Monday, June 8, 2009

Does a Judge's Gender Matter? Ask "Proud" Laura Bush

Perhaps she's showing the grace of a former White House resident, but Laura Bush's comments regarding Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court directly contradict the rhetoric conservatives have used to portray her as a biased and unqualified jurist. Appearing on Good Morning America, Bush said that: "As a woman, I'm proud that there might be another woman on the court. I wish her well." She also described Sotomayor as "a very interesting and good nominee."

21 comments:

Mark G said...

Good point. To the extent that Sotomayor's opponents argue that diversity is not a valid consideration in picking a new justice, they are forgetting history.

Kudos, by the way, on the link from Instapundit.

Kansas City said...

Come on. Laura Bush is supposed to be considered someone to cite on the question of whether Sotomayer is unqualified and biased? She is a gracious former first lady; she also may be wise enough to know that Sotomayer is going to be affirmed and she is not any worse that whoever else Obama might pick.

On a substantive note, below is a a link to a very interesting comment regarding Sotomayer's undistinguished work on the Ricci case. It is a slighly different take in that it reflects a more acceptable explanation for the original summary affirmance (fragile agreement on the panel and a purpose not to create precedent) rather than trying to get away with an affirmance the rest of the court would not notice, but it is more damning on the subsequent per curiam order which actually did establish precedent.

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_05_31-2009_06_06.shtml#1244327574

Kansas City said...

By the way, I think Sotomayer is obviously qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice and, absent new revelations, should be confirmed. She speaks and believes in various liberal dogma, but so what? Obama and anyone else he picks would believe in them as well. She has been caught on tape making statements that any other Obama appointment would either agree with or at least not object to. She has long served on the Second Circuit without embarassing herself and, apparently, has a decent record on the court.

She is abusive at times to attorneys, which I don't like in a judge, but one could argue Scalia is sometimes that way as well.

liberal dissent said...

Honestly, I don't think Laura Bush is really a conservative. I don't think she ever has been.

dualdiagnosis said...

Trademark Bush family poise, tact and graciousness. Expect nothing less from Laura.

The Gaucho Politico said...

does gender matter? yes. In cases of discrimination it does. everything else? not so much.

Stray Yellar Dawg? said...

In Laura's defense. She has said that she looks forward to a women in the White House, as president. And that she hopes it will be a Republican.

I do not really see her words as contradictory. If she is what she seems to be... a Conservative.. then she will wish for the best person to get the job. If the "best person" also happens to be a women... that *is* cause to be proud for that woman.

SYD

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Thanks, Mark G. Glenn Reynolds links me frequently. He's a great guy, who has sent a lot of conservative, liberals and moderates to Dissenting Justice!

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Stray - I never said Laura was contradictory herself, but that she went against rhetoric that suggests any embrace of gender or race is ugly nasty identity politics.

Gaucho: I posted a blog entry some time ago which discusses Justice O'Connor's take on the relevance of gender. Search for "Strikingly Similar" and you will find it.

KC: We finally agree! I said Bush was probably showing grace, and I believe Sotomayor is qualifed for the SCT. Great.

Kansas City said...

Darren:

It is nice to see respectful agreement between a liberal and a conservative. Not to spoil the fun, but I would point out you ignore the substantive points about the new information regarding the soon to be reversed Ricci case and the unfortunate fact that Judge Sotomayer is a believer in liberal dogma the same as Obama and anyone else he would nominate.

Kansas City said...

I also would point out that the grace of Mrs. Bush is a harbinger of the rise of President Bush from the damage imposed on him by the liberal media and democratic opponents (plus the unpopular war and economic downturn). His graceful and respectful Obama "deserves my silence" is recognized even my his democratic and liberal enemies, and Obama follows many of his policies. I suspect, like virtually every recent republican president, the assessment of Bush will rise with the passge of time.

liberal dissent said...

KC: It's good to see President Bush exhibiting the kind of respect towards his political opponents that he couldn't manage while in office--where he slandered those who disagreed with him as unpatriotic, appointed people to his administration whose sole qualification were that they supported him ideologically, and attacked his opponents through proxies like Rove and Cheney in a despicable way. But it's not going to raise Bush's reputation. The incompetence of his administration is too well-detailed, his arrogance too overwhelming, his failures too big, and his ideology will be a dinosaur in the coming century.

Hershblogger said...

Laura Bush is not someone to whom we should pay attention regarding SCOTUS picks.

She also speculated that the opposition to Harriet Miers might be due to misogyny.

http://otherclub.blogspot.com/2005/10/open-letter-to-republican-national.html

Mark G said...

Gaucho -- To me, an important reason for diversity on the court is to maintain the trust and confidence of the public whose cases are being decided. If it appears folks of a given race, gender, or ethnicity are blackballed, members of that group may be less trusting of the rulings they get. That's why the early court had both yankees and southerners, and later presidents made a point of always having a catholic member and a jewish one. Of course the impulse can be taken too far; but it's not a bad impulse.

FLRN said...

Professor - Have you read the local news today? There is a shout to the home team here - #20 in the nation ~ I am not surprised!

4 Alachua Co. high schools ranked high nationally - Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Hank Gillette said...

What the hell is Laura Bush doing in that family?

Kansas City said...

The comment by Liberal Dissent is a reflection of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Bush and Laura are being nothing be respectful and nice to Obama and his family and administration, so Liberal Dissent decides it is time to attack Bush:

"he slandered those who disagreed with him as unpatriotic, appointed people to his administration whose sole qualification were that they supported him ideologically, and attacked his opponents through proxies like Rove and Cheney in a despicable way."

Let's leave out the overstated appointment criticism ("sole qualification?") since presidents always appoint those who agree with them idealogically, where are the examples of Bush slandering those who disagreed with him as unpatriotic and the examples of the "despicable attackes" on opponents by Rove and Cheney?

Let's also agree that the the passage of time is necessary before there is sufficient information for a fair and reasonable historical assessment of the Bush presidency.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

KC: What "substantive" and "new" information on Ricci did I miss? Also, cases get reversed all the time. That really does not matter to me -- in terms of evaluating a judge. The judge's analysis or positions matter more. Alito voted to uphold part of a Pennsylvania abortion law that required married women to notify their husbands. The Court reversed 6-3; only the conservatives who do not believe that abortion is a right at all voted to affirm Alito. Yet, he still sits on the Court.

With respect to Ricci, here's what I think: WWKD: Ricci v. DeStefano Will Likely Turn on Justice Kennedy

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hershblogger: I think sexism and elitism helped derail Miers. Why is that unimaginable? Because sexism no longer exists?

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

FLRN: continues to diffuse "tension" with Gainesville stories.

Mark G: those are just some of the arguments O'Connor used in Grutter.

KC: I agree that Bush was intolerant of dissent. More often than not, people described him as someone who was deeply into loyalty. I think that this concept might have greatly factored into the nomination of Harriet Miers.

Liberal Dissent: Yes - Bush was intolerant of dissent. But unlike Cheney, he is exercising "presidential" grace with respect to Obama. Cheney is pretty out there.

Hershblogger said...

Professor,

I really don't think that discrimination against women affects SCOTUS nominations, so I disagree with Laura Bush. Miers had other problems entirely.

If anything this currently works in reverse. At the least, you'll acknowledge that Sotomayor was the pick predicted by the MSM because of sex and ethnicity.

If anything, being female is an advantage, since it's beltway wisdom that there should be at least 2 women on the court.

Real Time Analytics