Sotomayorâ€™s Newfound Fidelity
Monday, July 13, 2009 at 05:30 PM EDT
During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sonia Sotomayor seemingly dispelled many of her critics with her statement regarding her judicial philosophy:
For moderates and conservatives, these are clearly welcome words, especially after the media firestorm surrounding â€œempathyâ€ and â€œwise Latinaâ€ women. Itâ€™s clear, however, that statements at Senate Judiciary Committee hearings are not particularly indicative of future performance on the Court. Justice Alito comes readily to mind:
However, when an attorney reaches the highest court in the land, they have the opportunity (due to life tenure and strenuous impeachment requirements) to operate autonomously and in accordance with their own views. Here is Alitoâ€™s closing remark on Ricci, the cause of most of the controversy surrounding Sotomayor; a case based on affirmative action:
The point is that a political game is played during the confirmation process. Conservatives try to appear more liberal, and liberals try to appear more conservative.
Having looked at Sotomayerâ€™s judicial history, her opinions consistently favor minorities in both affirmative action and discrimination cases, and she seems inclined to often defer to the most disadvantaged party. To suit her purposes now, however, she will paint a fair and balanced picture â€“ but everyone should know that judicial nominees from both sides are guilty of this. Indeed, this is all simply part of the elaborate dance.
This article originally appeared on The Sad Elephant.