Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Sotomayor Nomination

A buddy asked me last night if I thought that President Obama would have a hard time getting Sonia Sotomayor confirmed to the Supreme Court and I truthfully answered that I did not. I haven't done a vast amount of research on this subject but from what I've heard and read over the last few news cycles I just really don't see the Republicans putting up much of a successful fight on this one.

She seems to be eminently qualified for the position and despite GOP whining to the contrary is also extremely intelligent (for a taste of the brain-donors they might want to compare her to check out these videos). You're going to hear a lot of noise about the Ricci v. DeStefano case (I'm frankly looking forward to the more racist members of the right making a big deal about this), she will be called a "race-monger" (I think I've made my own take on the opinions of this insipid jack-ass quite clear in the past) and even criticism about how she pronounces her last name but in the end I don't foresee her not becoming a Supreme. Her appointment to the circuit court had fairly sizable Republican support and at a time when the rational half of that party is trying to woo new members I just don't see opposing the first Hispanic nominee with a uniquely American life story to the high court as a winning strategy.

So that's it. I hereby predict that Sonia Sotomayor will be America's next Supreme Court justice. Plus an added benefit (and this is just my own take on the situation) is now that Obama has satisfied his supporters who were clamoring for a woman/ethnic minority to the court he is free to choose whomever he wants for his next nomination, and that's not even assuming that he'll get more than two during his almost inevitable eight year presidential run. But for now I'll just sit back and enjoy the fireworks as the right futilely screams themselves hoarse over the next month. Grab a beer and join me, won't you?

[Update: Kevin Drum sums up the current process in place for vetting a potential Supreme Court nominee:

We all know how this is going to play out. First, everyone is going to start looking for some dark secret in her background that will derail her nomination. That will probably fail. Then she'll testify before the Senate, and everyone will ask what she thinks of Roe and Casey and Kelo. She'll dutifully claim that she's never even heard of these cases, and on the off chance that any of them ring a bell, she'll sing the usual song about how it would be improper to say anything about any matter that might come before the court in the future. Which is everything. After a few weeks of this, all the Democrats and maybe a dozen or so Republicans will vote to confirm her and she'll join the court in time for the fall term.

Agreed. Just as with Roberts and Alito from the last administration, these congressional question and answer sessions are a study in not answering any substantive question in any substantial way, and they're kept that way by both sides of the political aisle, despite the inherent merits or obvious shortcomings of the nominee. The best we can hope for (and I do) is that the president who nominates them knows enough about the nominee not to choose someone who is completely unqualified for the position (see: Miers, Harriet). Oh, snap.]

[Update II: Sullivan puts the quote from the Ricci case that has Republicans squealing bloody murder in proper context, but don't expect the squealing to decrease any time soon as a result. It's an autonomic response, quite free from any kind of conscious control or logic.]

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