Bench Memos

Yesterday’s Committee Vote

Back from vacation, I’ll offer a few quick comments (in addition to Wendy’s) on the 13-6 vote yesterday in the Senate Judiciary Committee on whether to favorably report Judge Sotomayor’s nomination to the full Senate:

1.  I’m very pleased to see that six of the seven committee Republicans voted against Sotomayor.  Press reports that depict their votes as evidence of mere partisanship miss two important points.  First, some of the Republicans who voted against Sotomayor clearly would have liked to vote for her, but her evasive and deceptive testimony persuaded them otherwise.  Second, there is a distinction between naked partisanship (i.e., voting on the basis of party) and principle (or, if you wish, ideology—that is, someone else’s principle).  Republicans who voted against Sotomayor because of concerns over her judicial philosophy had ample basis for doing so.

2.  I’d especially like to highlight that I was wrong in thinking that Sotomayor’s deceptive testimony had snookered Senator Hatch. 

3.  On the American Spectator’s website, Jeffrey Lord has some interesting observations on Senator Lindsey Graham’s peculiar reasoning in support of his vote for Sotomayor.