Is Sonia Sotomayor a liberal ideologue? Not according to what it says here


 E.J. Dionne says Sonia Sotomayor “is the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made” to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

 “It is highly unlikely that she will push the court to the left,” writes Dionne. “Indeed, on many issues of concern to business, she is likely to make the Chamber of Commerce perfectly happy.”

 Read the whole thing HERE.



  1. Mike Carroll

    More trouble in River City-an Hispanic Harriet Meiers perhaps?

    “I do think that there is a problem here when we talk about temperament and empathy. You know, we are not selecting a house pet. We’re selecting a Supreme Court justice and as an academic I have a certain bias. And that is does she have the intellectual throw weight to make a difference on the court? And I have to tell you the optics are better than the opinions in this case. I’ve read a couple of dozen of her opinions. They don’t speak well to her being a nominee on the Supreme Court. She will be historic in many ways like Thurgood Marshall but I’ll remind you Thurgood Marshall was not a lasting intellectual force on the court. He was historic because he was first. And I think that a lot of academics are a little bit disappointed. . . . Frankly, a lot of academics are going to be timid because they don’t want to be viewed as opposing her. But you will see some focus on the opinions” — George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, on MSNBC’s “Hardball” commenting on the qualifications of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

  2. Mike: I’m with you. Let’s put Jonathan Turley on the high court. He’d be tough enough to slap around the likes of Scalia and Thomas.

  3. Mike Carroll

    Pat-I’ve tried to hold my fire on this appointment until I felt I knew enough to give a reasoned opinion. My impression at this point is that she is not a particularly impressive appointment unless you want to judge the politics of it with the Hispanic vote. Not exactly the Change people thought they were voting for.

  4. Mike: She’s got more judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in decades. So what more could she have done to sufficiently impress you? I think she’s an excellent choice.

  5. Mike Carroll

    Having a lot of experience does not necessarily translate into actually being qualified. By that reasoning one would assume that you voted for John McCain. I have been in HR for 35 years. That doesn’t mean I’m good at it although in my case I am.
    Having a compelling personal story is commendable but again, it is not qualification to be a Supreme Court Justice.
    What is the depth of your legal reasoning?
    What decisions have you rendered and how are they perceived by the legal community at large?
    What is your judicial philosophy?
    Do you have the wisdom to decide cases on the law vs your personal views? Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once remarked that he personally loathed the majority of people he found in favor of.
    Do you agree with the recent California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8 where the justices remarked in the majority opinion “It bears emphasis… that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our personal beliefs and values”. Do you agree with that statement?
    That is how a nominee should be judged fit to serve. Not on ones sex, race and empathy score.

  6. Orlando Clay

    Mike Carroll wrote: “Having a lot of experience does not necessarily translate into actually being qualified.”

    True. A certain Texan we know had plenty of experience nearly bankrupting a major league baseball club, a handful of oil companies, and the state of Texas. But I’m willing to bet a week’s pay that it didn’t stop you from voting for Bush (twice, I’m sure), did it?

    My smart-aleck comments aside, Mike, you failed to answer Pat’s question about what more could she have done to acquire your confidence. Unlike the crazies in your party who reflexively oppose everything President Obama says or does, perhaps you should reserve final judgment until the confirmation hearings are complete and your questions are satisfactorily answered.

  7. Mike Carroll: There are no indications that Sotomayor would vote in high court cases on the basis of race or gender (except, of course, in a technical sense in cases involving alleged discrimination). Nor is there any reason to believe she’d be any more empathetic than Samuel Alito indicated that he would be (see my post of yesterday [Oops. It was earlier today] on Alito’s identity politics). As for the California ruling on Prop 8, I agree with the court, and I suspect that Sotomayor would, too. In fact, only one of the seven justices on the court dissented. The majority included several liberals.

  8. Mike Carroll: Allow me to be more specific about Sotomayor’s experience than I was in comment No. 4. If confirmed, she would start with more federal judicial experience than any justice in a century, more overall judicial experience than any justice in 70 years, and would be the only justice on the current court with firsthand experience as a trial judge. She has participated in over 3,000 panel decisions and authored roughly 400 opinions, ably handling difficult issues of constitutional law, complicated procedural matters, and lawsuits involving complex business organizations.

    Who, among the Republican nominees for the court over the past 40 years, has had a more impressive resume? None that I can think of.

  9. Mike Carroll

    Pat and Orlando-Let me quote me from above-“My impression at this point is that she is not a particularly impressive appointment”.
    I didn’t say she was a bad appointment, just not that impressive at this point. We’ll see when we get to the hearings.
    I am actually hoping that she is a reverse Souter. He presented as a Conservative and judged as a Liberal.A little poetic justice would be in order.
    Orlando-I did vote for Bush twice and to regret those choices I would have to think that Gore or Kerry would have done, on balance, better. Sorry, no brain damage here.

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