Sonia Sotomayor beats out Diane Wood for SCOTUS, but what's next? | Bleader

Sonia Sotomayor beats out Diane Wood for SCOTUS, but what's next?

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I know one local Diane Wood fan who's upset in the most hilarious way possible. "Stages of Grief" and "FAIL!" are killing me: "She's like Judge Learned HAND. I hope you're happy you've made Judge Wood into a dude that died a long time ago."

Regarding Sotomayor: this does not speak well of me, but as someone who grabs the popcorn when race, gender, and class privilege goes transparently public, the time between now and her hearings is going to be a sociocultural trainwreck of mindbending proportions. To borrow a line from the comments section at Alicublog (don't have a link, it's been awhile): it's amazing how quickly they've gone from dog whistles to electric sousaphones. "Carnival of the damned" may later be seen as putting it lightly.

If you want a 101 class in what to look for, Adam Serwer of TAPPED has a minor masterpiece of gutting someone's argument. This is how it's done:

"Taylor, who believes the greatest injustice in Western history was Sotomayor's failure to ignore established precedent in the Ricci case and act as an empathetic, activist judge on behalf of a plaintiff he finds sympathetic, has been a fervent supporter of racial profiling."

If you're at least passingly familiar with the immediate significance of Ricci, "precedent," "empathetic," and "activist," you'll recognize how compactly brilliant that sentence is.

If you're not, get used to hearing about Ricci v. DeStefano. The thing about New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci is that he is sympathetic, which is the nut of Serwer's argument: the more tears that are shed for Ricci and his colleagues, the more it should make you skeptical on attacks over Obama's regard for "empathy." Emily Bazelon has a compelling argument about Sotomayor's real problem in the case. Hint: it's not that she wants to keep the white man down. The great Dahlia Lithwick has much more. If you want not-crazy challenges to Sotomayor, the Volokh Conspiracy is a good start.

Also via VC: Sotomayor and John Roberts preside over the GWU moot court competition.

Dept. of good legal news: a Prop 8 challenge by the high-powered ideological tag-team of Ted Olson and David Boies is in the works. Also, looking on the bright side of the recent setback.

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