I’m not particularly sold on Sonia Sotomayor one way or the other, other than to believe that nothing good could ever come from Obama. My lawyer colleagues here on Redstate are much better versed on the merits of her rulings and arguments in the courtroom, but they are not necessarily free to pass judgment on them, as there could be conflicts of interest in the future. It does seem that while she is certainly not a nominee that would come from a Republican president, she could be less harmful than some of the alternatives.
Despite what one thinks of her potential benefit or damage to the rule of law in the United States, it seems that Ms. Sotomayor’s journey to the Supreme Court bench has hit a couple of speed bumps. First it was her borderline-racist statements implying that a “wise Latina” judge would reach better conclusions than a “white male who hasn’t lived that life,” and the fact that her comments were not an isolated incident, contrary to the spin of the Obama administration. That particular episode seemed to be defused by th administration, as it seems to (at the time) have had little impact on her popularity. But it appears the latest, more significant courtroom events have had an impact on the public’s perception of Ms. Sotomayor.
This week the Supreme Court’s Ricci v. DeStefano decision directly reversed one of Sotomayor’s rulings. The court ruled 5-4 that the firefighters in question were discriminated against, in contradiction with Sotomayor’s opinion. And although the decision was 5-4, all nine SCOTUS justices disagreed with her disposition on the case. But here’s the key – the Obama lapdog media heavily covered the story and made it crystal clear that it was her ruling that was overridden, a fact that I suppose was undeniable, thus making it pretty much mandatory that they report it. This apparently has had a discernible impact on her public perception. The Rasmussen polling firm found that “37% now believe Sotomayor should be confirmed while 39% disagree.” This reflects a twelve-point decline in the public support for Sotomayor from before the Supreme Court ruling. Prior to the Ricci ruling, there was already debate about Sotomayor’s reversal rate at the Supreme Court level. One could argue that the drop in popularity is, in part, a delayed reaction to the accumulation of information that has been made public since her nomination, combined with the Court’s ruling.
On Wednesday, on his blog, William Jacobson pointed out how a month ago the polling information was important in pointing out how “Obama apparently found the American political center in appointing her” … and he asks “does that mean the polls still are relevant when the polls are not so good?” Heh…good question, sir.
So now does that mean that this polling result indicates that Obama should have second thoughts about his support for Sotomayor? Her ruling on the Ricci case jives with her previous racially-tinged comments and brings cause for concern about how she will continue her affirmative action activism from the bench.