File Under “Elections Have Consequences”

One of the reasons I continue to see the eight years of the Bush presidency as a net positive is his appointment of two exceptional Supreme Court justices in Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Both represent a fidelity to strict construction and the rule of law that has far too often been in the minority on the Court, and I think they reflect well on Bush’s judgment (Harriet Myers notwithstanding.)

For better or worse, a President’s Supreme Court nominations will likely be his most lasting mark on the nation.

Now, less than six months into his first term, President Obama has made his first appointment to the Court. Circuit Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor will likely become the first Hispanic justice in the Court’s history.

Needless to say, the meme that Sotomayor is in any way a “moderate” because she was appointed to the district court by President George H.W. Bush is ridiculous. Sotomayor’s “empathy” from the bench represents the very “rule of man,” as opposed to “rule of law,” that should be totally out of place in our justice system.

The chances of even filibustering Sotomayor are slim, and will be fraught with peril for anyone brave enough to try; defeating her will most likely be impossible. This is unfortunate because all indications are that Sonia Sotomayor is the kind of bullying ideologue who shouldn’t occupy the bench. And at only 54 years old, she will be occupying it for some time.

Update: David Frum makes two good points, here and here.

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