Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Supreme Court Madness Begins

Like most of you, I didn't know very much about Maria Sonia Sotomayor before yesterday, and since then I'd be lying if I claimed to know more than the 4 or 5 things the media keeps repeating about her. With that said, when Glenn Greenwald speaks, we listen, and he seems to like the nomination:
There are many vital issues that Sotomayor should be asked about, obviously including her views on executive power limits, which -- as Charlie Savage noted this weekend -- are largely unknown. One's view of her selection should be shaped by things that are as yet unknown. But judging strictly from what is known, Obama deserves substantial credit for this choice. There were choices available to him that would have been safer among the Respectable Intellectual Center (Diane Wood) and among the Right (Elena Kagan). At his best, Obama ignores and is even willing to act contrary to the standard establishment Washington voices and mentality that have corrupted our political culture for so long. His choice of Sotomayor is a prime example of his doing exactly that, and for that reason alone, ought to be commended.
Good to hear. A positive reaction from someone like Greenwald who actually reads her work and knows more than the token 4 or 5 things about her goes a long way.

I know plenty of people see supreme court nominations as political nerd's dream, but count me out. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy about the pick and I'm thrilled that Obama has already made the first of what should be several supreme court picks during his term. I'm just not looking forward to the months of grandstanding and media stupidity that these things tend to spawn. On the plus side, it seems like the Republicans are already screwing up their talking points:

David Shuster: "What evidence do you have that she would put her feelings and politics above the rule of law?"

Tom Fitton: "Because President Obama chose her."

Nice. With opposition like this maybe the confirmation fight won't be so bad after all.

Update: The quality criticism from the right has already started rolling in...

National Review Online's Mark Krikorian: "Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English... and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn't be giving in to."

Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb: "Obama seems to have the views of a 21-year-old Hispanic girl -- that is, only by having a black president, an Hispanic justice, a female secretary of State, and Bozo the Clown as vice president will the United States become a true 'vanguard of societal ideas and changes.'"

Another Update: I seriously can't tell if they're joking: (again via TPM)

Are The Hill -- and anti-Sotomayor operative Curt Levey -- really suggesting that the judge's fondness for Puerto Rican cuisine is a handicap for higher office:

Sotomayor also claimed: "For me, a very special part of my being Latina is the mucho platos de arroz, gandoles y pernir -- rice, beans and pork -- that I have eaten at countless family holidays and special events."

This has prompted some Republicans to muse privately about whether Sotomayor is suggesting that distinctive Puerto Rican cuisine such as patitas de cerdo con garbanzo -- pigs' tongue and ears -- would somehow, in some small way influence her verdicts from the bench.

Curt Levey, the executive director of the Committee for Justice, a conservative-leaning advocacy group, said he wasn't certain whether Sotomayor had claimed her palate would color her view of legal facts but he said that President Obama's Supreme Court nominee clearly touts her subjective approach to the law.

"It's pretty disturbing," said Levey. "It's one thing to say that occasionally a judge will despite his or her best efforts to be impartial ... allow occasional biases to cloud impartiality.

1 comment:

  1. Please tell me you made up the quotes from the National Review and the Weekly Standard just to be funny...