Here we have the very essence, the core if you will, of right wing objections to Judge Sotomayor’s nomination. I give you the intellectual stylings and logical superiority of Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton:
David Shuster: "What evidence do you have that she would put her feelings and politics above the rule of law?"
Tom Fitton: "Because President Obama chose her."
She was nominated by a Democratic President. Ergo, she must be unacceptable without any factual foundation as to why.
It isn’t as though this is a shocker, given that GOP Senators fired off a letter to President Obama a while back demanding that his judicial appointments be to their conservative liking or else:
[GOP Senators] insisted that Mr. Obama begin by appointing holdover Bush nominees who were never confirmed by the Senate. There is no need to do so, and Mr. Obama should not.
The Republican senators are also demanding veto rights over nominees from their states….
It is particularly strange to see Senate Republicans raising the specter of filibustering nominees. When Mr. Bush was doing the nominating, Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah and a former Judiciary Committee chairman, warned Democrats that filibusters “mired the judicial-confirmation process in a political and constitutional crisis that undermines democracy, the judiciary, the Senate, and the Constitution.”
Do as they say at the moment, not as they used to say you should do at the top of their lungs because it no longer applies to them. So there.
Confusing? It’s meant to be.
When I was a young lawyer, a highly respected judge took me aside and gave me a bit of advice that I never forgot: always over-prepare, that way you know more than anyone else in the room when the tough questions come flying from the bench; know your opposing counsel and your judge — their strengths, their weaknesses, and their blind spots — so you can work around them; and never ever back down…unless you are about to piss off the judge, in which case thank the judge, shut your mouth and sit down fast.
How does this apply to the right wing’s objections to Sotomayor?
When you review her opinions — and there are a lot — you get a feel for her as a legal technician, narrowly crafting her writing to fit the facts and the law under the individual circumstances of the case at bar in so many of these opinions. This is not a judge who tends to legislate broadly from the bench.
In other words, on the merits, it will be a very difficult argument for the right wing to make any substantive case against Sotomayor.
So the GOP is trying to work around the weak spot, which is that Senate Democrats tend to fold in a slight breeze. The White House had better be prepared to force some spine stiffening, because a GOP hot air breeze is coming whether they like it or not.
As a former Yale Law classmate said Sotomayor’s "tough to pigeonhole." Far more "rule of law" than political bench activist, from all I’ve read thus far. SCOTUSblog’s read appears to be the same: see their part I, part II, part III, part IV, and and civil appellate opinions. (Great stuff here, btw.)
Which means we’ll be dealing with the obscure, the absurd and the illogical over the next few days from the right wing. Oh. Joy.