A Less-Than-Supreme Choice

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” — Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in her Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law in 2001

Now there is a quote, which if you reversed it, would get someone into trouble. Let’s say a white male were to say just the opposite. Of what would he be accused? Right. Yet Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court will probably get away with this. Why? Simply because he has the votes in the Senate.

In an article in the New Republic, a liberal magazine, the author wrote about those who have worked with Judge Sotomayor:

Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner, but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.

The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was “not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench,” as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. “She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren’t penetrating and don’t get to the heart of the issue.”

This is the opposite of Clarence Thomas, who was able to work with everyone and was a gentleman. Thomas also had an inspiriing story of growing up in poverty and rising to a high position (which is what is being sold now as a reason to confirm Sotomayor). Yet how was he treated by the Senate when his confirmation hearings were held back in the early 1990s?

Sotomayor has also made it clear she believes it is the job of the courts to make policy, promoting the “living Constitution” doctrine. Additionally, she takes the side of minority groups in cases, even when the law is not on their side. Obama’s pledge for “empathy” on the bench is fulfilled in this nomination. The Constitution and the rule of law, however, are jettisoned. For Sotomayor, it is more important whether you are Hispanic, African American, or a woman.

She is the epitome of the nightmare nominee for those who believe in the American Constitution and the importance of the rule of law (no one is above the law; everyone treated equally), and who want to have hope for the future of the country.

As I said, she will be confirmed, barring a miracle. God doesn’t always send miracles; He lets us suffer the consequences of our foolish choices so we will learn a lesson. However, that doesn’t stop me from praying for a miracle in this case.