The opportunity on Sotomayor

posted at 12:05 pm on May 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

In all the commentary on Barack Obama’s appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the most fractious concerned how the Republicans should react to it.  Some demanded an all-out war to block Sotomayor’s confirmation; others advised surrender in order to appease Hispanic voters.  Both miss the target this appointment provides, which is not really Sotomayor herself, but the man who made the appointment.

Unless the GOP gets Democrats to cross the aisle on a filibuster, they have no chance of blocking Sotomayor from replacing David Souter.  She doesn’t present that kind of extraordinary problem, though; she has clear qualifications to reach the Supreme Court.  She is not, as Karl Rove suggested yesterday, a Harriet Miers for Obama, as Miers never had a federal bench appointment, let alone 11 years on an appellate circuit.  However, Rove isn’t entirely incorrect either, as a look at her record makes it very difficult to demonstrate that she was the most qualified option for the court, or even remarkably qualified.  As Damon Root points out in Reason, her record is quite worrisome not just for bias, but also for competence:

Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Ricci v. Destefano, which centered on charges of reverse discrimination at the New Haven, Connecticut fire department. In 2003 the department administered a test to fill 15 captain and lieutenant vacancies, but when the results came in, no African Americans made the cut (14 whites and one Hispanic earned the top scores). In response to local pressure, the city then refused to certify the results and decided instead to leave the positions open until a suitable new test was developed. This prompted a lawsuit from a group of white firefighters who had been denied promotion, including lead plaintiff Frank Ricci, a 34-year-old dyslexic who says he spent months preparing for the now-voided test by listening to audiotape study guides as he drove to work.

Ricci’s suit was initially thrown out at the district court level, prompting an appeal to the Second Circuit. At that point Sotomayor joined in an unsigned opinion embracing the district court’s analysis without offering any analysis of its own. This prompted fellow Second Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes—a liberal Democrat appointed by President Bill Clinton—to issue a stern rebuke. “The opinion contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case,” Cabranes wrote. “This perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal.”

It’s an important point. Ricci gets at the very heart of the debate over whether the Constitution should be interpreted as a colorblind document. As the liberal legal commenter Emily Bazelon noted at Slate, “If Sotomayor and her colleagues were trying to shield the case from Supreme Court review, her punt had the opposite effect. It drew Cabranes’ ire, and he hung a big red flag on the case, which the Supreme Court grabbed.” Given that the Court is likely to side with Ricci and his fellow plaintiffs, Sotomayor’s silent endorsement of New Haven’s reverse discrimination is certain to come back to haunt her during her confirmation hearings.

This is the big risk that Obama took in selecting Sotomayor, and it prompts some questions as to why he took it.  The current court, including Souter, has already heard oral arguments on this case.  They should rule on this before the end of their current session, which will come next month.  If they overturn Sotomayor, that will emphasize both her incorrect decision on the merits as well as a lack of intellectual curiosity, an issue raised by her colleague Judge Cabranes.

A reversal on Ricci will raise the issue of the several reversals Sotomayor has received over her 11 years on the 2nd Circuit (the Washington Times says she bats .400 at the Supreme Court — not a confidence builder).  The Supreme Court has reversed her at least four times already, at least one of those a unanimous 8-0 reversal, which makes her look either more liberal than anyone currently on the court or less competent.  One of the times the court upheld Sotomayor, the majority scolded her for misrepresenting the statute in her opinion.

With this potential Sword of Damocles hanging over Sotomayor, why did Obama pick her?  She’s qualified, but that can presumably be said of any of the judges on the appellate courts.  It’s a bare-minimum argument, one that doesn’t answer why she specifically got chosen.  The answer is pretty obvious; Obama wanted a woman and a Hispanic, and Sotomayor’s allies lobbied hard enough to put her on top of the list.  Obama cared much less about judicial excellence than he did about appeasing demographic blocs.

The Republicans have an opportunity with Sotomayor that doesn’t involve knocking her off the court.  They have an opportunity to use the hearings to show Sotomayor as a routine appellate jurist with a spotty record who got elevated to this position as an act of political hackery by a President who couldn’t care less about his responsibilities to find the best and brightest for the job.  Like many of Obama’s other appointments, it demonstrates a lack of executive talent and intellectual curiosity on his part.  This appointment makes an argument for more Republicans in the Senate after the midterms, if for no other reason than to force Obama to start putting a little effort in making his nominations.

Update: Commenter Sesquipedalian notes that the stat on Sotomayor’s reversal rate may not really be all that significant:

Overall, this past term the Supreme Court reversed 75.3 percent of the cases they considered on their merits. The pattern holds true for the 2004 and 2005 terms as well, when the Supremes had overall reversal rates of 76.8 percent and 75.6 percent, respectively.

Perhaps the baseball analogy works better than first thought, eh?  Anyway, I’d still like to know what Alito’s reversal rate was at the SC, and I haven’t seen that yet.  The nature of the reversals, especially the 8-0 smackdown, will probably be more significant than the numbers themselves.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Ha ha charade you are.

kirkill on May 27, 2009 at 12:22 PM

(Giggle.)

You speciesist!! Why do you harbor animosity toward our porcine cousins?!? It must be sheer ignorance and fear of the Other!!

misterpeasea on May 27, 2009 at 1:10 PM

most judges have a high reversal rate, and sotomayor is no different in that respect from any other circuit court judge. for example, the 9th circuit was reversed 84% of the time in 2004 and 89% in 2005.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 1:07 PM

The Ninth Circus is a poor example, as it is widely known as a bastion of legal nuttiness that often dares the USSC to reverse it. The Second Circuit decides mostly business cases that are not terribly controversial.

rockmom on May 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

most judges have a high reversal rate, and sotomayor is no different in that respect from any other circuit court judge. for example, the 9th circuit was reversed 84% of the time in 2004 and 89% in 2005.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Piss poor argument trollboy. The 9th circuit has a high reversal rate because that bench is full of activist whacko’s.

Please try again.

Knucklehead on May 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

most judges have a high reversal rate, and sotomayor is no different in that respect from any other circuit court judge. for example, the 9th circuit was reversed 84% of the time in 2004 and 89% in 2005.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Most judges are not nominated for SCOTUS. What is the average reversal rate for SCOTUS members? Isn’t that more relevant than the reversal rate for the general population of judges?

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

From what I am hearing about this nominee, she is both aggressive and “instructive” in her decent. That should go over well in a room of intellectual equals. I wonder if she will change any minds?

Cindy Munford on May 27, 2009 at 1:13 PM

I don’t know where Miguel Estrada is now, but it would be super-cool for Sen. Sessions to hire him as Counsel to the Committee Republicans for this nomination. Would be fabulous theater to see Estrada sitting behind Sessions during the hearings.

rockmom on May 27, 2009 at 1:14 PM

most judges have a high reversal rate, and sotomayor is no different in that respect from any other circuit court judge. for example, the 9th circuit was reversed 84% of the time in 2004 and 89% in 2005.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Sorry, 9th Circuit (West Coast circuit) isn’t a good basis for comparison. It’s decisions, as you note, are regularly overturned–more so than other circuits. Anyone can look good when compared to such a low standard.

BuckeyeSam on May 27, 2009 at 1:14 PM

So SCOTUS reviews 5 of her cases and reverses 4 of them. The 6th (the New Haven firefighters case) is pending and as I understand it, it doesn’t look good for Sotomayor.

That’s a pretty crummy reversal record, no? Am I missing something?

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 1:03 PM

The Supremes normally take only those cases for review that appear to have merit. As was pointed out elsewhere in this thread, they overturn about 75% of the cases that they do review.
Attacking this is equal to tilting at windmills.

oldernwiser on May 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM

I just found out, Estrada is co-head of the appellate practice at Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher, a leading law firm.

Here’s the American Spectator blog on how a group supported by Sotomayor helped kill Estrada’s nomination to the SC Circuit:

President Obama’s radical new nominee to replace Associate Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, used to serve on the board of LatinoJustice PRLDEF (White House backgrounder), one of the racial grievance groups that helped to sink the judicial nomination of Honduran-born Miguel Estrada in 2003.

Along with groups such as the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), LatinoJustice fought a war of attrition against President George W. Bush’s 2001 nomination of conservative Miguel Estrada, a Honduran-born immigrant, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Democrats in the Senate filibustered the nomination and a weary Estrada withdrew from consideration in 2003.

Today LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit, hailed the nomination of Sotomayor on the basis of her ethno-cultural heritage. “As the second largest and fastest growing population in America, with a large pool of qualified individuals to choose from, it was wholly appropriate for the president to nominate a Hispanic,” the group said in a written statement.

According to the group’s website, it gets some of its funding from George Soros’s Open Society Institute.
A search of philanthropy databases reveals other significant donors to LatinoJustice to be Carnegie Corporation of New York ($1,025,000 since 2000), Ford Foundation ($2,280,000 since 2001), Rockefeller Foundation ($1,275,000 since 2000), and JPMorganChase Foundation ($70,000 since 2001).

Among radical left-wing groups, it has a fairly garden-variety agenda. A captive of identity politics, it pushes for enforced multiculturalism, diversity, bilingual public education, race-based gerrymandering of electoral districts, race-based employment quotas, tenants’ rights, and illegal immigrants’ rights.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF was known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund until last year when it filed Articles of Amendment with New York State to change its name. (See pages 35 to 41 of its IRS Form 990 for the group for Tax Year 2007.)

Sotomayor’s radical group

rockmom on May 27, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Sorry that is the DC Circuit of course. Damn keyboard!

rockmom on May 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

I take issue with the idea of “reverse” discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination and the term “reverse” just screams racism.

NTWR on May 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

The Supremes normally take only those cases for review that appear to have merit. As was pointed out elsewhere in this thread, they overturn about 75% of the cases that they do review.

Yes, I read the posts upthread, but I still don’t see how that changes the argument. If SCOTUS looks for cases that it believes were poorly decided, and Sotomayor’s cases fall more frequently into that pool than those of other judges, how is that not significant?

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Good analysis, Ed. This is exactly the route Republicans should take–ask Sotomayor tough questions during the hearings, why she was reversed so often by the Supreme Court, and would she apply the law fairly in all cases, regardless of the ethnicity of the two sides? She should also be questioned about her statement that she is BETTER qualified to judge as a Latina–how would that help her judge a dispute between two non-Hispanics?
Steve Z on May 27, 2009 at 12:53 PM

With all due respect, this is exactly the wrong way to hit her. Obama is looking to further drive a wedge between the GOP and Hispanic voters. Obama is waving a giant red flag in front of the GOP bull, hoping and BEGGING us to charge at that issue. And if the GOP does attack on this issue, they’ll be waiting with a focus-grouped answer for Sotomayor to give and a phalanx of talking heads ready for deployment to all the MSM outlets to run talking points on how much the Republicans hate Hispanic people.

If you want to bring up the “wise latina” comment, the way to do it is to ask a question like this:

Q: “You mentioned earlier, Judge Sotomayor, that you felt that you hoped a wise latina woman would be able to [blah blah blah]. For one, let me first say that I would welcome an American of hispanic heritage to our Court, and think that’s a great thing for our nation. Could you tell us a little bit about how your heritage will inform your judging?”

Essentially, what you want to do is ask the question in a way that you can’t look bad for asking it, but she can be made to look bad based on her answer. (Obama will have her prepared for a combative question, but will not have her prepared for a friendly question.)

Outlander on May 27, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Defining Obama, not Sotomayor.

Exactly, let it be a referendum on the man.

Speakup on May 27, 2009 at 1:24 PM

The Supremes normally take only those cases for review that appear to have merit. As was pointed out elsewhere in this thread, they overturn about 75% of the cases that they do review. Attacking this is equal to tilting at windmills.
oldernwiser on May 27, 2009 at 1:16 PM

The Supreme Court accepts those cases for review that present questions of great national importance about which there is significant disagreement. If she’s authored six opinions that got taken up on cert, and she got reversed on all of them (including an 8-0 goose-egg), it suggests she’s making the wrong decisions on questions of national importance.

For the reasons you say, it’s weak evidence, but it’s ok because it helps to build a narrative. What we really need to do is grab her reported decisions over the past ten years and scrub them for politically controversial decisions.

Outlander on May 27, 2009 at 1:28 PM

The Ninth Circus is a poor example, as it is widely known as a bastion of legal nuttiness that often dares the USSC to reverse it. The Second Circuit decides mostly business cases that are not terribly controversial.

rockmom on May 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

i’m soo sorry. i used the 9th because it’s the largest circuit and its reversal rate is actually the same as the national average. the 2nd circuit‘s reversal rate in 2005 was 86%. as for sotomayor, she has heard nearly 400 cases of which only six went before the SCOTUS and only three of these have been reversed, not including ricci.

find a better argument.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Yes, I read the posts upthread, but I still don’t see how that changes the argument. If SCOTUS looks for cases that it believes were poorly decided, and Sotomayor’s cases fall more frequently into that pool than those of other judges, how is that not significant?

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 1:23 PM

The point is that out of over 400 cases only 6 were chosen for review. 4 were overturned. That is where the over 60% number is coming from. To attack her on this,when there are other more fruitful areas,would be counter productive.

oldernwiser on May 27, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Jeff Sessions
Orrin G. Hatch
Charles E. Grassley
Jon Kyl
Lindsey Graham
John Cornyn
Tom Coburn

Mark30339 on May 27, 2009 at 12:32 PM

EXACTLY!!! It’s lost! Not one pair among the lot!

sabbott on May 27, 2009 at 1:35 PM

i’m soo sorry. i used the 9th because it’s the largest circuit and its reversal rate is actually the same as the national average. the 2nd circuit’s reversal rate in 2005 was 86%. as for sotomayor, she has heard nearly 400 cases of which only six went before the SCOTUS and only three of these have been reversed, not including ricci.

find a better argument.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 1:31 PM

You aren’t fooling anybody. You can google “circuit court reversals” and find tons of “what the heck is wrong with the 9th circus” articles. None about the other circuits.

Who should we believe, you or our lying eyes?

misterpeasea on May 27, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Defining Obama, not Sotomayor.

Exactly, let it be a referendum on the man.

Speakup on May 27, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Obama is untouchable. You need to slime everyone around him first (even easier to do when they really are slime, like SS). Have we learned nothing from the libs?

LibTired on May 27, 2009 at 1:44 PM

The point is that out of over 400 cases only 6 were chosen for review. 4 were overturned. That is where the over 60% number is coming from.

Yes, I do get that. But how does such a reversal rate stack up among other judges? It would be helpful to know, for comparison purposes, what the reversal rates have been for past successful SCOTUS nominees. What percentage of her future colleagues’ cases were selected for review and overturned by SCOTUS before they themselves were confirmed?

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Listen to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

Then look at Sotomayor.

Dovetail.

This should become the rallying call for the republican party, they need to fight this nomination, it’s tailor-made to contrast the Conservative message against the leftist’s hyper-partisan ideological dogma.

Rebar on May 27, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Her performance appears to be about average. That’s why I’m saying let it go. To mount an attack based on those figures will have the MSM making fools out of the Republicans. 4 cases overturned out of over 400,less than 1%. Republicans will be a laughing stock

oldernwiser on May 27, 2009 at 1:58 PM

There is no way that THIS will take the bloom off the Obama rose. Either you already know his many flaws or you are so entranced by him that these kinds of things are a distraction. The average voter will not be aware of, much less follow Ed’s argument.

Sotomayor is like Joe Biden. She says dumb things on the record, but is liberal enough, and by comparison makes Obama look like a constitutional scholar. They could also be setting her up to take the fall only to replace her with an even more egregious candidate, as they seemingly have done with other appointments.

AnotherOpinion on May 27, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Hopefully this is a nightmare I am experiencing and I will wake up and the country has not been taken over by naive fools.

FireBlogger on May 27, 2009 at 2:00 PM

I take issue with the idea of “reverse” discrimination. Discrimination is discrimination and the term “reverse” just screams racism.

NTWR on May 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

I agree. “Reverse discrimination” is a nonsensical term. They should call it anti-white discrimination, if they feel the need to distinguish it from other types of discrimination (e.g., anti-black discrimination, anti-homosexual discrimination, etc.)

AZCoyote on May 27, 2009 at 2:05 PM

But that doesn’t change the fact that her decisions specifically tend to get overturned. And by extension, someone else’s decisions are being upheld (or not reviewed); thus, shouldn’t that person be the nominee?

LastRick on May 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM

most judges have a high reversal rate, and sotomayor is no different in that respect from any other circuit court judge. for example, the 9th circuit was reversed 84% of the time in 2004 and 89% in 2005.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 1:07 PM

I see I’m not the first to point out the high reversal rate on the 9th Circuit. Including the 9th Circuit skews all the statistics that you quote, since it only takes a few really bad judges to make the average virtually meaningless.

What would be more useful would be not a means, but a mode. How many other judges have a similar record? No need to run the statistics for all judges in the country. Just take the current members of the Supreme Court and find how many reversals they’ve had, then compare.

Otherwise, like Mark Twain said, “There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

tom on May 27, 2009 at 2:10 PM

This woman, alas, is nothing more than Hugo Chavez in drag.

MaiDee on May 27, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Republicans are again reacting to stimulus provided them by the Obama administration. They are preparing a defense against Sotomayor because they believe that she doesn’t represent their values. They are correct only in that last.
Sotomayor appears to be a “journeyman” liberal judge and for this they will bring out all the ugly garbage they can muster. It is a waste of time and political capital (of which they have damn little left). The Republican party has forgotten how to fight. Reacting to what the other party does will always lead to a defensive position. Defense at best allows you to keep your place. Instead of reacting to news from the administration, they should be creating their own positive news. Why not do something in defense of our current laws for instance. Laws which apparently are being broken by the administration with regards to the Chrysler fiasco and now GMC. There must be a way to bring suite in federal court to at least put a hold on further proceedings. I am not a lawyer so I don’t have any idea if that is at all feasible,it’s just an idea along the line of the point I’m trying to make. Offense is needed, enough of this reactionary defensive crap. It’s a loser.

oldernwiser on May 27, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Just take the current members of the Supreme Court and find how many reversals they’ve had, then compare.

Thank you. Several commenters have asked for this information. I fail to see how we can know that Sotomayor’s performance is “about average” without knowing the similar percentage of SCOTUS-reversed decisions other Court justices had at the time of their nominations.

Also, though I am speculating here, the fact that we have not yet seen this information in any of the MSM coverage is rather telling, IMHO. If any of the conservative justices had a similar record I bet we’d have heard about it by now.

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 2:32 PM

The loons on the far left were very unfair to the picks of President Bush. His two picks for the court, not Meirs, were qualified excellent judges that the far left opposed simply because they were picked by Bush and were Constitutionalists. That is the way the system works, you elect a Conservative you get conservative picks, you elect a liberal you get liberals. We are supposed to look at qualifications not ideology. Elections have consequences. I probably do not like Sotomayors views, but thus far she seems very qualified. I do not think we on the right should be like the loons on the left who forgot how the system works….again elections have consequences and Dems will pick libs and Repubs will hopefully pick conservatives. As long as she is qualified it is a waste of time to oppose the nomination, this is how the system works.

arizonateacher on May 27, 2009 at 2:35 PM

*** We are supposed to look at qualifications not ideology. Elections have consequences. I probably do not like Sotomayors views, but thus far she seems very qualified. I do not think we on the right should be like the loons on the left who forgot how the system works.*** As long as she is qualified it is a waste of time to oppose the nomination, this is how the system works.
arizonateacher on May 27, 2009 at 2:35 PM

You are correct. But here you have a judge who has a bad temperament and who outright says that her job as a judge is to make policy and not to decide cases. If she can’t explain those remarks adequately, does that not affect her qualifications for the office?

Outlander on May 27, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Overall, this past term the Supreme Court reversed 75.3 percent of the cases they considered on their merits. The pattern holds true for the 2004 and 2005 terms as well, when the Supremes had overall reversal rates of 76.8 percent and 75.6 percent, respectively.

That’s not the same statistic and is really comparing apples to oranges. It’s not unexpected that the SCOTUS grants cert to cases that it feels are wrong and that the reversal rate of the cases it takes up are higher than the affirmation rate. In other words, that stat just proves that the SCOTUS views its role as helping to correct bad cases from lower courts, not simply to rubber stamp good decisions from down under.

But that’s not the same issue as who is getting reversed. That is, a judge that always makes great law and whose cases are never picked up by the SCOTUS is far better than one who has a .400 success rate. And somebody with a .900 success rate is better than somebody with a .400 success rate.

What you really want to ask is, how is Sotomayor’s success rate compared to that of her peers?

PersonalLiberty on May 27, 2009 at 3:17 PM

I do not like the knee jerk antipathy to this nomination – it makes us seem like Democrats and calls to mind the phrase, ‘verdict first, then trial.’ Let’s allow a hearing where her views on the US Constitution can be fully explored.

She just may be unacceptable to us here, but let’s not make up our minds based on a couple of off-the-cuff remarks.

Sheerq on May 27, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Update: Commenter Sesquipedalian notes that the stat on Sotomayor’s reversal rate may not really be all that significant:

In recent years the SCOTUS has taken an interest in the patent work going on in the Federal Circuit, so those numbers are going to skew the overall averages. Apples to oranges.

jaime on May 27, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Sheerq on May 27, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Many of us have been reading about Judge Sotomayor for months, as she has been on every liberal wish list for the Court since Obama was elected. National Review in particular has had a lot of information about her prior to her nomination. Of course, more can be explored about her record and views in confirmation hearings, but there is already plenty in her long record to chew on and to be concerned about.

There is a fundamental difference in conservative and liberal jurisprudence, and all most of us want is for that to not be swept under the rug in a tide of fear that we will be called racists.

rockmom on May 27, 2009 at 3:41 PM

She just may be unacceptable to us here, but let’s not make up our minds based on a couple of off-the-cuff remarks.

Sheerq on May 27, 2009 at 3:34 PM

The off-the-cuff statement that “courts make policy” should be enough to disqualify anyone.

duff65 on May 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Out of over 400 cases the Supreme court felt that a total of 6 were worthy of review. Lawyers being what they are, I would bet the ranch that there many more than just a handful of her decisions appealed. If only 6 were accepted and 4 were overturned, I have to feel that her record in this area is, at the least, a good one.
This business about her overturned cases is,in my opinion,a diversion ( can I use that term any more :D ) from other areas of her judicial record.

oldernwiser on May 27, 2009 at 3:56 PM

If only 6 were accepted and 4 were overturned, I have to feel that her record in this area is, at the least, a good one.

You may indeed feel that, but without comparable numbers for her peers, your assertion is not persuasive.

I do agree with your larger point that there are other avenues of attack which should be pursued. But I don’t see why we should drop this one on your say-so. Let’s see the other justices’ reversal records and then we can decide.

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 4:09 PM

FWIW
I spent a good deal of time this afternoon trying to find that information. Somebody better at searching than I might have better luck. I wasn’t able to find anything.
The reason I think this should be let go,is because of how Republicans will look to the public for beating on a overturn rate of <1%. The general public will perceive it as bully tactics and the MSM will blow it way out of proportion

oldernwiser on May 27, 2009 at 4:22 PM

The off-the-cuff statement that “courts make policy” should be enough to disqualify anyone.

duff65 on May 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM

I heard the remarks, but only a short quote, not what she was referring to. Goodness, everyone in life misspeaks, and someone in the public eye who is having her every utterance reviewed should be entitled to a fair process. All I’m asking is for us here to decide after the hearings, not before, and based on the entirety of her legal career, not a two second sound bite.

Sheerq on May 27, 2009 at 4:24 PM

IF you get beyond the legal posturing, Ricci was decided upon “under representation” of blacks. By analogous reasoning, Sotomayor should not be confirmed because all religious and non religious groups except Catholics are under represented. Catholics currently hold 67% of the seats on the court. This would jump to 78% if Sotomayor is confirmed and takes the seat.

burt on May 27, 2009 at 4:27 PM

The reason I think this should be let go,is because of how Republicans will look to the public for beating on a overturn rate of <1%. The general public will perceive it as bully tactics and the MSM will blow it way out of proportion

Fair enough, since that’s pretty much what the MSM does with any Republican argument. ;)

Thanks for looking for the info, I appreciate it. Maybe someone is compiling the numbers and we’ll learn them soon.

Missy on May 27, 2009 at 4:32 PM

In all the commentary on Barack Obama’s appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the most fractious concerned how the Republicans should react to it.

Fact of the matter is that waiting for Republicans reaction at this stage in the process is wrong-headed and moronic. Unless the filthy liar in the White House had elected somebody as anti-American as himself, the GOP will hold its fire to times where it matters- like confirmation hearings.

My prediction is that the nominee is a hate-the-gringo’s liberal just busting at the seams to take the nation down but she’ll not go Spanish Harlem on society until she gets to the SCOTUS. Up till then, she will be in favor of traditional American values. Afterward the bitch will show her teeth.

highhopes on May 27, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Update: Commenter Sesquipedalian notes that the stat on Sotomayor’s reversal rate may not really be all that significant:

Ed,

I’m shocked, shocked I say, that you didn’t smoke the illogic here. Sesquipedalian is comparing apples to oranges. That SCOTUS reverses most cases it hears is neither here nor there. It makes sense that they would. That Sotomayor is reversed far more than others is the issue, and the reversal rate of SCOTUS has nothing to do with that.

American Elephant on May 27, 2009 at 7:39 PM

That Sotomayor is reversed far more than others is the issue, and the reversal rate of SCOTUS has nothing to do with that.

3 reversals out of 380. that’s 7.8%. the national average in 2006 was 8.6%. she’s better than average.

for other metrics (which show her to be rather mediocre), check eric posner.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 8:22 PM

ok forget the first part. wrong numbers…

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Oh noes, we’z needs to watch our language. O’Reilly just mentioned comment at HotAir.

El_Terrible on May 27, 2009 at 8:25 PM

3 reversals out of 380. that’s 7.8%. the national average in 2006 was 8.6%. she’s better than average.

for other metrics (which show her to be rather mediocre), check eric posner.

sesquipedalian on May 27, 2009 at 8:22 PM

You know, I hear Obama’s Treasury Dept is still hiring, and you might be just the person they are looking for.

18-1 on May 27, 2009 at 8:27 PM

Oh noes, we’z needs to watch our language. O’Reilly just mentioned comment at HotAir.

El_Terrible on May 27, 2009 at 8:25 PM

I saw that but I have no idea whose comment he was reading. I had been hoping one of mine might have made it. I’m one of those core conservatives he hates.

progressoverpeace on May 27, 2009 at 8:51 PM

“She’s the devil”
“We must stop this nomination at all costs”

Last time I looked it was a Bush who fast tracked Soto. The democrats have taken Republican eagerness to patronize and put it right back on em. This country is so screwed.

pc on May 27, 2009 at 8:52 PM

Dear goopers, just admit it, your grasping at straws to find something wrong with this woman. You are in danger of appearing foolish, and petty. And to try and beat Obama up on this selection is the reason you are at 23% of the electorate. This is the fight your gonna choose? She’ll end up with 70 votes, and your childish attempts to stop her will kill your chances with Hispanic voters. Do you accept this in order to once more fire up your base? Your party seems to be like a dog chasing its tail. What are you? Who are you? By all means go after Sotomayor, we will CRUSH you party in 2010. Good hunting.

athensboy on May 27, 2009 at 9:11 PM

Sonya has an extremely high reversal rate. Something like %80. Its because she is driven by AGENDA and not the LAW.

She is Driven by AGENDA and not LAW.

She cheats when no one is looking but they catch her later and have to reverse it.

Geochelone on May 27, 2009 at 9:48 PM

She thinks she is wiser than a WHITE MALE simply because she is a Female and a Latina? WTF

Is she wiser than a Hispanic Male? Or are Hispanic males wiser than White Males? How about Gay Males? Is she Wiser than Black Males? Someone should ask her but she will probably lie.

Geochelone on May 27, 2009 at 9:54 PM

Geochelone on May 27, 2009 at 9:54 PM

It’s just a shame that we didn’t have Hispanic females writing our Constitution. They would have done a much better job than those idiot Founders. We got screwed by the white men!

We could have been Latin America.

progressoverpeace on May 27, 2009 at 9:58 PM

progressoverpeace on May 27, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Would could have been Latin La Raza America

Geochelone on May 27, 2009 at 10:19 PM

The off-the-cuff statement that “courts make policy” should be enough to disqualify anyone.

duff65 on May 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM

.
If she didn’t immediately correct herself, I agree.

darktood on May 28, 2009 at 8:50 AM

3 reversals out of 380. that’s 7.8%. the national average in 2006 was 8.6%. she’s better than average.

As has been pointed out many times, a more relevant metric would be her reversal rate in comparison with other successful SCOTUS nominees, namely Stevens, Scalia, Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, Roberts, and Alito.

Missy on May 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Defining Obama, not Sotomayor.

Excellent subtitle. Says it all

entagor on May 29, 2009 at 9:45 PM

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