Friday Funnies – “inspirational” life story no basis for confirming Sotomayor (or anyone) to lifetime Supreme Court appointment

Following “three days of grueling questioning” (including such hard-hitting gems as “what was the publisher of  the encyclopedias your working-class mother bought you because she so strongly believed in the value of education” and “Perry Mason won all but one of his cases – what was the one case that he lost?“), Sonia Sotomayor is set to be confirmed as the next U.S. Supreme Court justice – the most rapid (rushed?) confirmation of any Supreme Court justice in U.S. history (beating out current justice and Clinton nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg by a few days, depending on when the vote is actually held).

It was apparent even before the hearings began that the fix was in (Feinstein: Sotomayor a sure thing). Given the overwhelming numerical advantage of Democrats in the Senate, and hard behind-the-scenes arm-twisting to ensure party discipline, there was little that either “blue-dog” Democrats or Republicans could do to block confirmation.  However, our Senators missed a golden opportunity to stand on principle and make the case for the rule of law, and the importance of confirming (or retaining) justices on that basis.

Instead, the discussion revolved around racial politics (“underlying politics are dicey for Republicans“), personality (She is an amazing, warm and intelligent woman“) and her “inspirational life story:”


Now, I’m as much a fan of “inspirational life stories” as the next guy; and when I have a daughter, I hope she’s just like Gracie (the cute, wide-eyed, precocious kid in the “Baldo” comic strip, above) – especially since if I have a son, he’s MUCH more likely to resemble Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) at that age.  But an inspirational life story is NO BASIS for confirming or retaining a Supreme Court justice! 

A judge’s appearance, gender, ethnicity, “inspirational life story,” etc. are irrelevant.  Our system of justice requires a judiciary committed to upholding the rule of law and equal administration of justice.  Although “we the people” don’t (directly) have a vote at the Federal level, we CAN vote to uphold the rule of law here in Colorado.  Vote “NO” on the unjust justices of the Mullarkey Court in 2010 – let’s Clear The Bench, Colorado!

2 Responses to Friday Funnies – “inspirational” life story no basis for confirming Sotomayor (or anyone) to lifetime Supreme Court appointment

  • Suzanne McNamara says:

    I don’t see why the article on Sonia Sotomayor is here. First, this is “Clear the Bench Colorado”; the United States Supreme Court is not the subject. Second, she’s been confirmed; it’s over. Third, other commentators have said essentially the same thing; most people who are interested enough in judicial matters to look at your website have surely seen similar arguments elsewhere. Keep your readers focused on your goal. Finally, there are some voters who may be offended by your argument against Sotomayor; you may be turning people away who would be likely to vote members of the Colorado Supreme Court off the bench. The readers who object so strongly to this article that they sign off your website may be few, but since the article is obsolete as there is nothing to be done now about the Sotomayor nomination and the ideas expressed are otherwise available, I don’t see the point of having this article on your website.

    You have one chance in ten years to vote these justices off the bench. Keep focused on that goal.

  • Director says:

    Suzanne –
    appreciate the (obviously well-intentioned) comment.

    The reason for the article was to relate the general topic of judicial qualifications and desired attributes – i.e., upholding the rule of law and making unbiased decisions – to the specific topic of our state Supreme Court justices, and how they fall short of that standard.

    Sotomayor’s nomination, and confirmation, on the apparent basis of her “inspirational life story” was a blow to the standard of judicial impartiality, and thus worthy of comment.

    I find it hard to imagine that anyone putting principle above identity (as I do) would be offended by my argument against Sotomayor, since it is based on ethics, not ethnicity.

    That said, I appreciate your comment, and I remain strongly focused on the goal of voting these “unjust justices” out of office. Let’s Clear The Bench, Colorado!

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