Monday, July 13, 2009

Confirmed: this process is fixed

Senator Jeff Sessions is going to "try" to give Sonia Sotomayor a fair hearing in her confirmation process. Well, that's big of him. That's your job, Senator. To give the president's nominees a fair hearing. To screen them, meet with them, ask them questions, hear their answers, all BEFORE you decide to reject the nominee. You wouldn't want to pre-judge the issue based on your own political biases (you know, that she's the nominee of a Democratic president while you're a Republican) instead of waiting to hear all the evidence and judge the case on its merits.

I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that Sen. Sessions (and probably a few others) aren't all that interested in hearing the real evidence of Judge Sotomayor's record. They just want to assert as loudly as possible that she is just another lawless, irresponsible, activist liberal judge who doesn't follow the Constitution, but follows her heart to come up with whatever result feels right to her in any given case. If they succeed in saying it enough, the evidence of her actual judicial record be damned, then they can automatically discredit any ruling of hers they might disagree with someday.

3 comments:

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Of course the process is fixed. Which is why she'll be confirmed. Bear in mind, the Supreme Court handles two kinds of cases: cases involving challenges to abortion rights, and all the others. The confirmation hearing is about only one of those two kinds of cases.

Every Senator in the committee will give a speech announcing their opinion about abortion. Judge Sotomayor, the only one whose opinion counts for anything, will refuse to offer her opinion. Then the vote will go down along more or less partisan lines. Republicans are in the minority. The result is foreordained and the hearings merely political theater.

BellsforStacy said...

But he isn't the first to make this political. In years past, Democrats filibustered all judicial nominees offered by President Bush, refusing to bring them to the floor for an up or down vote, and the Senate was more diverse then, there would have been a chance some of them would have been voted down. Right now there's no chance of that happening, regardless of her qualifications, she will be confirmed.

Not saying that's a good or a bad thing. But her confirmation is a forgone conclusion.

S said...

She won't be confirmed
"regardless" of her qualifications; she will be confirmed because of them. No one can seriously argue that she isn't qualified. If they could, her confirmation process would be much more interesting, a la Thomas'. But where the judge's qualifications can't really be questioned, the confirmation process is just for show because the Senators all know it wouldn't really be proper to reject the president's nominee just because they worry they would disagree with her rulings.

As TL said, the confirmation process in the Senate is all political theater, like Senator Sessions graciously stating his intention to "try" to give her a fair hearing, implying that she might not make it possible for him to follow through.

 
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