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Wednesday, and time for some mid-week punditry.

WSJ Editorial Board:

In making Sonia Sotomayor his first nominee for the Supreme Court yesterday, President Obama appears to have found the ideal match for his view that personal experience and cultural identity are the better part of judicial wisdom.

This isn't a jurisprudence that the Founders would recognize, but it is the creative view that has dominated the law schools since the 1970s and from which both the President and Judge Sotomayor emerged. In the President's now-famous word, judging should be shaped by "empathy" as much or more than by reason. In this sense, Judge Sotomayor would be a thoroughly modern Justice, one for whom the law is a voyage of personal identity.

Translation: We can't stop her, so we'd better tarnish her.

Dahlia Lithwick:

Republicans won't beat Sonia Sotomayor by attacking her as too darn human.

David Gergen:

To watch the first African-American President from a broken family promote to the U.S. Supreme Court an Hispanic woman from a broken neighborhood was one of those moments that Americans will long savor. In his announcement today of his first nominee to the Court, President Obama quickly brought back memories of why the country elected him.

Neomi Rao:

Yesterday President Barack Obama announced his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. She is federal circuit court judge Sonia Sotomayor. What sorts of questions should senators and the American people ask a nominee to the Supreme Court?

- Do you believe that judges should use "empathy" to decide cases? If so, what's the difference between empathy and judicial activism?...
- Do you believe that interpretations of the Constitution should evolve to keep up with the times? If so, how would you decide when the Constitution needs updating?...
- Should Supreme Court justices be bound by precedent? [Roe v Wade]

How about: were they nominated by a Democrat? What's wrong with having more white male Republicans on the court? Why is it easier to deny equal rights in this country than to raise taxes? (h/t lineatus for the question.) Is the President above the law, or only Democratic Presidents?

Gerard N. Magliocca:

I am a conservative, and I did not vote for President Obama. It is perfectly understandable for conservatives to say that they will not vote for anyone the president picks, but at that point the debate, if you can call it that, is over. For those of us who think that intellectual rigor and fairness are the crucial factors, no matter which party the president hails from, there is no question that Judge Sotomayor should be confirmed.

Chief Justice John Roberts said in his confirmation hearings that a judge should behave like an umpire. Now President Obama wants to give the court the judge who actually saved baseball.

Patrick Buchanan:

Dick Cheney is giving the Republican Party a demonstration of how to fight a popular president. Stake out defensible high ground, do not surrender an inch, then go onto the attack.

I used my impeccable political horse sense to get myself elected President three times (twice as a Republican and once as the Reform Party candidate.) Okay, well, almost President. In any case, trust me on Cheney.

Thomas Frank:

Those who followed news coverage of the "tea party" protests last month will recall that one target of the partiers' ire was the TARP bailout of the banking system -- a policy of the Bush administration that President Obama has carried on.

And yet, in a television interview last month, we find no less a representative of the late administration than former Vice President Dick Cheney endorsing the protesters' accusations with what is, for him, considerable enthusiasm. "I thought the tea parties were great," he told Fox News's Sean Hannity. "It's basically a very healthy development."

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed May 27, 2009 at 04:30 AM PDT.

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