Should "we" -- meaning gun rights folks and libertarians -- try to block her confirmation? I blogged earlier:
On the other hand I don't see anyone characterizing this as a
disaster. Obama won the election, so he gets to nominate his picks,
and she seems to be at least minimally
qualified. She will be replacing a liberal, albeit one appointed by a
Republican president. No net change on votes, particularly on Heller
(Souter was one of the four votes against the 2nd Amendment there).
That doesn't mean it's not worth fighting, especially as aggressive questioning will help reveal exactly what sort of judge Obama has picked. I've heard several reports over the past day or so that seem to me to be grounds for concern over and above those already expressed.
Alphecca has found a ruling of hers which is detrimental to free speech for student bloggers. Criticizing school officials on the internet should be protected speech, especially within a public school.
There have been reports that she has a vicious temper. I don't necessarily put much credence in these reports; judges are routinely short and pointed with lawyers from the bench. If proven true, however, it would speak to a significant lack of judicial temperment that would be grounds to block her appointment. It is very important for a justice to be even-tempered to avoid irrationally favoring one side or the other.
The talk radio circuit has a report, unfortunately unsourced, that Sotomayor remained seated in deliberate defiance of protocol when Justice Thomas entered a room. If true, this strikes me as further evidence of improper temperment, and even more disturbing, a lack of respect for the judicial system. Even if you believe the smears raised during Justice Thomas's confirmation hearings, the man is a sitting Supreme Court justice and a judge within the same system should respect that even more than an ordinary citizen.
These things plus what we already know about her view of the 2nd Amendment and several controversial lines from speeches. As I've said, I don't like her on the Supreme Court, but then I didn't expect to like it. There's some inherent risk here, in that Obama could well nominate someone worse if this nominee is blocked, and even managing that much is unlikely -- Obama has 60 votes in the Senate, remember.
So, here's what I think we should do:
Press hard on her past rulings, especially 2nd Amendment and 1st Amendment ones. Make the ACLU squirm when they think of her. Make the public realize that Obama's claimed support for the 2nd Amendment was worth nothing, if that isn't already obvious.
Ask about some of the controversial statements she's made. Insist on a more complete explanation and see if she will repudiate them.
Press her on her temperment. See if she can keep her cool in a testy confirmation hearing. She's been confirmed before, so the answer is probably yes, but let's find out. I'd like to say we should be nice about doing this, but it's hard to press someone's temper while being nice. So...
We should be honest and not make stuff up from thin air or generate controversy from nothing. This should go without saying, but given how the Left plays this game, I felt it important to state explicitly.
We're not likely to stop her, but we can make it clear what her positions are, especially her position on the 2nd Amendment -- which is out of step with something like 80% of the population.
This entry was published Fri May 29 09:40:18 CDT 2009 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2009-05-29 09:40:18.0.