02 June 2009

Why Confirmation Hearings Are Moot

In meeting with several high-ranking senators from the judicial committee today, Chairman Patrick Leahy said that Judge Sotomayor would, "follow the law no matter what their upbringing has been." In other words, she indicated that she would follow the law in deciding cases that come before her. Interesting. Well, of course she's going to say that now... what nominee seeking lifetime employment wouldn't?

Well, given that Judge Sotomayor's decisions have been overturned 60% of the time, and given the fact that she's been excoriated by her colleagues for decisions that have completely ignored precedent and related case law, I think she's got some explaining to do. But there's the problem...

First of all, neither Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich have directly called Ms. Sotomayor a racist. They have said that her statement about the "wise Latina" is racist and needs explaining, but no one to my knowledge has directly called her a "racist". Secondly, she has been quoted as saying that appellate courts are appropriate in "making policy". Oh, I'm sorry. I thought that was the Legislative branch of government's job - and last I checked, we had three equal branches of government when you include the Executive and Judicial... But never mind that pesky Constitution. It just gets in the way.

These confirmation hearings are mostly ridiculous - a farce at best. For the Democrats it's a chance to assassinate the character of a Republican nominee and a chance to ideologically promote a Democrat nominee. For the Republicans, it's a chance to appear to want to play fair with Democrat nominees and a chance to point out the obstruction of the Democrats when its a Republican nominee.

There is usually never anything of substance that comes from these hearings and any senator who has already made up their mind based on what information is available so far isn't likely to be persuaded otherwise. Thus, this is an exercise in futility. The GOP always caves and never plays hardball. The Democrats always block or promote by threatening to label Republicans in negative ways. Isn't that right, Senator Schumer?

Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed this Summer and she will enjoy all the accolades from the Left/Identity Politicians who will take all the credit for the first Hispanic on the SCOTUS. Truth be told, they opposed Bush's Hispanic nominees (like Miguel Estrada) simply because they did not want him to get credit for it. How's that for checks and balances?

Personally, I think the Republicans need to stop worrying about Judge Sotomayor's race and past statements so much. She is replacing another poor choice to begin with - so the balance of the court won't really change. Instead, they need to focus on the future and how she will be a judicial collaborator willing to advance the president's socialist agenda.

If Obama gets to nominate possibly two more justices (Kennedy & Ginsburg), then Sotomayor will be the first step in altering the political makeup of the court. Given that these are lifetime appointments, the Republicans needs to send a message loud and clear - and right now - that they will not tolerate extremists or activists on the court. Obama is using his popularity early in his term to get his way on virtually everything, but that may not last. So the GOP best take advantage to play hardball while its still early and in preparation of a backlash against his policies in 2010.

If the GOP can't do that now, then we need to send them home in 2010. What have we got to lose at this point if they aren't willing to fight on principle?


Post a Comment

Comments will be moderated for offensive content. As they say, don't write anything your Mother wouldn't approve of.