Re: Banking on Biography

The Hill reports:

White House officials have assembled a squad of distinguished legal experts to rebut charges that Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s Supreme Court pick, is an intellectual lightweight who puts her political views ahead of the law.

I don’t recall the need for such an effort in the John Roberts or Sam Alito nominations.

This is what comes from a roll-out that puts biography and personal anecdotes above all else. Well, actually this is what comes from choosing a judge who isn’t known for scholarship, has a reversal rate of 60% and has said some pretty wacky things. (Ed Whelan is doing the hard work of plowing through another Sotomayor speech and finds no evidence of deep thinking.)

It is a mistake for critics to accuse Sotomayor of being “dumb.” She completed law school and has been a sitting judge for eleven years so she’s not dim. But that’s not the test here. We’re talking about the Supreme Court. As Jonathan Turley said, a first class intellect should be the primary consideration for the Court. If that was the case here, I suspect that the Obama administration wouldn’t need a damage control team.