Monday, July 20, 2009

My Sotomayor Fantasy

Just like everybody else who's gone up for confirmation in the post-Bork era, Sonia Sotomayor was evasive in answering specific questions about her views on cases. I understand that this is now the standard way to do things, and its commonness makes it even safer.

It would've been really nice to see her take the questions head-on, though. Not just for the sake of showing up Jeff Sessions, or to educate her fans about the best ways to defend liberal jurisprudence. Making it expected for nominees to explicitly defend their views would be good for the country, and probably good for Democrats. On Roe, the case people care most about, we have a 30-point polling advantage, and that advantage means more if people have to talk cases. When future Republican nominees are evasive, it would be nice to deprive them of the excuse that nobody goes into specifics before the Judiciary Committee.

Sotomayor would be running a risk of losing votes by doing this, but we have a substantial Senate majority, and many Republican officeholders are fearful of facing Hispanic voters after voting against her. The risk is negligible, and the rewards look nice.

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