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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Obligatory Sotomayor Post

Memeorandum has a linkfest on day two of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings and opinions are flying around the blogosphere fast and furiously.

A few of the pieces though caught my eye.

Fact checking Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R)is the AP, via Breitbart.

They determine that on Sotomayor's most controversial statement which has been shown constantly since she became Obama's nominee, Democratic Senator Leahy deliberately misquoted Sotomayor to downplay the issue that has made her now infamous statement so controversial causing concerns of reverse racism.

The statement was "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."

Leahy's version was "would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would reach wise decisions."

Fact check determined that Leahy "did some creative rewriting of history. And he put quote marks around it. "

Sotomayor said her words have been misunderstood. She said she intended to tell students that their experiences would enrich the legal system. But she softened her language Tuesday, say that no ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in judging.

The second thing the AP fact checked was Senator Jeff Sessions comments which have been slammed by the liberal blogosphere and they determined his statements were correct and factual.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-ALA. SAID: "You previously have said, 'the court of appeals is where policy is made.' And you said on another occasion, 'The law that lawyers practice and judge declare is not a definitive—capital L—Law that many would like to think exists.'"

THE FACTS: Sessions quoted Sotomayor correctly in both cases.

In a 2005 Duke University panel discussion, a student asked whether it's better to clerk for a district judge or an appellate judge. She told the student that, if pursuing a career in public-interest law, then appeals court experience is important.

"The court of appeals is where policy is made," she said, adding moments later, "I know this is on tape, and I should never say that, because we don't make law. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm—you know."

Getting all of this out there is good, important even, so the public knows the type of nominees that Barack Obama is choosing for the Supreme Court, but the fact is Sotomayor is going to be confirmed, I don't think there is any doubt about that, unless she royally screws up.

Wapo's Post Partisan accuses Sotomayor of backpedaling on some of her previous issues:

A fair reading of Sotomayor's record on the federal trial and appellate courts clearly shows that that is not what she's done thus far. But Sessions' questions were aimed at understanding how she would implement this judicial philosophy if she's confirmed to the Supreme Court, where she would be far less restrained by precedent. I found it hard to believe that Sotomayor has now come to the realization that her words left a wrong impression. After all, she delivered similar lines in roughly half a dozen speeches throughout the years. Her explanation came across as dodgy at best and disingenuous at worst.

The New York Times headlines with "Sotomayor Leaves Passion Behind in Her Testimony."