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There Is Winning, And There Is Winning

If there had been some compelling testimony this afternoon, I would have mentioned it. What is clear is that with the possible exception of Lindsay Graham I am not seeing any Republican votes for Sotomayor. On Round 2 Hatch and Cornyn were back to the “wise Latina” speech, both sounding entirely skeptical. All that said, there are 60 Democrats in the Senate so she’s likely home free, unless the Democrats decide they can’t abide by the dissembling and that everyone should get a look at those PRLDEF records to see if she was, as she now says, unaware and uninvolved in the group’s left-wing litigation campaigns.

But there is another battle going on here between conservative and liberal legal scholars. On this score Sotomayor has let down her home team.

Roger Clegg thinks Sotomayor’s hypocrisy (i.e. her confirmation conversion into a Chief Justice Roberts clone) is a “moral and intellectual” victory for legal conservatives:

She says that judges ought not create new constitutional rights, nor change what the Constitution protects, nor change the meaning of the Constitution. . . Maybe it will even have some practical impact. Hypocrisy may be the tribute that vice pays to virtue, and hypocrites may be confirmed, but at least we have established what virtue is and what vice is.

Almost on cue, liberal lawyer Louis Michael Seidman, who yesterday excoriated Sotomayor’s dishonesty, writes:

The pity is that all of this was probably unnecessary. The Democrats have sixty votes in the Senate. It would have taken some courage for Judge Sotomayor to have told the truth, but not much. She said yesterday that judges should never decide cases out of fear. Yesterday, she testified out of fear. We have a right to expect better of her.

Well, at least we know at least one liberal jurist doesn’t have courage or honesty to say what she means — and to own up to what she was saying (over and over again, for years) before a Supreme Court nomination was dangled in front of her.



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