August 6, 2009

A toast to now-Justice Sotomayor.

To the appearance of empathy and experience that caught the President's eye! To all the sober obeisance to the dispassionate, neutral articulation of the law that won confirmation in the Senate!

46 comments:

Jeremy said...

And with no thanks to the right wing party of "no."

They'll pay dearly for this vote.

NKVD said...

As if the outcome was ever in doubt. Nice bit of political theater, though, eh?

L. E. Lee said...

"In with a bang, out with a whimper."

I remember many here thought that Justice Sotomayer was going to be a battle royal for President Obama.

I guess next health care reform is going to be his Waterloo...

Balfegor said...

As if the outcome was ever in doubt. Nice bit of political theater, though, eh?

I think Republicans lost a good opportunity to rub it in the face of liberal jurisprudence today. They should all have voted for her and made a lot of noise about how they were persuaded by her testimony that she had renounced the divisive racial rhetoric she had employed in the past, and had articulated an admirable and honourable jurisprudence of fidelity to the written law, etc. etc.

Then they could have turned around and used Sotomayor's rhetorical surrender against any subsequent Obama (or really, Democratic) nominee. As it is, the fact that they all voted against her anyway robs the argument of some force. Not all force, but enough that I think they made the wrong choice.

All that said, though, I think she is about as good as we could have expected from this President, and she will probably do a decent job.

Mian said...

Mediocrity - thy name is Sotomayer. Obama uses his first genie wish on a token. Don't look her her to lead the Supremes in anything. A wasted opportunity; a shame.

Matt said...

Cool.
Nine Republicans voted for her. Ohio's George Voinovich, Maine's Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, New Hampshire's Judd Gregg, Indiana's Richard Lugar, Missouri's Kit Bond, Florida's Mel Martinez, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and Tennessee's Lamar Alexander.

As CNN notes:
In a telling political sign, none of the Republicans who voted for Sotomayor is seeking re-election in 2010.

That tells me that Republicans who are not up for re-election have learned to think for themselves. No longer tethered to the far right of their party. Good for them.

Joe said...

That tells me that Republicans who are not up for re-election have learned to think for themselves

That's funny, it tells me that representational government is working in this case.

(And how could anyone surprised at Snowe, Collins and Voinovich's vote?)

ricpic said...

Yes, by all means lets toast the squalid racist.

Jeremy said...

Mian said..."Mediocrity - thy name is Sotomayer."

Except of course, for bringing more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed to the Court in the past 70 years.

Duh.

Jeremy said...

ricpic said..."Yes, by all means lets toast the squalid racist."

YEAH!!

What is it with all of these Latino and Black...racists?

Duh II

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

The Democrats will run this right down the throats of every NO voter in the 2010 election.

It really makes one wonder if the Republicans even know there are voting Latinos living in America.

Apparently not.

Paul said...

"As CNN notes:
In a telling political sign, none of the Republicans who voted for Sotomayor is seeking re-election in 2010."

Good riddance to a bunch of RINOs. It's time we elect Republicans who actually believe in the principals of the party instead of these Stockholm Syndrome suffering wannabe big government Democrats. Feh.

Matt said...

Joe
I have an appreciation for moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats. I think most Americans reside in the moderate zone than in the far right or far left zones.

Mian
When Reagan selected a woman, when Bush 1 selected an African American and when Clinton selected a woman did you call them 'token' picks too? You don't happen to be a white male do you?
BTW Sotomayor is more than qualified. She just happens to be a tad bit liberal, which you don't like. But reading her cases I would say just a tad. She is not as far to the right as - say - Roberts or Alito or Thomas.

ricpic said...

Can't stop being a mean vindictive prick even in victory, eh Jeremy?

garage mahal said...

Purity! Tiny Tent.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Meant to say...
She is not as far to the left as other justices are to the right such as - say - Roberts or Alito or Thomas.

peter hoh said...

Spent the better part of last Sunday watching a PBS documentary about the Supreme Court. Fascinating stuff. Chief Justice Roberts spoke about several of the historic cases that helped establish the Court's role. Made me interested in picking up a book about the Court. (Any suggestions?)

Here's hoping that Ms. Sotomayor does well for the Court and the country. Perhaps she, like so many other jurists, will confound both her critics and her supporters.

Mian said...

Jeremy, are you arguing that Sotomayer was the BEST POSSIBLE CANDIDATE for the Supreme Court because she has spent the longest time on the bench? Even if her decisions were pedestrian, predictable and uninspiring? I'm sure there are similarly capable Chicago judges who've sat on their fiefdoms for decades longer...

Duh indeed...

traditionalguy said...

Congratulations to the best qualified nominee in history. Let's wait and see who she sides with now that her appointment is for life, perhaps for Life.

tim maguire said...

I'm disappointed that more Republicans didn't vote for Sotomayor. Traditionally, Republicans have shown more integrity and decency than Democrats, but apparently many of them couldn't resist a little payback for the shameless antics of Democratic Senators against solid Bush appointments.

To all the sober obeisance to the dispassionate, neutral articulation of the law that won confirmation in the Senate!

Is that really why she won the confirmation? Seriously, you don't believe that, do you?

She won because Democrats control the President who nominated her and the Senate that confirmed her. If she were exactly the same person but were nominated by a Republican, she would have gotten roughly zero Democratic votes.

Jeremy said...

Paul said..."Good riddance to a bunch of RINOs."

Can I assume you don't understand exactly WHY they're bolting?

The Republican Party has been taken over by maniacs who are consumed with idiotic conspiracy theories relating to Obama's citizenship, his religion, charges via people like Beck and the fat man that he's a racist Nazi, and of course the Christian right that wants to control every aspect of American life and death.

And with the votes on Sotomayor they've sealed their fate with the Latino voters for years to come.

I love every minute of it.

Jeremy said...

You really think there are a lot of latinos who, in two years, are gonna go, "You know I really liked that Mike Crapo of Idaho. I want to vote for Crapo. I like his policies. He fights for me. But that Sotomayor vote ... I don't know. I guess I'm gonna throw all principles to the wind and just try to stick it to him." Srsly?

-The Other Jeremy

Jeremy said...

Jeremy - I didn't say the Latinos will vote straight Democratic, but in close races the margin will be be important.

And I also don't think Latinos have a great deal to do with the winners and losers of elections in Idaho.

Do you?

Jeremy said...

Nope, but I've been wrong before. I think between now and Fall 2010, voters will have dozens of other issues in their decision matricies that take priority over getting payback for procedural vote with a foregone conclusion.

-The Other Jeremy

Big Mike said...

I still think she'll be a disaster. In my experience people who describe themselves as "wise" never are.

Now Balfegor's comment. That's wisdom.

Anton said...

Jeremy said, "...They'll pay dearly for this vote."

Oh yeah, they're quaking in their boots!

rhhardin said...

Now that they have the votes, it's time to declare some thermodynamics laws unconstitutional.

Big Mike said...

@rh, yup, and quantum mechanics. It ought to be illegal for God to play with dice.

Old Dad said...

Jeremy,

There's a rarely read document called the Constitution wherein we the people authorize the Senate to advise and consent upon the President's nominations to the Supreme Court.

What part don't you get?

Adolescence is challenging, but persevere--thirteen is especially difficult, but soon the bright dawn of fourteen will arise--cue morning larks--and you'll still be an obnoxious idiot.

C'est la vie.

JAL said...

With what - a 60% overturn of her rulings when appealed?

Sigh.

John Althouse Cohen said...

With what - a 60% overturn of her rulings when appealed?

The key phrase is "when appealed." Do you realize how seldom that happens, and what it means?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

JAL said...

With what - a 60% overturn of her rulings when appealed?

No, not even close. A 60% overturn of her rulings when the Supreme Court agreed to hear them. The Supreme Court only agrees to hear them if at least 4 of the Justices think there is a reason for the Supremes to hear the case. That's why the overturn rate of all ciruit court decisions is in the neighborhood of 75% of the cases that SCOTUS hears.

MadisonMan said...

I appreciate her service to the country. I hope she enjoys her job.

peter hoh said...

The thread about Texans has gotten a little long, so I'll post my question here: Have there been any Texans on the Supreme Court? The list of justices on the SCOTUS website shows the state from which they were appointed, and Texas is not listed.

But the list is not definitive, as Roberts is listed as being appointed from Maryland, although he grew up in Indiana.

Freeman Hunt said...

The Democrats will run this right down the throats of every NO voter in the 2010 election.

Totally. They're gonna kill those guys in the election just like McCain killed that Obama guy who voted against Roberts.

Matt said...

Senate votes for the last 11 Supreme Court Justices:

Sotomayor 68 to 31
Alito 54 to 42
Roberts 78 to 22
Breyer 87 to 9
Ginsburg 96 to 3
Thomas 52 to 48
Souter 90 to 9
Kennedy 97 to 0
Scalia 98 to 0 [!]
O'Connor 99 to 0
Stevens 98 to 0

Times have changed. It has been much more political since Thomas.

Randy said...

Balfegor's comment works best for me.

JAL said...

The Supreme Court reviewed five of her cases and overturned her on three.

... the overturn rate of all ciruit court decisions is in the neighborhood of 75% of the cases that SCOTUS hears.

So the question might be expanded to how many judges have how many of their cases selected to be heard by SCOTUS? One source I found states that nowadays "plenary review" is granted in about 100 cases a term. I don't know how to find out offhand how many of theses cases come from which judges. I am sure the info is there, but the point is moot, I guess.

If it was no big deal it seems it would not have been pointed out in a less than complimentary way.

I don't like squishy judging. It's not family court at this level.

Roger J. said...

The NYT turgid prose aside, the reality was unless an Obama SC nominee has violated the Edwards maxim (live boys or dead girls), he or she is going to be confirmed. The dems have a filibuster proof majority in the senate so its no contest unless Dems break ranks.

As it turns out, Sotomayor is replacing Souter so we get one liberal for another: not much change in ideological balance. And we probably could have done a lot worse as I suspect we will find out later this year should Justice Ginsburg retire.

Justin said...

If it was no big deal it seems it would not have been pointed out in a less than complimentary way.

It is no big deal. As others noted, SCOTUS reverses around 75% of the cases they decide to hear. Obviously, this means that, when cert is granted, the decision below will probably be reversed.

It was pointed out in a less than complimentary way because Republican strategists knew that (millions of) people like you would buy it hook, line, and sinker. Apparently, not realizing how flagrantly your intelligence has been insulted, you still accept the meme that SCOTUS's reversals of Sotomayor's decisions is a "big deal."

Maguro said...

Times have changed. It has been much more political since Thomas.

Try again. Look at the near-unanimous Ginsburg and Breyer confirmations then tell me when it became "much more political".

Jeremy said...

Maguro, that list of confirmation votes only includes those successfully confirmed. There have been four rejected nominees in the last 100 years (I'm not counting withdrawn nominees). All four of them were nominated by Republicans.

-The Other Jeremy

Balfegor said...

All four of them were nominated by Republicans.

In at least one of those cases (Carswell), there was actually a pretty fair mix between the parties -- 17 Democrats and 28 Republicans in favour; 38 Democrats and 13 Republicans against. That's suggestive, at least, of the senators voting their conscience, rather than along a party line (or because the President deserves to have his nominees automatically approved). It's not the same as the party-line votes we saw with Bush II's nominees.

JAL said...

Still didn't answer what the stats are for judges whose cases make it to SCOTUS for review. How many judges have 5 cases reviewed by SCOTUS?

Just asking.