The furor is crescendoing over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. It didn't take more than an hour after the annoucement before the blogs and talk radio were filled with snippets and factoids about her unsuitability. I was sympathetic to the noise.
Probably the most damning quotation was the now familiar one about decisions by a Hispanic woman being hopefully wiser than those of a white male. Being a white male, that nudged my outrage meter up a notch. If I were in a suit against a Latina and standing before Judge Sotomayor, how would I feel? Would her wisdom and empathy be antagonistic to my whiteness and hormonal differences? I want justice not social redress of implied grievances.
That's why this piece got through to me:
The Context of the Statement
The facts to keep in mind here are first that the ideological balance of the court will not shift based on this appointment. Souter might have been appointed by a Republican but his consistent behavior on the bench placed him on the liberal side of the court's decisions. This is not the appointment to go to the mat for. There will be little difference in the ideology of Supreme Court opinions.
And, second, there aren't enough Republicans in the senate to raise a credible threat of a filibuster to stop the appointment nor is there any possibility of a defeat on a floor vote.
Maybe next time, after a 2010 election in which the GOP offers some viable candidates in a renewed effort at conservativism.