Evidently, even leftist law professionals are disgusted with the prevarications of Sonia Sotomayor in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This quote is from a liberal law professor at Georgetown, Mike Seidman, after her second day of testimony:
Speaking only for myself (I guess that's obvious), I was completely disgusted by Judge Sotomayor's testimony today. If she was not perjuring herself, she is intellectually unqualified to be on the Supreme Court. If she was perjuring herself, she is morally unqualified. How could someone who has been on the bench for seventeen years possibly believe that judging in hard cases involves no more than applying the law to the facts? First year law students understand within a month that many areas of the law are open textured and indeterminate-that the legal material frequently (actually, I would say always) must be supplemented by contestable presuppositions, empirical assumptions, and moral judgments.
To claim otherwise - to claim that fidelity to uncontested legal principles dictates results - is to claim that whenever Justices disagree among themselves, someone is either a fool or acting in bad faith. What does it say about our legal system that in order to get confirmed Judge Sotomayor must tell the lies that she told today? That judges and justices must live these lies throughout their professional careers?
Perhaps Justice Sotomayor should be excused because our official ideology about judging is so degraded that she would sacrifice a position on the Supreme Court if she told the truth. Legal academics who defend what she did today have no such excuse. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Actually, she wouldn't sacrifice a position on the Court if she told the truth. The Democrats are crooning and gushing over her and have more than enough votes to confirm her no matter what she says, unless she blunders by saying something nice about George Bush or Dick Cheney.
It's the fact that she has nothing to lose by telling the truth that makes her unwillingness to do so all the more distressing to observers both left and right.
Quick Quiz: Liberals beat George Bush the elder over the head with one question in particular when he nominated Clarence Thomas to serve on the Supreme Court. Do you know what it was?
Answer: "Is Judge Thomas really the best qualified person that President Bush could have found to nominate to the Supreme Court, or did he nominate Thomas just to curry favor with African-Americans?"
I wonder why liberals have forgotten to raise that question this time around with another minority nominee.
Thanks to The Volokh Conspiracy for the Seidman quote.RLC