So the Sotomayor confirmation hearings begin and we now get to see if the Republicans will just roll over and wag their tail, as they have proven to do over the years, or actually grow a pair and take her and her racist beliefs head on. Technically it won’t matter, since she has the votes anyway, but during the tenure of the last Democrat President we got Ginsburg and Breyer. Two horrible, ultra-liberal, justices and how many Republicans voted no on them? 3 and 9 respectively.
With Sotomayor there is no reason for any Republican to vote yes on someone who doesn’t value the Constitution and on someone who is obviously a activist judge. But apparently they’re hoping to get 23 no votes out of 40 Senators.
Sessions came out swinging today thankfully:
Republicans came out firing at this morning’s confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor, as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, accused Sotomayor of being prejudiced.
Citing a controversial racial bias case in which a fire department discarded the results of a qualifying test when black firefighters scored too low, Sessions said Sotomayor was biased in favor of the minority employees.
“It seems to me that in [Ricci v. DeStefano], Judge Sotomayor’s empathy for one group of firefighters turned out to be prejudice against the others,” Sessions said.
But Sessions’s attack wasn’t confined to the Ricci v. DeStefano case. The Alabama Republican indicted Sotomayor’s entire philosophy as based on non-judicial factors.
“Call it empathy, call it prejudice, or call it sympathy, but whatever it is, it is not law. In truth it is more akin to politics. And politics has no place in the courtroom,” Sessions said.
Sessions statement is a clear sign that Republicans intend to hammer away at the Ricci case when they have a chance to question Sotomayor tomorrow.
Republicans will also call two of the firefighters from that case to testify later in the week.
The activist groups are up in arms tho, claiming they will be watching for racism from everyone except the person they are backing, Justice Sotomayor:
Latinos will be watching Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings “like hawks” for evidence that senators on the Judiciary Committee are mistreating the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, or are mischaracterizing her record, leaders of Latino political, professional and advocacy groups tell ABC News.
“We accept tough questions. But what we are going to object to are questions that misrepresent the judge or that distort her record,” says Estuardo V. Rodriguez, director of Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary. The nonpartisan umbrella organization includes the Hispanic National Bar Association, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Second, yesterday’s meeting focused on identifying the most controversial and/or vulnerable judicial nominees, and a strategy for targeting them. The group singled out three — Jeffrey Sutton (6th Circuit); Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit); and Caroline Kuhl (9th Circuit) — as a potential nominee for a contentious hearing early next year, with an eye to voting him or her down in Committee. They also identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment. They want to hold off Estrada as long as possible.
And while all this is happening the left is doing their best to run Ricci, the firefighter who’s case was wrongly decided by Sotomayor, into the ground:
The widespread criticism of Sonia Sotomayor’s dismissal of the New Haven firefighters’ claims must have struck a chord: Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick has published an attempted character assassination of Frank Ricci, the namesake plaintiff of the infamous Ricci case.
Lithwick’s move isn’t surprising — she’s a reliable left-wing partisan. What’s particularly amusing, though, is that the McClatchy newswire already has blown her cover, by reporting that People for the American Way has been urging writers to attack Frank Ricci on precisely the grounds cited by Lithwick. Lithwick obviously did little more than take a PFAW press release, reword it, and run it under her own name.
Not surprising in the least. Joe The Plumber ring a bell?