I share the traditional view that elections have consequences and that the president should get to have his appointments confirmed as long as the nominees aren’t corrupt or blatantly unqualified for their positions. At the same time, the confirmation process of a high-profile position such as a Supreme Court justice is an opportunity to illuminate the consequences of elections. In the case of the Sotomayor appointment, while she’s likely to coast through the Senate given the Democrats’ sheer numbers, the American public needs to understand why this is such a radical pick. The Obama/Sotomayor idea that judges, instead of making impartial rulings based on the law and the Constitution, should base their decisions (at least in part) on their own experiences and ethnic background, is outrageous. It is perfectly appropriate for Republicans and conservatives to make this point, and there’s no reason why they can’t do so in a respectful manner. In short, the upcoming Sotomayor fight isn’t really a fight about whether she should be confirmed — Republicans pretty much lost that one last November — it’s a fight about whether Obama gets to define Sotomayor as a “moderate.”
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