Following the Law
As Republicans struggle to invent a reason -- any reason -- to oppose the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor, they've seized a snippet of a speech she once gave to claim the judge "will let her personal background and experiences influence her opinions from the bench." This attack makes sense only if you believe that all the Republican-appointed judges since the Reagan administration were selected without considering whether their backgrounds and experiences tended to make their judicial philosophies pro-business and pro-Republican. Do you?
Instead of confronting the Republican hypocrisy (and how often do Democrats in the Senate bother with that?), Senator Leahy is playing the game by asserting that Judge Sotomayor will "follow the law" without regard to her upbringing (or, presumably, her gender or national origin). Of course, if "the law" is clear and easily followed, the Supreme Court isn't likely to weigh in on the law's meaning. It is when a statute is ambiguous or precedent provides no clear answer that Supreme Court Justices are called upon to clarify the law. All nine Justices believe they are "following the law" when they vote in 5-4 decisions, but the dissenters follow it to a different conclusion than the Justices who comprise the majority. [more ...]
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