Who said the following: “Today’s senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much ‘free stuff’ as the political system will permit them to extract”? Answer: Justice Janice Rogers Brown, the black, conservative judge Bush passed-up on nominating for the SCOTUS. This is just one of Brown’s many just utterances. At the time, President Bush’s lickspittles refused to concede that he too considered Rogers Brown “outside the mainstream,” to use the Democrats’ line.
By now you’ve heard that the president intends to nominate Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court. The Sotomayor quotes making the rounds on the blogs are:
“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. … Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”
Janice Brown quotes … Thucydides, F.A. Hayek, and Burke. That’s so white male, so yesterday; so wrong.
Well, King Obama did say he was looking for “empathy” in a nominee, also “code for injecting liberal ideology into the law.”
Race hustler the Rev. Al Sharpton “called the choice ‘prudent’ and “groundbreaking.’”
Just in case anyone’s taken in by the Republicans’ new-found fidelity for the Constitution, Liz Cheney babbled on FoxNew about the wonders of the shattered glass ceiling, adding a couple of Constituional caveats with respect to the impending shoo-in. It’s hard to keep up with these shifty neocons.
Update I:In “The Case Against Sotomayor,” Jeffrey Rosen, legal affairs editor at The New Republic, confirms, indirectly, what we’ve all known all along: 1) If a candidate is a minority with degrees from the Ivy League, then he or she is invariably a mediocrity. 2) Obama, who’s married to a woman of this class, is also wedded to entrenching her ilk everywhere. 3) Don’t forget that Bush’s goofy Harriet Myers had neither the required education, experience, or intellect.
“The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was ‘not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench,’ as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. ‘She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren’t penetrating and don’t get to the heart of the issue.’ (During one argument, an elderly judicial colleague is said to have leaned over and said, ‘Will you please stop talking and let them talk?’) Second Circuit judge Jose Cabranes, who would later become her colleague, put this point more charitably in a 1995 interview with The New York Times: ‘She is not intimidated or overwhelmed by the eminence or power or prestige of any party, or indeed of the media.’
Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees. It’s customary, for example, for Second Circuit judges to circulate their draft opinions to invite a robust exchange of views. Sotomayor, several former clerks complained, rankled her colleagues by sending long memos that didn’t distinguish between substantive and trivial points, with petty editing suggestions–fixing typos and the like–rather than focusing on the core analytical issues.
Some former clerks and prosecutors expressed concerns about her command of technical legal details: In 2001, for example, a conservative colleague, Ralph Winter, included an unusual footnote in a case suggesting that an earlier opinion by Sotomayor might have inadvertently misstated the law in a way that misled litigants. The most controversial case in which Sotomayor participated is Ricci v. DeStefano, the explosive case involving affirmative action in the New Haven fire department, which is now being reviewed by the Supreme Court. A panel including Sotomayor ruled against the firefighters in a perfunctory unpublished opinion. This provoked Judge Cabranes, a fellow Clinton appointee, to object to the panel’s opinion that contained ‘no reference whatsoever to the constitutional issues at the core of this case.’ (The extent of Sotomayor’s involvement in the opinion itself is not publicly known.)”
Update II (May 27): I find the media’s judicial jiu-jitsu absolutely unconscionable. I think they don’t know what they do, so corrupt are they. Instead of reporting the record of Sotomayor, good and bad, the menagerie of morons that is the American media has taken on the construction of a meta-argument against the GOP’s yet-to-be-made case against Sotomayor, if you get my drift. This time, the media morons are doing Obama’s bidding in the most subtle of ways.
This is the argument issuing equally from MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell as well as from the lowliest Democratic strategist: Republicans cannot oppose Sotomayor without risking the ire of Hispanics, which they need to court in order to avoid death by demographics. In one fell swoop, and contrary to the mandate of journalism, the Obama media has established two, allegedly incontrovertible truths:
1) That the GOP’s appeal is altered by Hispanics. As far as I can tell, the GOP has never enjoyed even the tentative support of Hispanics.
2) The GOP needs Hispanics to stay alive. That’s like saying that an anaerobic organism needs oxygen to survive. Sure, he can handle oxygen; but does he need it to live? Hardly.
Watch and see: now the media, always slightly smarter than the Republicans, will have the latter twisting like Cirque du Soleil contortionists, so as to, 1) appease and court Hispanics. 2) Do the diversity dance. 3) Water-down a substantive critique of Sotomayor.
Update III (May 28): As someone who has written on anti-trust, and understands the issues, I find this article highlighting Justice Brown’s misapprehension of one such case, smarmy in the extreme — and typical of the apples oranges error, to say nothing of the fanaticism found in so many libertarian quarters. From the fact that Brown does not adhere to my own purist understanding of anti-trust legislation — an understanding that is quite radical—I must conclude that she is an enemy of property? Are you nuts?!
This is a childish tantrum aimed, not at reasoned argument, but at displaying the writer’s rad credentials. It is, moreover, a disingenuous diatribe because intellectually dishonest; it ignores that there is a debate about anti-trust among freedom-loving intellectuals.
The same case can be made with respect to a judge who enforces patent and copyright law. I vehemently disagree with this branch of the law, but for me to pretend there is not a vigorous debate among libertarians about copyright and patent law would be worse than intellectually dishonest; it would be shameful.
Ultimately, if you can’t distinguish a patriot like Brown from a Sotomayor, well then, you deserve to labor under a statist, old succubus such as Sotomayor — literally.
I’m trying to keep it real, here.