Patterico's Pontifications

5/30/2009

Borking Sotomayor

Filed under: Judiciary,Obama — DRJ @ 8:51 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Republicans are concerned about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, in part because of her statement that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Nevertheless, Barack Obama has called on Congress to treat her fairly:

“What I hope is that we can avoid the political posturing and ideological brinksmanship that has bogged down this process, and Congress, in the past.”

This from the “first President in U.S. history to have voted to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee.” Perhaps Obama learned about “political posturing and ideological brinksmanship” from Joe Biden who, as recently as last October, proclaimed how proud he was to have “led the fight against Judge Bork” and effectively invent the political “Borking” of a Supreme Court nominee.

— DRJ

39 Responses to “Borking Sotomayor”

  1. Among the 24 Democrats who supported the filibuster were five senators being mentioned as possible 2008 White House contenders — Kerry, who lost to Bush in 2004; Hillary Clinton of New York; Evan Bayh of Indiana; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; and Joe Biden of Delaware.

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/30/alito/index.html

    Not exactly…psychic, are they?

    poon (093c46)

  2. Do you have a point, poon?

    Paul (creator of "Staunch Brayer") (14d6a1)

  3. Not exactly…psychic, are they?

    Well, since Obama hadn’t yet gone back on his promise not to run for President as of 1/30/2006, we can hardly fault CNN for not mentioning him, can we?

    Paul, I think the answer to your question is, “Yes, on the top of his head.”

    Steverino (1b3695)

  4. I think poon’s point is that the Democrats seeking the office of the Presidency were supporting behavior that could quite easily come back to haunt them had any of them won the election.

    A better description might be that they were ‘not long range thinkers’, because, since none of them actually won the Presidency, it could be argued that they are psychic.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  5. I will make the amazing prediction that Obama’s choice gets a much more civilized review than Bork or Thomas got.

    tyree (9a6a8b)

  6. Like steverino, I thought poon’s point was that CNN “wasn’t exactly psychic” because it failed to name Obama in the group of 2008 Democratic White House contenders who voted to filibuster Alito. Hopefully poon will clarify this for us.

    DRJ (2901e6)

  7. Yes, that’s what I was thinking, DRJ.

    Easy to forget how fast a candidate can rise in America.

    poon (093c46)

  8. Thanks DRJ – It depended on what the meaning of ‘they’ is.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  9. […] over at Patterico has more, and the beginnings of a discussion this young blog can only dream […]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game… (b98ad6)

  10. […] Oops, wrong link.  This  is DRJ’s take on the story. […]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » If Barry ever loses face, he would still have one left… (b98ad6)

  11. It’s rather sad that the term Borking has come to mean derailing any Supreme Court nomination. Bork was (is) a brilliant jurist, on the caliber of John Roberts. He was defeated precisely for political reasons. It is a great loss to the Republic.

    Sotomayor, by contrast, should be defeated because she’s a crappy judge.

    Pavel (0a7c6d)

  12. I shudder to think what being “Obama’ed” will mean. It will probably hurt and require personal lubricant.

    PatriotRider (37b91c)

  13. Do you think Judge Sotomayer’s mother will be sitting behind her during the confirmation hearings? If so, do you think the Democrats will reduce her mother to a sobbing heap like the Democrats did to Mrs. Alito? Will there be the attack of a personal sort as there were on Roberts and Alito?

    Will we see memos leak out from Lindsay Graham’s office similiar to the ones that leaked out from Dick Durbin’s office saying Sotomayer is “too Hispanic” which is what the Dems felt about Miguel Estrada?

    No, we will hear how wonderful she is. Her unique story. Of course, she could speak English when she came her, unlike Estrada. She didn’t have to learn it in less than a year to graduate top of her high school class, like Estrada. She wasn’t editor of the Harvard Law Review, like Estrada. And I doubt that she will be put on the hot seat for 28 months, until she withdraws, like Estrada.

    Being Hispanic, coming from poverty, having a background like Estrada, or Thomas, for that matter, never seemed to impress the Dems before. Will they drag out some junior law clerk half way through the confimation hearing claiming that Sotomayer forced herself on him, and made Latina/feminist remarks to him. Like Thomas.

    What hypocrites they are.

    retire05 (44a850)

  14. What hypocrites they are

    That about cover the whole poltical debacle of our times. The bigger question is:
    What do we do aboutit?

    pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4)

  15. Obama’s hypocrisy is breathtaking. He is such a putz.

    drjohn (862e69)

  16. “Will they drag out some junior law clerk half way through the confimation hearing claiming that Sotomayer forced herself on him HER”

    Sorry needed to make an obvious correction.

    Surprised no one has mentioned it yet.

    HeavenSent (1e97ff)

  17. DRJ,

    Great post — but you are a few days behind me:

    http://valley-of-the-shadow.blogspot.com/2009/05/borking-judge-sotomayor-and-any-other.html

    Senator Obama voted NO on both of President Bush’s nominee. The word Liberals are looking for is Karma.

    [Good points, JSF. Thanks for linking your post. — DRJ]

    JSF (9d1bb3)

  18. The BigO seems not to have learned that what you send around, comes around.

    htom (412a17)

  19. I think the GOP can made a stong case for her leanings toward “empathetic” judicial activism – but much of her record hasn’t indicated this tendency, if I understand the history correctly. I’m curious as to the relevance of bringing up some of her cases that were later reversed on appeal – that denotes some activism, yes?

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  20. Being Hispanic, coming from poverty, having a background like Estrada, or Thomas, for that matter, never seemed to impress the Dems before. Will they drag out some junior law clerk half way through the confimation hearing claiming that Sotomayer forced herself on him, and made Latina/feminist remarks to him. Like Thomas.

    What hypocrites they are.

    Comment by retire05 — 5/31/2009 @ 6:23 am

    What hypocrites they are

    That about cover the whole poltical debacle of our times. The bigger question is:
    What do we do aboutit?

    Comment by pitchforksntorches — 5/31/2009 @ 7:09 am

    Regarding Estrada, his Hispanic background and compelling life story didn’t entile him to decent treatment from prominent Democrats. But because the story of their attack upon him is not told by the liberal biased MSM, it’s as if it didn’t happen.

    I would suggest that every Republican on the Judiciary Committee begin his questioning with:

    Judge Sotomayor. You have a compelling life story, which is an inspiration to all of your fellow citizens including but certainly not limited minorities.

    So I’m grateful for your sake, and for the sake of the country, that unlike in the case of Migel Estrada, another remarkable Hispanic with a truly compelling life story, the other party isn’t going to shamefully deny you a fair hearing.

    Terry Gain (6b2a64)

  21. The bigger question is: What do we do about it?

    Publicize what Obama is actually doing, as opposed to what he claims to be doing. Connect the dots and warn people of what’s going to happen, economically and to national security. Make sure Obama and the Dems bear total responsibility for their actions (Republicans should not give them cover by voting with them, for supposed bipartisanship, which is a farce anyway).

    With the contrasts sharply drawn, the voters will have an up-or-down choice on the Cult of Obama next year.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  22. There was some interesting discussion on Stephanopolis this morning. Ed Gillespie commented that the Democrats had changed the entire Supreme Court confirmation process by filibustering nominees on the basis of ideology, and video of Obama saying this was shown. The rest of the panel pretty much agreed so the rules have been changed and the Republicans, if they do this wisely (always a concern), should be able to oppose her on the same basis with little negative consequences, even though she will be confirmed.

    Amusingly, the Greenberg woman (ABC legal type) tried to assert that it was all the Republicans’ fault because they didn’t have good leadership during their majority. I could not figure out what her argument was and I don’t think anyone else did either. Gillespie made a good point that she was trying to say it was Frist’s fault that the Democrats behaved badly.

    Now, the problem is to get thoughtful comments from Republicans. This is not a case for Limbaugh.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  23. i> Being Hispanic, coming from poverty, having a background like Estrada, or Thomas, for that matter, never seemed to impress the Dems before. Will they drag out some junior law clerk half way through the confimation hearing claiming that Sotomayer forced herself on him, and made Latina/feminist remarks to him. Like Thomas.

    What hypocrites they are.

    Comment by retire05 — 5/31/2009 @ 6:23 am

    What hypocrites they are

    That about cover the whole poltical debacle of our times. The bigger question is:
    What do we do aboutit?

    Comment by pitchforksntorches — 5/31/2009 @ 7:09 am

    Regarding Estrada, his Hispanic background and compelling life story didn’t entile him to decent treatment from prominent Democrats. But because the story of their attack upon him is not told by the liberal biased MSM, it’s as if it didn’t happen.

    I would suggest that every Republican on the Judiciary Committee begin his questioning with:

    Judge Sotomayor. You have a compelling life story, which is an inspiration to all of your fellow citizens including but certainly not limited to minorities.

    So I’m grateful for your sake, and for the sake of the country that unlike in the case of Migel Estrada, another remarkable Hispanic with a truly compelling life story, that the other party isn’t going to shamefully deny you a fair hearing.

    Terry Gain (6b2a64)

  24. Test

    Terry Gain (6b2a64)

  25. The DRJ who is back with us wrote:

    Like steverino, I thought poon’s point was that CNN “wasn’t exactly psychic” because it failed to name Obama in the group of 2008 Democratic White House contenders who voted to filibuster Alito.

    It simply means that even the liberals at CNN couldn’t conceive of a man who would have had fewer than four years in the Senate on election day of 2008 as being qualified to become president.

    The snarky Dana (474dfc)

  26. In the majority opinion in Grutter v Bollinger, Justice Sandra O’Connor said:

    We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.

    Grutter was handed down in 2003. That means that six of Justice O’Connor’s twenty-five years have elapsed. What I would like to ask Judge Sotomayor, who at 52 years of age could well still be on the court in 2028, does she view the twenty-five year limit “expected” by the five Justices in the majority as a date certain, a time beyond which racial preferences would no longer be allowed? If our noble progressives are to tell us that we need to continue with Affirmative Action, because women and minorities would not do as well as white men without it, due to the residual effects of cultural discrimination, we need to know if there is a point at which they will no longer find such necessary.

    Race-conscious preferences were first allowed by the Supreme Court in the infamous case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. They existed before that date in 1978, but if we take Justice O’Connor’s 2028 “end date” for state sponsored racial discrimination race-based preferences to remedy past discrimination, we would be looking at an even fifty years, or two whole generations, of race-based preferences.

    As a Supreme Court Justice, would Sonia Sotomayor consider that as having been enough time? Or is this a case where we are not really seeking equal opportunity, but equality of outcomes?

    The Dana who isn't a lawyer (474dfc)

  27. Tiller shot dead in Kansas while at Church

    Oh boy, what a “martyr” he will be for the left.

    HeavenSent (1e97ff)

  28. Whether the background of Sotomayor is compelling or not to a variety of liberals is totally dependent on her political slant. The value of diversity, race, ethnicity, religion, etc, gets tossed out the window rather quickly by a lot of Democrats when the person (or group in question) they’re critiquing is of the right, perhaps even truly centrist.

    I will say Sotomayor probably won’t be any worse than her predecessor, the stealth candidate chosen by George Bush I, that being David Souter. I will never forget Souter believing that it was an act of discrimination for the National Endowment of the Arts to require people applying for grants to be screened. Thank God his opinion was in the minority.

    Mark (411533)

  29. If Sotomayor describes the Court as “an intellectual feast” she’s through.

    Hypocrisy is the Mother’s Milk of politics — right and left.

    David Ehrenstein (3da226)

  30. I think it is rather unfair to characterize the criticism leveled against Sotomayor by conservatives such as myself with “Borking.” A word coined after the slander perpetrated by Democrats against a Reagan nominee Robert Bork.

    Looking at what Democrats did to Bork and Thomas and then trying to somehow compare that to the often timid response to a racially insulated supremacist judge (judicially supremacist, not racially supremacist). Sotomayor may be a kind person with a high level of intelligence, in fact I am sure she qualifies by both those standards. Also I am very sure that she has lead a cery rich life, however there are many who meet these catagories and that does not qualify them for the SCotUS when they have a judicial record of allowing subjective elements cloud their interpretation of truth and the law. Sotomayor is not SCotUS material and should be critisized and rejecte on those grounds.

    I do not see any way at all that the GOP can block her nomination, but this is an opportunity for the GOP to show that its balls have not dropped off and that it can function as a legitimate opposition party that faithfully contrasts itself with a leftist party currently in power. A well articulated opposition will be misinterpreted and inaccurately covered by the media, but it is still something that must be done as it will lay the ground work for future debates and an eventual return to power.

    chukmaty (28bf38)

  31. Good question, Dana who isn’t a lawyer.

    DRJ (2901e6)

  32. This isn’t Borking. WIth Bork, you had full page ads run every day in every newspaper by groups such as “The People for the American Way” that took hundreds of Dowdified quotes and cases completely out of context and presented them in the worst possible light.

    It got to the point where Senator Kennedy suggested that Bork wanted to bring back slavery.

    This administration’s thin skin will be its undoing.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  33. This is not a case for Limbaugh.

    With great trepidation, I must dissent, Dr. Capt. Mike K. Limbaugh is a spine-stiffener for the sanschordate Republicans. Yes, I know Limbaugh often exaggerates and makes seemingly outrageous claims. But he documents his statements. And he’s willing to say what should be obvious, that Sotomayor’s “wise Latina woman” comment is racist on its face.

    Limbaugh was also prominent in attacking the sanctimonious hypocrisy of Obama when most Republican leaders were shying away from The One’s brazen power grab, such as nationalizing a large part of the auto industry, and giving a large stake to his union cronies.

    I wish the squishy Republican leadership would spend more time attacking Obama’s ruinous policies than they do Limbaugh.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  34. ALITO:

    “I don’t come from an affluent background or a privileged background. My parents were both quite poor when they were growing up.
    And I know about their experiences and I didn’t experience those things. I don’t take credit for anything that they did or anything that they overcame.
    But I think that children learn a lot from their parents and they learn from what the parents say. But I think they learn a lot more from what the parents do and from what they take from the stories of their parents lives.
    And that’s why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position.
    And so it’s my job to apply the law. It’s not my job to change the law or to bend the law to achieve any result.
    But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, “You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country.”
    When I have cases involving children, I can’t help but think of my own children and think about my children being treated in the way that children may be treated in the case that’s before me.
    And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account. When I have a case involving someone who’s been subjected to discrimination because of disability, I have to think of people who I’ve known and admire very greatly who’ve had disabilities, and I’ve watched them struggle to overcome the barriers that society puts up often just because it doesn’t think of what it’s doing — the barriers that it puts up to them.
    So those are some of the experiences that have shaped me as a person.

    But then again, he was actually a member of a racist organization
    Sotomayor isn’t.

    And you might want to look at the context of her famous speech, or maybe read the whole thing. There’s nothing shocking in it.

    bored again christian (e65df2)

  35. Apparently Latina women aren’t wise and their experiences aren’t rich.

    David Ehrenstein (3da226)

  36. How does one civily deal with a racist who disavows the Constitution and abuses her authority?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  37. Bored again christian is back again to spew hate, lie, etc … It is what it does.

    JD (870a39)

  38. And so it’s my job to apply the law. It’s not my job to change the law or to bend the law to achieve any result.

    Sotomayor never said anything like this. Alito and Sotomayor both say that their background affects the way they see cases. Alito struggles with it, Sotomayor celebrates it.

    The two are not comparable, however much Media Matters wants them to be.

    Mars vs Hollywood (f062b9)

  39. I wonder when Media Matters will realise that males are actually minority in these United States, and start championing them as a cause ?

    (Link here – scroll down to find Male 49.2% Female 50.8%)

    Alasdair (6b086e)


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