The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Sotomayor and the Search for Bipartisanship

By Ben Pershing
Nineteen members of the Senate Judiciary Committee spoke on the first day of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, but as the sessions progress, one will matter more than the others -- the first panel Republican to cross the aisle and announce his support for the nominee.

Sotomayor's widely-assumed glide path to confirmation has drained much of the drama from this week's proceedings, and so what little suspense is left resides in a question that has been asked of every other major initiative President Obama has advanced: Is it bipartisan? So far, the only panel Republican to suggest that he might back Sotomayor is Lindsey Graham, who said last week, "I honestly think I could vote for her." At yesterday's hearing, Graham further hinted that he could support Sotomayor, saying: "My inclination is that elections matter ... President Obama won the election, and I will respect that."

For Sotomayor's supporters, securing at least one GOP vote in the committee is an important symbolic goal (Republican votes are easier to attract in the full Senate, which includes more GOP moderates than the Judiciary roster does). And unlike on policy issues like health care and climate change, the pursuit of bipartisanship in this arena carries no downside. When legislation is being crafted, attracting votes from the minority side means compromise. As Jonathan Cohn wrote last week, "Bipartisanship is good but a sound health reform bill is better. If winning over just one or even a handful of Republicans means gutting the bill, it's not worth it." During the stimulus battle in February, liberals were irritated that the package was scaled back to attract the votes of a handful of Republican centrists. No such tradeoff is necessary with Sotomayor -- in a sense, the bill has already been written. No one will make her promise to rule a certain way in exchange for a few GOP "ayes," nor will there be any earmarks or policy riders attached to her nomination. If Graham decides to back her, Democrats will cheer, but they don't need to compromise in order to make that happen.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:16 AM ET on Jul 14, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in | Digg This
Previous: Obama Paints a New Vision for Nation's Urban Policy | Next: POTUS Events: To the Midwest

Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

"If Sotomayor’s practice is to “strengthen both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of our justice system” by carefully addressing the “arguments and concerns” of the parties, why did she depart so fundamentally from this practice in the Ricci case?"

From the WaPo Live Discussion:

" as Judge Sotomayor has been telling the senators this morning, her job as a Second Circuit judge was to apply relevant precedents, including the Second Circuit's own precedent in the Hayden case. The Supreme Court has much more freedom about how to decide such cases. They are not bound by Second Circuit precedent, and they are free to reconsider even their own precedents. In its own Ricci decision, the Supreme Court admitted that it had to search for a standard: there was no clear, existing doctrine to apply"

Also, her ruling in the Ricci Case agreed with 4 of the 9 justices, including the person she is slated to replace.

Posted by: VTDuffman | July 14, 2009 12:15 PM

If Sotomayor’s practice is to “strengthen both the rule of law and faith in the impartiality of our justice system” by carefully addressing the “arguments and concerns” of the parties, why did she depart so fundamentally from this practice in the Ricci case?

What a farce of a MOCK confirmation hearing. What a waste of taxpayer money paying the salaries of these congressional leaders! All the hype is just giving the slimeball congress more airtime to bloviate! Everyone knows she will be confirmed! All the leftist are trying to do is make it a partisan or racist issue of people who question HER racist comments . These politicians and media think the millions of average American citizen is too stupid and beneath them to see this nonsense for what it is.

They are all in for a rude awaking soon!

Posted by: KareninIndy | July 14, 2009 11:46 AM

Why yes, here comes that old word again--bipartisanship--when it is needed to get something which LEFTIST want or need.

Isn't is as predictable as a summer shower? We never hear about the need for Democratic bipartisanship to pass conservtive ideas or policies.

No, no it is always a valiant fight by the oppressed Democrats, but when the Democrats nominate a racist to the Supreme Court, suddenly OBAMA'S MEDIA wants to go looking fora little surrender by the Republicans.

Now of course you filth were upset with the way the Democrats abused Gonzalaz but at the time, not so much. In fact, you were more than willing to participate.

Posted by: LogicalSC | July 14, 2009 11:32 AM

Do you believe Sotomayor is a raciest?


Posted by: usadblake | July 14, 2009 10:09 AM

before you confirm an "affirmative action" judge from the Bronx, check out what you're buying into - take a good look at the warped philosophy you are inviting onto the Supreme Court

someone who represents one of the most corrupt and racially biased and gender biased judicial subgroups you could find

it is a part of the country where sadly racism has come full circle and they have race and gender based legal and judicial groups and associations - and apparently she is a member of some of them (race and gender based lawyer and judge groups that exclude white males)

her comment about Latin women being superior was not a mere slip of the tongue

that is how they think - in terms of racial supremacy and war on the "white males" of the world; it is sick actually

if they were not real racists and sexists, they would not organize themselves into race and gender based groups, and they do, and they are serious about it - as her comment reflects

that comment was candid, and made to curry favor with a racist/sexist group, to show that she is one of them, i.e. an anti white male racist/sexist; it is like their badge of unity

it is sad and pathetic, but that is what they do - it is not just talk, the groups exist, and she is a member of them

she represents one of the world's hubs of reverse racism and anti-male sexism, (the basic tenent being a very sharp bias against white males) the Bronx judiciary, and that should not be inflicted onto America

it is actually pretty repulsive that they would have groups like that today, i.e. professional groups that are race and gender-exclusive, but they do, and they are serious about it - they are fighting their own little war, almost like a jihad of some kind, against white males, even though the white males of the world certainly don't do anything of the kind to them

an example of the bias - restraining orders against white male defendants forbidding them from from filing motions

that is an example of how they use the law

that kind of judge does not belong on the Supreme Court

Posted by: snorfy | July 14, 2009 10:00 AM

SOTOMAYOR sat there and told the expected superficial LIES about her views on 'JUDICIAL ACTIVISM' and its role in the judiciary. No where did our distinguished SENATURDS bring up her decisions in SULLIVAN, MAHONEY, negating the 2nd AMENDMENT or her complete cowardice in the RICCI decision by utilizing a SUMMARY ORDER not to rule constitutionaly on this important issue. We heard how 'wonderful-and-special' was her rise from the Bronx to be an Justice - but practically nothing about her support of various radical Puerto Rican groups which supported the notorious and ominous cadre of ACORN and others. This was only the opening day - and the cogone-less REPUBLICANTS are 'afraid' at alienating the HISPANIC community if they grill this nominee and force her to answer her despicable and unconstitutional views on eminent domain, big business, affirmative action, and gun rights. BUT THEN AGAIN WE ALL WANT TO BE GOOD USEFUL IDIOTS AND STOOPID MARXIST-WANKERS LIKE THE BLACK PUNK FLY-SWATTER-n-CHIEF DON'T WE??? After all SOTOMAYOR settled the 'baseball strike' in 1994 didn't she??? AND DIDN'T THAT MAKE US ALL BETTER??? Ha. [Listen if you want to 'judge' on personal stories don't the lives of MICHEAL MOORE, RUSH LIMBAUGH, or KARL ROVE equate to SOTOMAYOR's??? Oh sorry all of them are WHITE and did not get degrees from the IVEY LEAGUE - which makes both 'the OBAMA' and SOTOMAYOR especiale and intelligent and so well qualified!!! Ha. All hail the new MARXIST FASCISM led by COMRADE SOTOMAYOR and COMMIESIR 'the OBAMA' both superior because of the IVEY LEAGUE!!!]

Posted by: ZyskandarAJaimot | July 14, 2009 9:54 AM

Graham further hinted that he could support Sotomayor, saying: "My inclination is that elections matter ... President Obama won the election, and I will respect that."

"Hinted?" Are you serious? Did you not listen to Graham's testimony or even read the transcript? Graham stated outright that she would be confirmed. You call this reporting? It's as if the WaPo doesn't want to be seen as 'overly supportive.' The only story here is that the republicans are rolling over and playing dead. If the WaPo didn't enjoy that fact so much, it might actually report on it. At least the democrats showed some guts when they borked Bork. You'd think the republicans could muster a little gumption, build a fire udner Lindsey's butt, and resist this appointment. But no. Nobody's going against the messiah. What a joke.

It's new party time.

Posted by: flintston | July 14, 2009 9:52 AM




The "aware" call it "the program."

"The program" is a nationwide, federally-overseen multi-agency coordinated action...


This is an entrenched, GPS-activated high-tech American Gestapo vigilante army...

...fronted by federally-funded volunteer community police and town watch organizations. It makes a mockery of the rule of law at the grassroots -- literally holding Americans hostage in their own homes -- terrorizing, vandalizing, destroying lives, reputations and livelihoods.

A companion array of "programs of personal financial destruction" decimate "target" family finances, what victims charge is a fascistic theft by deception that involves the interception of U.S. mail.

This "torture matrix" also has WEAPONIZED the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing the silent TORTURE of Americans via so-called "directed energy" microwave and laser radiation weapons. The victims have been deemed as "undesirables," "dissidents," or "social deviates" -- in other words, anyone that those in power seek to neutralize.

The mainstream media already has begun to buy into the cover-up.


The REAL story -- as reported by a longtime mainstream journalist and a victim of this Bush-era spawned- or expanded "torture matrix," can be found HERE: RE: "GESTAPO USA: Govt't Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 14, 2009 9:17 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company