any knowledge of the race-base theories of judging she and other liberals have long championed.
Meanwhile, Democrats failed miserably in their attempt to convince Republican senators that they opposed a Hispanic nominee at their "own peril" (quoting Sen. Schumer). Polls showing that Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites shared the same unimpressive levels of support for Sotomayor generally, as well as the same levels of specific concern about her Second Amendment record, dealt a further blow to identity politics. Those of us who believe that racial favoritism has no place in law or politics should celebrate."
Breaking news, courtesy of MyFoxNY.com:
The Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court Thursday, making her the first Hispanic on the high court.
President Barack Obama, who nominated her in May, is now set to issue her a commission to join the court. When sworn in, she will replace the retiring Justice David Souter....
[Photo attribution: guardian.co.uk]
So..what else is new with a Democratic majority?Posted by: RSD at August 6, 2009 3:46 PM
I simply cannot contain my Puerto Rican pride.
I just think that God has allowed the US to reap the rewards of 50 million dead babies and 40 years of contraceptive sex, divorce and living together.
The only thing that will stop this diabolic tide is prayer and penance.
*praying that this confirmation backfires*
It'd be interesting if she turned out to be the OPPOSITE......like that Nominee that was it Bush the 1st or was it Reagan...turned out to be pro abortion?Posted by: LizFromNebraska at August 6, 2009 8:13 PM
Not likely that this woman will change her actions now that she is on SCOTUS. Her entire history revolves around race and identity politics. Our best hope is that she hangs up her rope to run for the senate and then loses.
30 years of this nut job on the court will do more damage than Ginsburg did.
Sonya would likely rule that mandatory abortion does not violate the constitution under the invented "compelling government interest" exception to the constitution. She will say that any mother who knew better would kill a "defective" baby before they are born.
This woman should frighten any reasonable person.
BTW, I am Puerto Rican by Marriage.
Now officially an Ex-Republican Libertarian. I feel so betrayed.Posted by: xalisae at August 6, 2009 11:50 PM
Elections have consequences. Now you guys know how we felt about Roberts and Alito.Posted by: Hal at August 7, 2009 12:03 PM
Sigh... I would hate for my congresscritters to listen once in a blue moon.
I didn't want Sotomayor in the Supreme Court.
I DEFINITELY don't want ObamaCare.
I don't want the government to fund Planned Parenthood at all.
Guess what's going to happen? They're ignoring their constituency and they'll continue to do so. This is not the way our government is supposed to work. I hate the way it is getting now.Posted by: army_wife at August 7, 2009 12:11 PM
I DEFINITELY don't want ObamaCare.
Posted by: army_wife at August 7, 2009 12:11 PM
Army Wife, do you know the only health care in the US that is single payer is the VA. Good enough for vets but not for the rest of us?
From Andrew Sullivan's blog today:
"The passions out there are somewhat mystifying to me. Here is what we are debating: should we demand that insurance companies provide policies to anyone regardless of pre-existing conditions? Should we help the working poor buy that insurance with subsidies? Are competitive exchanges for health insurance a good or bad thing? Would a public option or a co-op help bring down healthcare costs? Does it make sense for the government to study the effectiveness of various treatments as a guide for doctors? These are all worth debating - and if you break it down into these questions, a majority would back them. Obama's proposals were very, very well illuminated in the campaign; there's nothing here that we weren't told to expect; in fact, he seems over-eager to placate moderates and keep some Republicans within the healthcare reform tent."Posted by: Hal at August 7, 2009 1:31 PM
On June 24th, the AP reported:
" The chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is calling for more centralized control of the VA medical system after recent breakdowns in cleaning colonoscopy equipment exposed thousands of veterans to the risk of contracting HIV and other infections."
A report from Fox News noted that 10,000 veterans were exposed to the AID and Hepatitus viruses and that the Dept. of Veteran Affairs is bracing for news that one of its Pennsylvannia V.A. facilities botched radiation treatments for over 100 Veteran cancer patients.
According to congressional investigations,V.A. facilities are 49 years old as compared to private sector medical facilities with an average age of 12 years.
How about, instead of screwing over EVERYONE'S medical care to the degree of VA standards, we fix VA healthcare?Posted by: xalisae at August 7, 2009 8:01 PM
Like the articles quoted in this post, I also am really glad that most of the Senate Republicans chose to vote against her confirmation. I'm thrilled that as a national party, the strategy that the Republicans have chosen is to double down on their attempts to appeal to a shrinking pool of racists, sexists, and xenophobes. With that gameplan in place, we'll have a Democratic majority for years to come.Posted by: Penny Dreadful at August 7, 2009 8:58 PM
"the strategy that the Republicans have chosen is to double down on their attempts to appeal to a shrinking pool of racists, sexists, and xenophobes."
Cute theory...except for the fact that I'M A FEMALE HISPANIC VOTER AND I DID NOT WANT SOTOMAYOR CONFIRMED.
I love it when you libs show your true colors though. You just looooooove playing race cards and attempting to use divisive racial and gender politics, don't ya? You'd be in a real mess if you ever decided to try and get someone elected based on the virtues of their actual positions and character rather than just what's between their legs and pigmentation of their skin. The minorities who can see through your b.s. don't like it one single bit. You've been trying to play us for fools, and we're sick of it.Posted by: xalisae at August 8, 2009 2:55 AM
Posted by: Hal at August 7, 2009 1:31 PM
from your Andrew Sullivan quote "...in fact, he seems over-eager to placate moderates and keep some Republicans within the healthcare reform tent." Do you believe that, REALLY? Obama must not have gotten the message to his cronies, then. Listen to Rep Tom Price (an MD himself) describe how well he and his colleagues have been kept in the hc reform tent:
"youtube.com/watch?v=SD_YOlUBoIk"Posted by: klynn73 at August 8, 2009 2:50 PM
Posted by: Hal at August 7, 2009 12:03 PM
"Elections have consequences. Now you guys know how we felt about Roberts and Alito."
You gotta mouse in your pocket?
Are the negative consequences of leftist controlled legislative and executive branches of government started to burn through the mental haze or are you pleased as punch (kool aid) at the way things are going?
We still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and 'club gitmo' is still open for business in Cuba. The deficit/debt is at two trillion dollars and climbing.
The leaders of the democrat party are referring to their constituents who disagree with them as Obama hating rabble rousers. (These must be the same 'angry white men' and women who elected and re-elected G.W. Bush.)
Alito and Roberts seem to have a clue about what the second ammendment is about as contrasted with the wise latina's failure to give a cogent response when asked if americans have the right to self defense.
So how have Alito and Roberts weakened the nation?
Did they vote with the majority in affirming local governments use of imminent domain to seize private property to build shopping malls and sports statdiums?
They did vote to overturn the wise latina's decision to reject the non-black firefighteres suit to have the results of their test scores used to grant them promotions.
yor bro kenPosted by: kbhvac at August 10, 2009 10:26 PM