My First and Last Sotomayor Post

This is a closed case that will be a summer cash cow for people who make money taking sides. She will be confirmed and that’s that.

The following observations are random and close the subject for me.

Jonathan Turley has projected an image of such snobbery toward the nominee that he ranks in my mind as the Paul Krugman of legal opinions. Both men are right half the time. (Interestingly. Turley modified his snarky initial reaction later for KO — guests on MSNBC do not merely reappear, they appear serially from show to show — intensifying viewer alienation.)

I refuse to watch MSNBC talk all summer about this.

I refuse to get upset when all the opponents of Obama can do conclude that all he cares about is his socialist agenda. Barack Obama is an Alinsky veteran who inclines to democracy and realizes the limitations of community organization. That is why he ran for President. He is for a mixed system that seeks to bring out the best in the both private and public sectors. He is above all smart, smarter than his opponents for the most part, and miles smarter than the people on his side who want to grouse rather than follow his lead.

He put out his A team yesterday to take on the media and, if you watched Jarret, Axelrod and Gibbs, you got a carefully-honed message that nonplussed the conflict-hungry MSM. It was a delight to see.

Following the President does not mean agreeing all the time. It means supporting when you can and cutting some slack when you cannot. And realizing that we are gently moving past the era of binary and double binds in respect to … us.

Republican opposition to Sotomayor will make their loss of standing among Hispanics a veritable sentence of doom upon their electoral hopes for at least the next two rounds. Even McCain seems to understand this, pushing back on Limbaugh-Rove.

Slurs of Santomajor have already begun online and no doubt elsewhere. Each of these will leave her in a more powerful position.

Democrats should probably pray for Republican opposition as it will only help a party which is itself reeling from its own internal contradictions. The jury is still out on about half of the Democrats in high office as far as I am concerned. Maybe the Sotomayor chapter will provide an occasion for Democratic unanimity and repentance for their shameful performance on the Gitmo Closing vote.

My final observation will please no Democrat. It is very simple and possibly even correct:

The Sotomayor who is being thinly excoriated by an asinine corps of Republican talking heads could well become the Souter of the Democrats. Her record is mixed enough and has enough blanks on issues that the High Court considers that we cannot tell if she is a lock on all the reflexive expectations of doctrinaire Democrats. As with President Obama, we may find that, with Sotomayor, empathy runs both ways. And that winking and nodding does not work with prospective lifetime high court judges with minds of their own.


Souter To Retire Glass Ceiling Cracks

When Justice Souter retires at the close of the U.S. Supreme Court’s present term, speculation is heavy that a woman will replace him. Among the speculations is the possibility that the wife of Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell will be considered. That would be Marjorie Rendell, known as Midge. From an illuminating 2002 profile:

She and Rendell have been married for 31 years.

It was a courtship from which legends have sprung, and the true story bears being told.

The former Marjorie Osterlund, who grew up in Wilmington, Del., was a junior at the University of Pennsylvania when she and her date went to a party thrown by a brassy young man at Villanova Law School. Yes, it was Rendell. His apartment was known as the “Ape House.”

Well, there was some sort of spark, because the next morning, she got a phone call from Rendell, asking her to go to lunch.

He had called her date — David Montgomery, now president of the Philadelphia Phillies — to get permission and her phone number. Montgomery gave both, but he wanted a candy bar thrown in to sweeten the deal, Stiles recounts.

The two dated until she graduated in 1969 and moved to Washington, D.C., to go to Georgetown Law. She dated other men, but when she returned to Philadelphia, she and Rendell hooked up again.

“He’s this amazing person,” she said in a 1997 interview with Philadelphia Magazine. “He’s larger than life. He’s just too much. But after Ed, everybody else was too little.” SOURCE

Thus Judge Marjorie Rendell of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Another woman who might be seriously considered is Judge Judith W. Rogers of the US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia. She is a graduate of Harvard Law and was formerly Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia.

The Souter vacancy may be a chance to test the leftward tilt meme that has accompanied the President’s relatively unopposed march to a leadership position. In essence, the meme is that the center itself has moved leftward. I have always seen it as valid centrism gaining some wiggle room. The tip off would be an unopposed nomination and I assume that the President’s sage choice will facilitate that.


Neither of the worthies mentioned above is included among the woman candidates surmised in this WAPO account. There is no dearth of qualified women for this first Obama appointment.