No, in case you’re wondering, it’s not standard protocol to hint to interested parties that a judge is on their side. But in fairness to Biden, he is a moron.
“I think what Biden said was foolish,” said Stephen Gillers, a law professor at New York University who is a prominent legal ethicist. “She’s not there to ‘have their back.’ She’s there to interpret the law as she sees fit. . .
“It’ll be embarrassing to her when she learns of it,” Gillers said. “Biden crosses the line when he starts representing to interest groups that she would be voting in their favor.”…
The president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, John Wesley Hall, complained that Biden’s comment made it sound like she would overlook police misconduct.
“To say that a judge ‘has your back’ is an activist judge,” Hall said. “They’re raising doubts for everybody who’s concerned about the Bill of Rights. . . .‘She’s got your back’ is just the worst possible thing he could have said.”
But another legal ethics specialist, Stephen Lubet of Northwestern, said he was not troubled by Biden’s remarks. “If Judge Sotomayor had said that, perhaps [it would be problematic], but the fact that her supporters think she’s more disposed toward law enforcement does not suggest bias. Everybody’s in favor of law enforcement, no one’s opposed to law enforcement,” Lubet said. “This lacks the sort of specificity that would suggest bias.”
Most conservatives aren’t going to pitch a fit at the thought of a Supreme Court appointee giving cops the benefit of the doubt, especially when they’re terrified of The One building Warren Court II. But the principle remains: Imagine if Greasy Joe had told a group of public defenders that Sotomayor “has your back.” Sweet bloggy content for the next week, baby!
Oh, speaking of our wise Latina justice, a wise Latino senator evidently agrees that “the richness of her experience” gives her a leg up jurisprudentially on those who are less “rich.” And no, he’s not a Democrat.