E J Dionne
Hannity interviews Orrin Hatch
Kudlow interviews Dick Cheney
"Republicans would be foolish to fight the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court because she is the most conservative choice that President Obama could have made." - E J Dionne
"She's an angry woman, she's a bigot. She's a racist. In her own words, she's the antithesis of a judge, she is the antithesis of justice, in her own words. She does not deserve to be on the US Supreme Court. " - Rush Limbaugh
From the Christian Science Monitor: "But the debate may ultimately be far less aggressive than many conservative stalwarts would like. Short of a revelation of personal scandal, Sotomayor is almost certain to be confirmed with a solid Democratic majority in the Senate. And an aggressive campaign against her by Republicans could harm the party, already reeling from a poor performance last November and a decline in support among Hispanics.
Senate Republicans responded cautiously on Tuesday to the Sotomayor announcement, calling for "fair" hearings rather than launching aggressive attacks.
"We will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law evenhandedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences," said Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
"The American people deserve a full and thoughtful debate about the proper role of a judge in the American legal system," added Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee." Pretty reasonable approach from the Senate, right?
That's because there are plenty of others who can be the attack weasels, as Josh Marshall at TPM shows: "While elected Republicans are keeping their powder mainly dry and avoiding -- in all but a few cases -- racial charged remarks. But you can't say that for professional Republicans. We've heard that her taste for 'ethnic' food might throw into question her judicial reasoning, that she's a product of affirmative action, that she's a racist, that she's challenging English language dominance by insisting on an alien Spanish pronunciation of her name, that she belongs to a scary group called 'la raza' that might want to help Mexico reconquer the southwestern United States and make it Mexican again and on and on. All told, there's a chorus from the right that Sotomayor is a scary Mexican, understood in the sense of 'Mexican' as anybody with a Spanish last name who isn't actively working to keep the Cuban embargo in place.
And to the extent that there's political calculation at work it seems more likely that it's the realization that any Latina nominee would bring out the rightwing crazies like moths to a flame. They simply can't help it."
It turns out that the White House had been working on selecting a list of contenders for a Supreme Court nominee for over the last six months. The NY Times tells about that process: "Even before Justice David H. Souter publicly announced nearly four weeks ago that he was retiring, Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff who lived through two nominations during Bill Clinton’s presidency, commissioned a strategy memorandum from Mr. Klain intended to dictate the process. Secrecy was paramount. As the decision neared, aides disguised meetings on the subject even on the president’s internal schedule by blocking out time under the label “Chief of Staff Strategy.”
From the beginning, Mr. Obama had been focused on Judge Sotomayor, a federal appeals court judge from New York, officials said Wednesday. She had a compelling life story, Ivy League credentials and a track record on the bench. She was a Latina. She was a woman. She checked “each of the grids,” as Mr. Obama’s team later put it. And by the time the opportunity arrived, it became her nomination to lose.
Over the course of the last four weeks, Mr. Obama nursed doubts about Judge Sotomayor and entertained alternatives, aides said. He called around, asking allies about her reputation for brusqueness. At times, he grew increasingly enamored of other candidates, particularly Judge Diane P. Wood, whom he knew from Chicago. But by the time Judge Sotomayor left the White House last Thursday after what Mr. Obama told aides was a “dense discussion” of constitutional law, he was pretty much sold.
“You had to knock her off the pedestal,” Mr. Emanuel said, “and nobody did.”
"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," she said in a 2001 speech."
"Where the statement gets her into trouble is that many people would like to believe that justice is blind, thinking about that famous sculpture in which the figure of Justice is blindfolded while holding the scales in her hand. Most of us, I think, would wish that those who judge our rights are doing so impartially, not nursing any historic or ethnic grievances against those whose rights are hanging in the balance.
If all Judge Sotomayor meant to imply is that her life experience has made her sensitive to the effects that the law has on other people's lives, we can all rest easy. If what she meant to imply is that she views the world through lenses tinted by her history, then the statement is worrisome." - Diane Ravitch
The next step in the process is a peer review, as reported in the Washington Times: "Immediately upon her nomination to the Supreme Court this week by President Obama, a peer review of Judge Sotomayor was launched by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.
ABA President H. Thomas Wells Jr. explains that every member of the standing committee will participate in the evaluation. In addition, "hundreds of lawyers, judges and members of the community" who have known Judge Sotomayor professionally will be asked to assess her on three key criteria: integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament.
In addition, two panels of legal scholars from respected law schools, and a third panel of pre-eminent lawyers with Supreme Court and appellate experience "at the highest level," will examine her legal writings for quality, clarity, knowledge of the law and analytical ability.
Finally, Judge Sotomayor herself will be interviewed "at length" by members of the standing committee, who will then evaluate the nominee as either "well-qualified," "qualified" or "not qualified." The peer review is then sent to the Senate, where members will weigh it along with whatever they have compiled."
late night jokes:
"Well, the big story is the Supreme Court. President Obama has found his nominee. She is a Federal appeals judge. Sonia Sotomayor, I think her name is. A Latino woman, how about that? So, you know what that means. Ruth Bader Ginsburg no longer the hot chick on the court." --Jay Leno
"No, if confirmed, Sotomayor would be the country's first Hispanic judge. In fact, her first order of business, deporting Lou Dobbs." --Jay Leno
"Actually, the Republicans were a little disappointed. When they heard Obama said he might appoint a minority, they went, 'Oh, great, a Republican!'" --Jay Leno
"Of course they're still waiting to see where Judge Sotomayor stands on a lot of the important issues. You know, are Heidi and Spencer really married? You know, who's Jennifer Aniston dating now, huh? Should Adam Lambert have won 'American Idol'? There's so many issues that concern the American people." --Jay Leno
"Judge Sotomayor said she seemed overwhelmed today, and she said it really won't sink in until she hears Rush Limbaugh say he hopes she fails." --Jay Leno
"Well, over the weekend you know, there was some more back and forth between former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Rush Limbaugh. It's getting nasty. I don't know, General Powell versus Rush Limbaugh. You know, unless it's a pie eating contest, I gotta go with Powell, okay?" --Jay Leno
"North Korea tested another nuclear bomb. The fear is that North Korea will sell this nuclear weapon to some unstable, volatile world leader, you know, like Dick Cheney." --Jay Leno
"Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over in China right now. Her office says the speaker will not be bringing up human rights abuses to the Chinese. She said that she's going to try to focus on common ground with China, like the fact that they both call the CIA liars." --Jay Leno
"Actually, John Kerry is over there with Nancy Pelosi right now. This is part of the Democrats' new plan to put all the people who say the wrong things in one place, you know? In fact, Joe Biden flying in as we speak." --Jay Leno
"Well, the big story here in California -- California Supreme Court today upheld Proposition 8. That's the ban on gay marriage. They upheld the ban, which is bad news, unless you're a gay guy that doesn't want to get married, you see. Now you can go, 'Bob, the courts have spoken.'" --Jay Leno
"The economy's in bad shape. In fact, the economy is so bad, Gov. Schwarzenegger had to take a second job narrating 'Hooked on Phonics' CDs." --Jay Leno
"As you know, Governor Schwarzenegger, our guest here tonight. Actually, he's not here as a guest. He's here to pass the hat. 'Da state is broke. Give generously here. Yah, we need da money here to help.'" --Jay Leno
"Well, a new study has found that having a cat makes you 40% less likely to die of a heart attack. Not that the cat could care less either way, really." --Jay Leno
"History was made today when President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first female Hispanic justice to serve in the U.S. Supreme court. Obama said this should help keep the court from leaning too far to the white." --Jimmy Fallon
"There's a lot of local pride in Obama's pick because Sonia Sotomayor grew up in the Bronx. Yeah, when reached for comment, she said, 'Don't be fooled by the robes that I got, I'm still, I'm still Sonia from the block.'" --Jimmy Fallon
"The California Supreme Court today upheld Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage, but that's not all. The court also upheld Prop 9, which allows metrosexuals to continue using too much bronzer." --Jimmy Fallon
"Larry King said the one person he would most like to interview is Osama bin Laden. Not because bin Laden's so fascinating, just because they both lived in caves." --Jimmy Fallon