Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sotomayor Stalemate

Sonia Sotomayor's Senate hearings have begun this week and the process has been quite civil.

Several GOP senators have gone on the record to express their belief that Sotomayor will indeed receive confirmation and that no last minute filibuster is in the works.

While the conservative wing of the party, currently fueled by the outraged likes of Rush and Sean Hannity, implore Senators to stand against Sotomayor, such an action would surely cripple a party desperately fighting to regain prominence.

There are more qualified and certainly less controversial judges who could have been selected but Sotomayor is largely a symbolic selection: the first Latina on the Supreme Court, nominated by the first African American President.

We live in largely aesthetic times and this move was an acknowledgment of that.

The underlying point here is that Sotomayor's confirmation will not alter the composition of the court. Justice Souter, though expected to be a conservative voice on the court, heavily sided with the liberal element. Sotomayor will assume his role without dramatically shifting the Court towards the left.

Conservatives have four "Aces in the hole" with regards to Justices Thomas, Alito, and Scalia, in addition to Chief Justice John Roberts.

The left cringed during the previous confirmation process of Justice Alito, a man who embodies conservative judicial philosophy.

The GOP can ill afford to waste the little political capital it has in a losing battle against Sotomayor. Not to mention that such a campaign against the nation's first Latina Supreme Court nominee would result in alienating the Hispanic population, an increasingly important voting bloc.

This round goes to the Democrats.

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