Now here comes the SCOTUSBLOG with an examination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's record on discrimination cases during her 11 years on the Second Circuit.
In sum, in an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times. Only one case (Gant) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas) she dissented to favor a white bigot.) She participated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims. Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking.So, in light of that, let me more specifically state my case.
The Republicans in the US Senate should take the strategic♠ view and while asking serious questions that go to the root of her judicial philosophy, treat her with the respect and dignity that has been so lacking on the part of Democratic Senators during hearings for people like Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. She is a freebee. She is replacing a liberal, so nothing lost on the Court. She is going to be approved unless she upsets some of the Democratic Senators. The Republicans in the US Senate should keep their powder dry and wait to see what is coming down the trail next. The principle of "Conservation of Enemies"♥ applies here.
Regards — Cliff
♠ From Wikipedia: "In military terms, tactics is concerned with the conduct of an engagement while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. In other words, how a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy."
♥ Andrew Krepinevich's law of the conservation of enemies: Don't make any more than you need to have at any given time. I lifted this from a post on Afghanistan by Tom Ricks.