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The Sotomayor Pick:
Jan Crawford Greenburg has a very interesting report on the road to the President's selection. Hat tip: How Appealing.
J. Aldridge:
Indeed, some Republican senators, while publicly vowing a fight, privately conceded the difficulties they will face in opposing the first Hispanic nominee.

Funny Dems found no difficulties opposing Miguel Estrada.
5.26.2009 8:49pm
Just a 2L:
"J. Aldridge:
Indeed, some Republican senators, while publicly vowing a fight, privately conceded the difficulties they will face in opposing the first Hispanic nominee.

Funny Dems found no difficulties opposing Miguel Estrada."

I fail to recall Mr. Estrada being the first Hispanic nominated to the Supreme Court, or the U.S. Court of Appeals for that matter.
5.26.2009 9:01pm
J. Aldridge:
Estrada was the first Hispanic to be nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Dems openly warned Bush not to nominate him for the Supreme Court.
5.26.2009 9:09pm
Steve:
It is, of course, BECAUSE the Dems knew they would face difficulties in opposing Estrada for the Supreme Court that they chose to preemptively oppose him at the Court of Appeals level. And Republicans sought to oppose Sotomayor's promotion to the Second Circuit for the exact same reason. The only issue is how shocked and appalled we can all act that political calculations of this type take place.
5.26.2009 9:15pm
Hoosier:
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
Jan Crawford has risen from the grave
Jan Crawford has risen from the grave

(Irrelevant. But it seemed like a good idea at the time.)
5.26.2009 9:19pm
Terrivus:
"[H]is political advisers--led by Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel--urged him to make history by tapping the first Hispanic justice. . . . Sources close to the process said legal advisers wanted, as they saw it, a more collegial and intellectual heavyweight."

I love it... politics reigns o'er all. A political pick by a political president.
5.26.2009 9:22pm
Just a 2L:
J. Aldridge:
"Estrada was the first Hispanic to be nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Dems openly warned Bush not to nominate him for the Supreme Court."

True, but the distinction between being the first nominee for a particular circuit (and of course, being the first Hispanic nominee for the D.C. Circuit is a big deal) and being the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court is huge. Everyone, most especially the general public, sees the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court as a much bigger deal than any nomination to the Court of Appeals (especially in the realm of identity politics). If Estrada were nominated for the Supreme Court under Bush, I would bet that the Democrats would have had the same political problems with opposing the nomination that the Republicans have now.
5.26.2009 9:30pm
GD:
I just received an email from President Barack Obama (info@barackobama.com), it begins "Judge Sotomayor has lived the America (sic) Dream". I guess all the proofreaders were busy.
5.26.2009 9:38pm
studentactivism.net (www):
A political president.

As opposed to...?
5.26.2009 9:44pm
The Cabbage (mail):
As opposed to...?

Rutherford B. Hayes, who was more of a souffled president.
5.26.2009 9:55pm
J. Aldridge:
Just a 2L: I see. So it's no big deal to openly oppose a potential supreme court nominee before he has been officially nominated, but it is a very big deal to openly oppose him after he has been nominated. Gotcha.
5.26.2009 9:56pm
PeteP (mail):
I hope Jeff Sessions NAILS her to the wall, on her publicly stated RACISM, when she said ( in effect ) 'A woman of hispanic background will by definition make better decisions than a white man'.

Can you EVEN IMAGINE Roberts or Alito having EVER made such a comment ( suitably reversed ), and even being NOMINATED ? They would not only have not made the short list, they wouldn't have made the CHRISTAMAS CARD LIST.

Nonetheless, Sotomayor will be confirmed, count on DAT.

She is, by all accounts, an intellectual lightweight compared to Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, and will be no worse that Souter, simply voting the liberal position every time, and having no effect other than that.
5.26.2009 10:02pm
Just a 2L:
J. Aldridge:
"Just a 2L: I see. So it's no big deal to openly oppose a potential supreme court nominee before he has been officially nominated, but it is a very big deal to openly oppose him after he has been nominated. Gotcha."

Not in the eyes of a public that doesn't really pay attention to potential judicial nominees until they are nominated to the Supreme Court. I'm not saying that's a good thing at all or that it's not a big deal to those of us that pay attention to such things, but only that opposing a non-nominee is simply politically different than opposing a nominee as a result of the public's knowledge of your opposition.
5.26.2009 10:07pm
BooBerry (mail):
PeteP: (1) Sotomayor included that line in the context of a speech discussing the landscape of sex and race discrimination litigation; (2) Please explain what is racist about asserting that a female Latina judge will look more favorably on female/minority litigants in the context of sex and race discrimination litigation; (3) Please kick yourself for spouting off such inaccuracies online.

Thanks.
5.26.2009 10:25pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
"Eager to have a nominee confirmed before the Senate's August recess, officials said they took the extraordinary step of asking all four to get started filling out the lengthy Senate questionnaire."

Am I the only one who found that to be a little cold of the White House? Imagine filling out the forms and then finding out that you weren't picked.
5.26.2009 10:31pm
Derrick (mail):
I hope Jeff Sessions NAILS her to the wall, on her publicly stated RACISM, when she said ( in effect ) 'A woman of hispanic background will by definition make better decisions than a white man'.


Jeff Sessions shouldn't be calling anyone a racist.
5.26.2009 10:33pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
"I hope Jeff Sessions NAILS her to the wall, on her publicly stated RACISM"

At first I thought this was a joke. . . . PeteP -- you might want to read up on Jeff Sessions history re racism, and you will find out that he is not exactly the right guy to be leading this issue for the Republicans. (You also might want to cut out the all-caps; it's considered rude.)
5.26.2009 10:34pm
poul (mail) (www):
instead of nominating hispanic female for supreme court, obama should have nominated a transgendered jew. everybody knows that jews make the best lawyers, so that'd shut up republicans, right? her qualifications being sorely ethnic and gendered, why not choose the most oppressed gender and the longest oppressed ethnicity?

obama, you disappoint.
5.26.2009 10:36pm
studentactivism.net (www):
I hope Jeff Sessions NAILS her to the wall, on her publicly stated RACISM, when she said ( in effect ) 'A woman of hispanic background will by definition make better decisions than a white man'.

You're really looking forward to the spectacle of Jeff Sessions, at the head of an all-white, all-male GOP lineup on the Judiciary Committee, attacking Sonia Sotomayor for endorsing the idea that more women of color on the federal bench would lead to better outcomes?

Wow. I mean, I'm looking forward to it, but that's because I like to see the GOP fail. What's in it for you?
5.26.2009 10:55pm
Oren:

Funny Dems found no difficulties opposing Miguel Estrada.

They opposed him for the court of appeals specifically because he was going to be hard to defeat for SCOTUS.
5.26.2009 11:08pm
Desiderius:
"women of color"

Aren't we about due for a new euphemism? How about "of greater than or equal to one drop"? Or is it "of color" from here on out?
5.26.2009 11:16pm
Desiderius:
studentpassivist,

"I like to see the GOP fail."

Do you typically follow Limbaugh's lead? I had you pegged for better than that.
5.26.2009 11:18pm
second history:
Funny Dems found no difficulties opposing Miguel Estrada.
...
They opposed him for the court of appeals specifically because he was going to be hard to defeat for SCOTUS.


That's the same reason Sotomayor's confirmation for the Second Circuit was delayed for more than a year (G.O.P., Its Eyes On High Court, Blocks a Judge, NYT, June 13, 1998):


Judge Sonia Sotomayor seemed like a trouble-free choice when President Clinton nominated her to an appeals court post a year ago. Hers was an appealing story: a child from the Bronx housing projects who went on to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton and become editor of the Yale Law Journal and then a Federal prosecutor.
...
But Republican senators have been blocking Judge Sotomayor's elevation to the appeals court for a highly unusual reason: to make her less likely to be picked by Mr. Clinton for the Supreme Court, senior Republican Congressional aides said in interviews.

The delay of a confirmation vote on Judge Sotomayor to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York, is an example of the intense and often byzantine political maneuverings that take place behind the scenes in many judicial nominations. Several elements of the Sotomayor case are odd, White House officials and Democrats in Congress say, but the chief one is the fact that there is no vacancy on the Supreme Court, and no firm indication that there will be one soon. Nor is there any evidence of a campaign to put Judge Sotomayor under consideration for a seat if there were a vacancy.
...
Senate Republican staff aides said Trent Lott of Mississippi, the majority leader, has agreed to hold up a vote on the nomination as part of an elaborate political calculus; if she were easily confirmed to the appeals court, they said, that would put her in a position to be named to the Supreme Court. And Senate Republicans think that they would then have a difficult time opposing a Hispanic woman who had just been confirmed by the full Senate.

''Basically, we think that putting her on the appeals court puts her in the batter's box to be nominated to the Supreme Court,'' said one senior Republican staff aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ''If Clinton nominated her it would put several of our senators in a real difficult position.''
5.26.2009 11:35pm
J. Aldridge:
I don't know, but my gut says if Estrada was nominated for the supreme court Dems would had went ahead and blocked him anyway.
5.27.2009 12:17am
Steve:
How would the Democrats have blocked Estrada? Through the same magical process by which they blocked Roberts and Alito?
5.27.2009 12:24am
Oren:

I don't know, but my gut says if Estrada was nominated for the supreme court Dems would had went ahead and blocked him anyway.

Some of them would have probably opposed him, but the PR would have been terrible. Blocking Estrada at the feeder level was a solid tactical move.
5.27.2009 12:44am
Hoosier:
poul

What are you saying? THat there isn't a disabled lesbian Eskimo who has the credentials?

Huh.

Well, that makes this choosing-a-justice thing more tricky that I thought.
5.27.2009 6:31am
PeteP (mail):
I seem to have tweaked a few liberal noses, talking about Jeff Sessions :-)

Good :-)

Let me explain something to you folks that got riled up, a small point you might have missed - here, I'll yell it for you :

JEFF SESSIONS IS NOT UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR SCOTUS !!!

Got it ?

Therefore, HIS background is not up for debate, it is a non-issue. As to the moron who whined about the Judiciary being 'all white all male' - Would that include the DEMOCRATS, 'equally at fault' ( if there IS any 'fault' ) ? And I suppose Dianne Feinstein and Amy Klobuchar quit and forgot to tell anyone ?

Gents - TRY to get you basic facts right before posting ! Prof V encourages it !

As do I.
5.27.2009 11:03pm

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