Bench Memos

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Sotomayor Confirmed


By a 68-31 vote (with Teddy Kennedy not present to vote because of his continuing poor health), the Senate has just confirmed Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Given the dominant Democratic majority in the Senate, there was never any reason to doubt that virtually anyone whom President Obama nominated to the Supreme Court would be confirmed.  What is striking is that Judge Sotomayor, despite her inspiring personal history and despite the powerful advantage of being the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court, earned so many negative votes. 

And earn them she did:  among other things, by her various statements contesting the judicial obligation of impartiality—a challenge mirrored in the lawless “empathy” standard for judging that President Obama used to select her; by recklessly mistreating the claims by New Haven firefighters that they had been discriminated against on the basis of race; by implausibly disguising herself as a judicial conservative at her hearing; and by providing positively deceptive testimony on a range of matters, including brazenly obscuring her support of freewheeling resort to foreign law to interpret the Constitution.

Congratulations to the 31 Republican senators who stood on principle against Judge Sotomayor’s unsound vision of the judicial role and against her deceptive testimony.

Tags: Whelan


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