UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT : LAW: COURTS: SUPREME COURT: Little for Liberals in Confirmation Hearings

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UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT : LAW: COURTS: SUPREME COURT: Little for Liberals in Confirmation Hearings

David P. Dillard
Administrator


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UNITED STATES: GOVERNMENT :
LAW: COURTS: SUPREME COURT:
Little for Liberals in Confirmation Hearings



Little for Liberals in Confirmation Hearings
By Amy Goldstein and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 19, 2009
New York Times
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/
story/2009/07/18/ST2009071802313.html>


A shorter URL for the above link:


<http://tinyurl.com/mkkdex>


Sotomayor's inscrutability last week has raised fundamental questions:
about the Obama administration's approach to future nominations, the
direction of the court, the way Senate Democrats are using the benefits of
their majority and the influence of the American left.

At the heart of those questions is another one, which has ignited a debate
among legal scholars, advocates and members of Congress. Did the hearings
reveal a true absence of liberal ideas in the 55-year-old judge President
Obama chose to fill his first Supreme Court vacancy? Or did they reflect
sheer political pragmatism by someone, coached by White House staff
members and following the model of other recent nominees, seeking to
maximize support by avoiding controversy?

Either way, Sotomayor's reticence, if not her nomination, has disappointed
legal thinkers on the left. The hearings "did serious damage to the cause
of progressive thought in constitutional law," said Geoffrey R. Stone, a
University of Chicago Law School professor who was dean there when Obama
joined its faculty. Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional
Accountability Center, a liberal think tank, called them "a totally missed
opportunity. . . . The progressive legal project hit rock bottom [last]
week."

Little mystery remains as to whether Sotomayor will join the Supreme
Court. Several Republican senators have said they will vote with Democrats
to endorse her when the chamber decides on her confirmation in early
August.


<snip>


She has a record of rulings that even Senate Republicans said fits within
the judicial mainstream.

At her hearings, she distanced herself from public remarks off the bench
that, according to the GOP, suggest a gender and ethnic bias. She
distanced herself, too, from Obama's view that a judge should have empathy
-- an idea floating within liberal legal thought. And she concealed her
views on issues important to the left, including abortion, gun control and
same-sex marriage, as well as the civil rights matters Cardin raised.




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The complete article may be read at the URL above.



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