A fight’s a fight

27 May

You’ve probably heard all about Sonia Sotomayor by now. She’s the Bronx-rasied hispanic judge who Obama has nominated as his first appointee to the Supreme Court.

If like me you first read about her in The New York Times, you may also know that — from the comments posted there by liberal readers — the left aren’t particularly taken with her. The grassroots left, whose activism had propelled the young Chicagoan outsider to the presidency, were hoping for a nominee who would be guaranteed to further their cause (not to mention piss off the GOP).

Sotomayor isn’t an activist judge. She’s a champion of judicial process. To the polarised partisan her judgements might appear ambiguous (and so could be “shaped” to fit any desired narrative), but this is because they’re nuanced. A judge shouldn’t seek to push an agenda.

This doesn’t mean Sotomayor won’t be a liberal judge. No one is completely objective (even if, invariably, prejudiced myopia is a conservative trait). But it may mean that she will be a floating vote on close judgements. And surely, this is what we should really expect from Obama. He’s never claimed to be an activist liberal, he has always championed merit, fairness and common-sense.

To me Sotomayor is the perfect Obama choice. She has risen from humble origins to the brink of the highest court in The United States. She is smart — she graduated second in her Princeton class, and was an editor of the school’s law review. And Sotomayor appears to put reason and pragmatism ahead of culture-war politics.

Of course just because Sotomayor isn’t a rabid baby-eating liberal, it doesn’t mean that the Republicans will accept her with fair-minded acquiescence. In reality, the GOP is probably livid that they don’t have an activist judge they can easily paint as a “jackbooted feminazi”.

The Republican Party is in complete disarray. Rovian conservatism is built on the politicisation of religion. The GOP needs a Supreme Court fight to energise and unite its base — not to mention invigorate its fund-raising efforts.

The right thing for the Republicans to do would be to take the high-ground and embrace the new political atmosphere. Obama could have nominated a much more threatening judge (or Democrat politician) to the SCOTUS. He didn’t. But to a desperate GOP a fight’s a fight, and boy do they want a fight.

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10 Responses to “A fight’s a fight”

  1. mike@mikepower.net May 28, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    She’s a lover of ballet, which clinches it for <a href="http://is.gd/HYAS“ rel=”nofollow”>James Wolcott

  2. mike@mikepower.net May 28, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    She’s a lover of ballet, which clinches it for <a href="http://is.gd/HYAS“ rel=”nofollow”>James Wolcott

  3. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 28, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    Ha!I loved that. Thanks for the link, Old Bean.

  4. aaronsheath@gmail.com May 28, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    Ha!I loved that. Thanks for the link, Old Bean.

  5. jameshigham@mail.com May 29, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    a rabid baby-eating liberalSuch words form you, Aaron! 🙂

  6. jameshigham@mail.com May 29, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    a rabid baby-eating liberalSuch words form you, Aaron! 🙂

  7. trottstone@gmail.com June 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    “No one is completely objective (even if, invariably, prejudiced myopia is a conservative trait).”Please tell me you were being ironic here.

  8. trottstone@gmail.com June 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    “No one is completely objective (even if, invariably, prejudiced myopia is a conservative trait).”Please tell me you were being ironic here.

  9. aaronsheath@gmail.com June 26, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    No Falco, I’m not.

  10. aaronsheath@gmail.com June 26, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    No Falco, I’m not.

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