Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Math is hard

Oh my goodness. I am stunned, actually, at how much traction the whole "she's been reversed 60% of the time" notion has gotten. Oh my goodness! The sky is falling! She's the worst judge ever! The US Supreme Court has reversed her 60% of the time!!! Has any Supreme Court nominee in history been this incompetent?! This wrong?! This god-awful terrible at being a judge?!?! It's all over the t.v.s and the internets. It's the funniest thing I've ever heard, seen, and read. The word of the day is absurd. This reversal rate crap is absurd.

Please tell me that you have all heard or read why this is such nonsense (or can figure it out for yourselves). The 60% is 3 out of 5. The US Supreme Court has reversed her written opinions in 3 out of 5 cases. Well, that sure does sound bad. Boy, she's written 5 opinions in 11 years and she's gotten 3 of 'em wrong! And what sort of a slacker judge only issues 5 written opinions in 11 years?! Oh, wait. She's issued about 380 written opinions in 11 years. Hmm. And the Supremes have reversed her only 3 times? See how different that sounds? That makes her sound downright brilliant. She gets it right 99% of the time!

Basically, the US Supreme Court takes so very few cases (about 80 a year out of the thousands and thousands of cases handled by the federal circuit courts), the results of those 80 cases are not statistically significant. Even if they were, the court reverses 75% of the cases it does take, so Sotomayor is a little above average. As a federal appellate judge, Justice Alito was reversed 100% of the time. He was 2 for 2. (Oy, how did that idiot ever get confirmed to the high court?!)

Maybe the anti-Sotomayorians should have done just a wee bit of research (and basic math) before making this the talking point of the day. It just makes it so easy for us leftists to mock.

4 comments:

Moxie said...

You mean you actually are paying attention to what those blowhards say? I have to admit that their "commentary" and "political insight" is nothing but white noise to me.

I mean, really, no one could possibly take their criticisim seriously as we all know that it would not have mattered WHO Obama nominated because they'd be against the nominee whoever it was simply because it was Obama who did the nominating.

The bottom line to me is this: all this crap on TV and the internet is just that, crap. It is a manufactured debate for the right wing to win points with it's base.

The reality is she will be confirmed because, while Rush can make all the crazy arguments against her nomination that he wants, a majority of Senators tasked with voting on her nomination can't seriously object to such a qualified candidate without losing whatever shred of credibility they have left.

S said...

I know it's a waste of time, but once I started seeing that mentioned, I couldn't help but notice how often it was being repeated. I have a hard time letting that kind of thing go without response.

And, your other paragraphs are the basic premise of the next blog post I'm thinking about writing! I'm getting quite tired of the partisan "we must oppose whoever the other side appoints". The bottom line is the president gets to pick and I think the Senate confirmation should go through in most cases because most presidents don't pick unqualified idiots.

There have been 3 in the last 25 years whose confirmations I would actually have opposed on qualifications. One of those withdrew long before getting to a vote. The other two reached votes. I leave it to you all to figure out who I mean.

mikeb302000 said...

Sometimes the spin they put on things is so transparent and obvious that it backfires and makes them look stupid.

Great post. I'm anxious to learn how she is on guns and capital punishment.

S said...

As for guns, like the rest of the 2nd circuit, she followed very old US Supreme Court precedent to say that the 2nd Amendment wasn't incorporated to the states. The pro-gun folks will think this means she's anti-gun, but it just means she followed the established law she was required to follow. Beyond that, I don't know.

I haven't seen anything about her rulings on death penalty cases. Please let me know if you find anything.

 
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