July 30, 2009

Complete Deference Means Self-Disarmament

The Washington Post's legal blog has a post up that comments on Sen. Alexander's (R-Tenn) decision to vote in favor of confirming Sotomayor.

"Even though Judge Sotomayor's political and judicial philosophy may be different than mine, especially regarding Second Amendments rights," Alexander said on the Senate floor, "I will vote to confirm her because she is well qualified by experience, temperament, character and intellect to serve as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court."

In his speech, Alexander criticized Obama for opposing President George W. Bush's two Supreme Court nominees, and he framed his own decision as a move "to help to return the Senate to the practice only recently lost of inquiring diligently into qualifications of a nominee and then accepting that elections have consequences, one of which is to confer upon the president the constitutional right to nominate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States." 

I understand Sen. Alexander's frustration with the process, but I find it hard to beleive that continuing to show complete deferenece by voting Yes on Democratic nominees, especially those with as troubling qualities as Sotomayor, is going to change things.  The Democrats are the ones that brought us to this precipice via Bork, Thomas, and Alito.  For the GOP to singlehandedly disarm in the name of deference or some other quality the media loves to crow about is politically stupid.  The harsh treatment of Alito and/or the racialist treatment of Miguel Estrada did nothing to Democratic electorial success.  NOTHING.  To think the Dems won't result to the same tactics the next time the pendulum of power swings the GOP's way is naive.  Then, like now, the media will tut-tut the minority (although it is likely to be much more aggressive when the GOP is in the minority) but the voters will likely have moved on once the vote is made.  That is until that nominee coins their first opinion.  

On a side note, it is not that Sotomayor's "political and judicial philosophy may be different than [his and Sen. Graham's]."  It is that her political and julicial philosophies are wrong and way outside the mainstream of American values, which is something the Dems can't say about GOP nominees.