Sotomayor to be the Nominee.



UPDATE. More on Sotomayor:

Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog predicts what we can expect in the leadup to the confirmation hearings. He also has a handy round-up of her apellate opinions.

Ambinder details how Sotomayor, who had been at the top of the president’s list from jump, ended up being the pick. He also gets his hands on a copy of the White House’s plans to pitch the nominee to the public. The right is already ramping up its response, which is basically their “unqualified minority” boilerplate.

The rarely satisfied Greenwald is…satisfied. (Greenwald was one of Sotomayor’s most vocal defenders after Jeff Rosen’s sloppy, unprofessional hit-job on her a few weeks back.) He also points to Charles Krauthammer on Fox News, who said Sotomayor’s “concern for certain ethnicities override justice.” Oy.

Nate points out that Sotomayor was easily confirmed in 1998 for her current judicial post by the Senate, and the senators who are still serving from that time voted to confirm her 35-11.

Huckabee calls her ‘Maria.

Oh, and she’s a diabetic.

UPDATE 2. Canavan has more helpful links.


27 thoughts on “Sotomayor to be the Nominee.

  1. quadmoniker May 26, 2009 at 8:25 am Reply

    I’m really happy it’s Sotomayor, I’m just worried about the idiocy we’ll have to put up with until her confirmation.

  2. Literanista May 26, 2009 at 10:18 am Reply

    Feeling as teary-eyed and proud as I did the day Obama was sworn in. This is a major step not only for Hispanics but for Latinas and Puerto Ricans.

    • shani-o May 26, 2009 at 5:46 pm Reply

      And women of color, as a whole, I think.

      • ladyfresshh May 26, 2009 at 11:30 pm Reply

        and single mommies =)

  3. Max Reddick May 26, 2009 at 11:12 am Reply

    I’m glad it’s Sotomayor. But in the same instance, I hate that she’ll have to go through the foolishness that is bound to ensue.

  4. bitchphd May 26, 2009 at 11:46 am Reply

    I’m surprised at how moved I am that a Puerto Rican woman has been nominated to the Supreme Court, especially since people have been talking about it for ages. But now that it’s happened, just, wow.

    I intend to read up on her this afternoon, but am letting myself just really enjoy the significance of the moment for now.

  5. ladyfresshh May 26, 2009 at 2:38 pm Reply

    oh boy! (she reminds me of my mommy)

    and now

    after reading some of her decisions…

    oh boy …this is going to be interesting

  6. Winslowalrob May 26, 2009 at 2:52 pm Reply

    Arghh, why did it have to be a Puerto Rican? A Dominican, on the other hand, woulda been butta!

    • bitchphd May 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Oh man, I *knew* the PR v. Dominical thing was gonna come up sooner or later….

      • Winslowalrob May 26, 2009 at 7:21 pm Reply

        I LOATHED Puerto Ricans back in my senior year of college, but when I was in grad skool and I met some good ones 🙂 I no longer felt like sinking the island. Dominicans have always been cool to me though, so when we get a Dominican SCOTUS then I’ll be straight!

  7. Scott May 27, 2009 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Was it any surprise that Sotomayor got the nod? She is a perfect pick for Obama because she is a woman and a Hispanic, a twofer if you will. I wonder if in the future, her seat will now be claimed as the female Hispanic seat on the Court? Not to mention she seems to be a proponent of the legal school of identity politics with her 2001 speech saying “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.” Is this the kind of Justice this country needs?

    • Winslowalrob May 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm Reply

      Scott, she is NOT in support of identity politics, read the whole speech, its good. She is smart and complicated as hell, and her ideas on the interaction between identity and judicial policy cannot be summed up in one sentence.

      • G.D. May 28, 2009 at 1:00 am Reply

        Scott goes to various black blogs and posts the same shit, verbatim, at each spot.

        please don’t feed the trolls, guys.

        • ladyfresshh May 28, 2009 at 6:19 am Reply

          i actually didn’t realize
          good to know

        • Winslowalrob May 28, 2009 at 7:19 am Reply

          Wait, this is a BLACK blog? Hide the white women!

        • Scott May 28, 2009 at 8:29 am Reply

          Why so touchy G.D.? I previously said that Obama seemed determined to pick a woman rather than the best candidate out there and he did. Or, is the quote from Sotomayor inaccurate? I agree with Quad that your ethnicity and upbringing do inform your view of the world but what Sotomayor said is quite different. She stated that she believed that presumably she would reach a better decision because of her race and gender. If a white male said the same thing, Uncle Jesse and Uncle AL would be out in the streets and you know it. However in this PC word we live in, Sotomayor gets a pass. I guess it is easier for you to call me a troll than admit that I might be right.

          • G.D. May 28, 2009 at 10:03 am Reply

            Nope. What you actually said was that Obama was only considering women of color (here’s the link: to which I pointed out that most of the people on the list were were white, and you admitted you didn’t know that. So you were clearly just repeating something you’d heard and talking out of your ass. Nice try on the revisionism, tho.

            (You also typed an identical comment here: Do better.)

            It’s also pretty clear that you think that it’s impossible that a woman of color isn’t capable of actually being the best or one of the best nominees. I’ll quote Adam Serwer here:

            …how many Ivy League degrees does a person of color have to have before they’re as good as a white person, and no longer reducible to an “affirmative action hire”? Clearly it’s more than two, since Sotomayor and the president each have two and they’ve faced similar criticisms. Is it three? Four? How exactly do we score academic prizes and such? Do they count?

            Here’s Sotomayor’s quote in context, for anyone who cares:

            In our private conversations, Judge Cedarbaum has pointed out to me that seminal decisions in race and sex discrimination cases have come from Supreme Courts composed exclusively of white males. I agree that this is significant but I also choose to emphasize that the people who argued those cases before the Supreme Court which changed the legal landscape ultimately were largely people of color and women. I recall that Justice Thurgood Marshall, Judge Connie Baker Motley, the first black woman appointed to the federal bench, and others of the NAACP argued Brown v. Board of Education. Similarly, Justice Ginsburg, with other women attorneys, was instrumental in advocating and convincing the Court that equality of work required equality in terms and conditions of employment.

            Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. …I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. 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. [emphasis mine]

            Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.

            However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.

            I also hope that by raising the question today of what difference having more Latinos and Latinas on the bench will make will start your own evaluation. For people of color and women lawyers, what does and should being an ethnic minority mean in your lawyering? For men lawyers, what areas in your experiences and attitudes do you need to work on to make you capable of reaching those great moments of enlightenment which other men in different circumstances have been able to reach. For all of us, how do change the facts that in every task force study of gender and race bias in the courts, women and people of color, lawyers and judges alike, report in significantly higher percentages than white men that their gender and race has shaped their careers, from hiring, retention to promotion and that a statistically significant number of women and minority lawyers and judges, both alike, have experienced bias in the courtroom?

            Each day on the bench I learn something new about the judicial process and about being a professional Latina woman in a world that sometimes looks at me with suspicion. I am reminded each day that I render decisions that affect people concretely and that I owe them constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives and ensuring that to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that I reevaluate them and change as circumstances and cases before me requires. I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences but I accept my limitations. I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.[emphasis mine]

            She was addressing the fact that women judges were more likely to rule in favor of women in sex discrimination cases; she was saying that she would hope that a woman who knew what it was like to be discriminated against would be able to take that into account when making their ruling unlike a male who would not have had that experience.

            She also goes onto say that those experiences still have to be grappled with and checked in the pursuit of impartiality, which is not always possible but still worth striving for.

            Like I said, Scott will pop up on any number of blogs and type out the same response, and holler about the PC police when he’s called out on his bullshit. I know, I know, I’m feeding the trolls.

            Sorry, y’all. It won’t happen again.

    • shani-o May 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm Reply

      Scott, your predictability is a comfort in this topsy-turvy world of ours. 🙂

      Oddly enough, SCOTUS seats were claimed by white males for…um…200 years? But there’s no identity politics going on there.

      • Winslowalrob May 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm Reply

        I thought all white men were neutral, objective, and made great judges! Unlike emotional women and hot-blooded latinos…

      • quadmoniker May 27, 2009 at 7:35 pm Reply

        Yeah, I think that’s what many people don’t understand. Being white and male informs a judge’s decisions, too.

        • Winslowalrob May 27, 2009 at 8:39 pm Reply

          But not necessarily in the overdeterministic way that a lot of blogs have been talking about… I dunno, I am VERY uncomfortable with this train of thought (and Sotomayor’s speech was a great meditation on the whole thing).

          • shani-o May 27, 2009 at 9:04 pm Reply

            Elaborate, please. Do you mean the assumption that a white male’s background will automatically lead him to make decisions that aren’t in the interest of people who aren’t white males? If so, I’m uncomfortable with that too.

            But the assumption that everyone who isn’t a white male is an ‘other’ and is therefore driven by their otherness to upend normalcy and tradition chafes me more.

            • Winslowalrob May 28, 2009 at 6:46 am Reply

              You are totally right in your chafing (what an awkward-ass sentance). Its bogus ass bullcrap that should be called out. I just do not want people thinking Sotomayor is going all ‘personal is political’, and this is a point I am making within the confines of a very small blogging community. To the outside world I am fanatically tearing down the smear attack against her.

              • bitchphd May 28, 2009 at 11:04 am Reply

                I just do not want people thinking Sotomayor is going all ‘personal is political’

                Yeah, that’s the problem with talking about this stuff at all–it virtually only comes up when we’re discussing women and/or people of color. Even the pro-diversity arguments are based on a world in which being white, male, and middle- to upper-middle class is the default (because it sorta is).

                That said, the recent New Yorker piece about Roberts really deserves to be read up against the discussion of Sotomayor’s subject position (I can’t believe I just used that phrase). It’s an awesome essay about the subject position of a status-quo upholding upper-middle class white male.

                • Winslowalrob May 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm Reply

                  BPD, did you just drop some FOUCAULT? Sweet sassy molassy!

                  As per your larger point about this discussion only coming up with women and nonwhites, I agree completely. Yet some of the options it leaves us with in terms of constructin our own discourse is either to question the default (fine), argue that there is no objectivity in any candidate (ok, I am a little nervous at this point), and argue that objectivity is not an aspiration worth having (I jump the train at precisely this point). Still, a minor price to pay for having people realize ‘holy crap, Santomayor is just as qualified as anyone else’.

                  • bitchphd May 28, 2009 at 6:16 pm Reply

                    Did I channel Foucault? Probably, I read a lot of his stuff. But I no longer remember the sources of any of my jargon. Helas.

                    I’m okay saying that no individual is objective, but like you I don’t think that means that we shouldn’t strive for fairness. (A word I prefer to “objectivity.”)

                • ladyfresshh May 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm Reply

                  thanks for the reference

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