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View Diary: Now Live from MSNBC: Debating Sotomayor Pick Today & Taking Input (Ari Melber) (18 comments)

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  •  I know you can't do this, but (0+ / 0-)

    sometimes I wish somebody on these "debates" about Sotomayor would stop do all this nitpicking and just cut to the chase.  It's not about this line in a speech, or that video clip.  It's all pretty simple, and it's all about Constitutional interpretation.  Sotomayor is going to be on the Ginsburg/Breyer school of Constitutional interpretation -- more expansive reading of rights, recognition of unemuerated rights, and belief that the meaning of the Constitution evolves with the changing times.  Progressives want that in a judge, conservatives don't.  On the other hand, you have the Roberts/Scalia view that the Constitution means only what the people through their representatives meant when the adopted/amended it, that the Court should not recognize unenumerated rights because it gives the Court too much power, and who believe that if you want the meaning of the Constitution to change you should amend it.  Conservatives want that in a judge, progressives don't.  That's what this is all about.  All of this other stuff about who said what when is just, in my opinion, foolishness.  Each side is not going to convince the other that they are right, and progressives should not try to convince people that Sotomayor is NOT of the Ginsburg/Breyer school of thought -- she clearly is, and that's exactly why Obama supported her.  I wish people in these debates would say, yes, she's got a constituional view similar to Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens and Souter; yes, she recognizes unemerated rights; yes, she believes in a "living" Constitutin with a meaning that evolves with the times -- that's why Obama picked her.  That's what he wants in a justice.  

    Sorry, but these silly debates over this or that just frustrate me.  

    •  Yes - but not just that (0+ / 0-)

      coffeetalk makes a good point -- and certainly there is a way to bring this approach into the conversation.  

      But I dissagree with the point that:

      it's all about Constitutional interpretation.  Sotomayor is going to be on the Ginsburg/Breyer school of Constitutional interpretation -

      It is partially about that but it is also about identity politics and about Republicans trying to update the culture wars into a 21st century frame.  These issues must also be addressed and rebutted.  To slip completely into a disucssion of approaches to constitutional interpretation would substantially miss some of these other points/issues.  

      •  I think I disagree with that (0+ / 0-)

        the "identity politics" is all wrapped up in the whole Constitutional interpretation thing.  Progressives think that the Constitution allows much more government action to promote affirmative action and diversity than conservatives do.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with Sotomayor personally. The opposition doesn't want anybody with her judicial philosophy on the Court and is just looking for whatever fact that they think will play well in sound bytes to use against her, but those sound bytes are not the real oppoisition. The real opposition is based on what she will do as a justice, plain and simple.

        All this stuff is too reminiscent of the whole Alito "Concerned Alumni of Princeton" think.  That was just as silly and meaningless as these attacks today -- in fact, I suspect that there are a lot of conservatives now who are privately recalling the Concerned Alumni of Princeton attacks when they plan the Sotomayor attacks.  It's the exact same thing -- looking for some little fact that will play well on TV, when the REAL issue is what both sides know the nominee will do on the Court. I was just as frustrated in the Alito hearings, and wanted to say to the Democrats then, just stop it.  Just be honest and say you don't want a justice with strict constructionalist/original intent views.  I had a lot of respect for Schumer at the time (I think it was him) who recognized exactly that -- that these fact snippet things were silly, and that both sides should be honest about the fact that these nominations are, are their core, fights about judicial philosophy.  

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