Wednesday, July 15, 2009

res ipsa loquitur 071509 -- Kabuki Theater Edition

It doesn't really matter much because Sonia Sotomayor is going to get confirmed to the Supreme Court anyway, but you can read two interesting takes on what's happened so far here and here.


Anonymous said...

She's qualified enough to be confirmed, but is she the most qualfied candidate?

W.B. Picklesworth said...

I disagree with you Mark. It does matter. It might well be that she gets confirmed no matter what transpires, but Republican senators should be making sure that America knows the type of jurist they are getting. They are getting a "wise Latina" jurist who does not respect property rights, gun rights or the right to be free from discrimination, unless you belong to an approved group who deserves sympathy.

She is not just another judge. She is a judge who is willing to circumvent the political process to push a particular agenda, which unfortunately is not the impartial application of the law according to the Constitution.

I'm not attacking her personhood or her good intentions, but Republican senators need to use this opportunity and those like it to highlight what qualities a jurist should have. Those with empathy and good intentions need not apply.

Mark Heuring said...

Probably should have chosen my words more carefully, WBP. I agree, it does matter, for all the reasons you've provided. And the hearings can be and should be a teaching moment.

The problem is that the lessons aren't going to get through to the American people. We're getting "he said, she said" coverage and precious little of the import of what her worldview and jurisprudence would deliver. I think at least some of the Republicans on the committee (Sessions and Kyl come to mind) are using the opportunity to highly the qualities a jurist ought to have. But most people aren't going to find out. That's what I meant.

That pre-6 a.m. posting is trouble, I tells ya.

Gino said...

cant you see that the GOPers are playing you two like a fiddle.

if they really believed in the purity of their idealogy they would destroy her personally, attack her family and friends, investigate the last person she slept with, publish her emails and private letters...

instead, they give you kabuki, and you go to the polls and vote for the same bad actors again, the ones who will not fight the war to win, because you think they fought for 'conservatism' when facing sotomayor.

the GOPers of today are very much the french of 1939.

sorry guys, i had to say it.

my name is Amanda said...

"Second, I would hope 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."

- the point here is "I WOULD HOPE"....and "who hasn't lived that life."

And now she's being forced by a bunch of false, righteous word twisting to say that diversity doesn't matter (or least that her words were poorly chosen). I completely disagree.

Also, I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but that second article didn't make any effort to demonstrate that Sotomayor is "telling lies!" although it heartily repeated that statement throughout.

Mark Heuring said...

Uh, Gino -- the title of the post says Kabuki. I think I get it. I don't get to vote for Lindsey Graham in any event. I do get to vote on Klobuchar and Franken, but what they do in this hearing won't affect my already dim view of both of them.


What makes the second article interesting is that the author is a liberal, who wants Sotomayor to give a full-throated defense of the meaning of her words, which she has refused to do. Make of it what you will.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

If Sotomayor's statement she "would hope" that a Latina would do a better job than white man isn't racist, then it's nonsensical.

Off the bench her experience gives her a different point of view than a white male. That's fine. On the bench she must be constrained by the law period. Even suggesting something contrary is iffy.

Gino, I was talking about what I wanted them to do. I'm under no illusions as to their principles. (There are some exceptions, but Republicans as a whole have been weak broth for the past 80 years or so.)

Brad Carlson said...

The NY Times resident hag has a rather interesting perspective on the GOP questions.

Mark Heuring said...

Wow, Brad. It must take years of therapy and/or street pharmacology to come up with some of those conclusions.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean to flame, but that is one of the silliest questions I have seen posed in a long time. What metrics would you use to determine the "most qualified" candidate? Where would your candidate pool come from? If this were some supposedly objective assessment, what if someone espousing the views of Adolph Hitler or Pol Pot were to be deemed "most qualified".

I certainly agree that this is Kabuki theatre...but it always is. The last guy who decided to be completely candid at his confirmation hearing was the eminently qualified Robert Bork, and he got a new verb named after himself for that transgression. Do you really expect anyone to be completely up front in this situation? I don't, regardless of which side of the aisle they are coming from.

If the Republicans could get away from trying to get Sotamayor to explain things she said outside of the courtroom, and could demonstrate a pattern of personal bias in her numerous rulings, by actually citing a lot more cases she ruled on, then they might be able to derail her nomination. But since they obviously can't do that, Kabuki is all they have left. And as you know, you are the target audience, so you might as well try to enjoy it.

She is a nominee with more judicial experience than anyone nominated to SCOTUS in over 100 years, she went to one of the two "right" law schools (Yale or Harvard), and her rulings have been fairly centrist, whether you care to admit that or not. She will be the next Supreme Court Justice of the U. S. The only real chance they had of making a dent in her was on the Ricci case, and her defense of her position on Ricci adequately defused that.


Mark Heuring said...


I agree with about 80% of what you wrote. I will say I'm tired of the "more judicial experience than any other nominee in the last 100 years" meme, though. What that really means is that she's been on the federal bench for a long time, but it doesn't say anything about the quality of her tenure there.

My reading is that she's adequate, at best. But adequate would be an improvement over David Souter.