August 08, 2009

Justice Sotomayor Lucky She Didn't Get Miguel Estrada Treatment

The Wall Street Journal is the first news outlet I have seen to acknowledge the respectful and principled way that Republicans conducted themselves during Sotomayor's confirmation process.
"[H]er confirmation process has been a worthy exemplar of the Senate’s duty of advise and consent.

All but nine Republicans opposed her confirmation, but the confirmation process was conducted respectfully and with a cool-tempered focus on her Constitutional philosophy. That marks a departure from many modern confirmation battles, most recently over Justice Samuel Alito, who was confirmed on a more partisan vote than Judge Sotomayor and was subjected to far more discourteous treatment by Vermont’s Pat Leahy and other interrogators on the Judiciary Committee. She and the country can thank Judiciary’s ranking Republican Jeff Sessions, who once faced nasty confirmation treatment himself. ...

She nonetheless now becomes the nation’s first Hispanic Justice, and on that score we also can’t help but contrast her treatment with the way Democrats smeared and filibustered appellate-court nominee Miguel Estrada in 2001. He might otherwise have become the first Hispanic Justice in George W. Bush’s second term."

Despite what many editorial pages beleive, a nominee is not entitled to a Yes vote. Instead, as the Republicans showed here, a nominee is entilted to a fair hearing and a prompt vote. Hopefully the Democrats were taking notes.

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