Sunday, May 31, 2009

What Will Sonia Do?

Interesting article in the LA Times this morning again suggesting that Sotomayor may not be the liberal everyone thinks she is. After a long discussion of her political activism while younger on behalf of Latinos and social issues, the article observed:

But little of that activist sentiment is revealed in the hundreds of cases Sotomayor has decided in her 11 years on the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, raising the question of which jurist will present herself if she is given the lifetime tenure and complete independence of a Supreme Court seat.

Thomas Goldstein, a Washington lawyer with a Supreme Court specialty, said last week that he had reviewed 50 appeals involving race in which Sotomayor participated. In 45 of those cases, a three-judge panel rejected the discrimination claim --and Sotomayor never once dissented, he said.

Couple that with articles suggesting that she may not be a strong voice to preserve Roe v. Wade, and you have to wonder-- what does Sonia believe in? I worry if it is mostly herself. Sonia brings to mind the "queen bee syndrome" and a quote by another federal jurist, who will go unnamed, "This is my court and here I am king." At least that jurist was honest about what he believed.

Eddie Lazarus has an interesting article in Time this week where he claims that the Earl Warren liberal court was entirely foreseeable by Eisenhower who appointed both Warren and Justice Brennan. Eisenhower, according to Eddie, made those decisions based purely on politics and knew or should have known what he was getting. Does President Obama know what he is getting with Sotomayor or is this really a political decision too to get a middle of the road (and not really liberal) candidate through quickly so as not to distract from the pressing business of restoring our economy? Given the unusual longevity of Supreme Court Justices, the stakes are high for all of us if Sonia is not what Obama claims she is. I hope not. Otherwise, I am guilty of being sexist according to Judge Guido Calabresi. And I wouldn't want that.

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