Leahy: No worries, Sotomayor told me she'd follow the law

Small comfort that she’s unwilling to admit outright she’ll be applying The One’s “empathy” standard in close cases. Even those who profess a belief in forms of racial superiority have a limit to what they’ll say publicly, I guess. As for whether The One was correct in insisting that she misspoke when she made her “wise Latina” comment or whether, as anyone who’s thought about it for five seconds would realize, she meant exactly what she said given the nature of the occasion and the fact that she later approved it for publication, Leahy says nothing. At least there’ll be some fun at the confirmation hearing.

Speaking of which, 145 conservative leaders request, nay, demand a filibuster even though the GOP almost certainly won’t have the numbers to pull it off. Productive:

[I]n an interview with POLITICO, Manuel Miranda – who orchestrated the letter – went much farther, saying that Mitch McConnell should “consider resigning” as Senate minority leader if he can’t take a harder line on President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee.

Miranda accused McConnell of being “limp-wristed” and “a little bit tone deaf” when it comes to judicial nominees…

In arguing for a filibuster — which Senate Republicans have already said is unlikely — Miranda and other conservatives appear to be reversing course: When Democrats were in the minority, they demanded that judicial nominees of George W. Bush get up-or-down votes on the Senate floor.

But in their letter, the conservatives say their plan is different. While Democrats threatened to use a filibuster to block nominees, conservatives say they’re advocating a “traditional” filibuster to ensure that the debate over Sotomayor is “appropriately long and, therefore, suitably catalyzed to the American people.”

The “limp-wrist” remark suggests this is less about accomplishing something useful in the Senate than staking a claim to being the true “true conservatives,” the sine qua non of which is confronting liberals even when it’ll achieve nothing and quite possibly backfire. Does the Senate GOP have the balls to get up in the Democrats’ faces and obstruct a nominee who’s sure to be confirmed anyway, even at the risk of alienating Hispanics and annoying independents? Man up, cowboys!

Judging from Sessions’s genial comments after chatting with her today, I’m sticking with my prediction of 75 votes or so.