The Magazine

Veni, Vidi . . . Ricci!

Why the Supreme Court's coming decision in the Ricci case could be a big moment in the Sotomayor confirmation fight.

Jun 8, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 36 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

So we will have an unusual moment in the Sotomayor confirmation process--one that will stand out from the customary small-bore senatorial back-and-forth during judicial confirmations. We'll have a high-profile Supreme Court ruling highlighting a very questionable judicial decision by the president's nominee. Most Court observers expect the judgment in which Sotomayor joined to be reversed. But even if it isn't, there will be a closely observed decision by a probably closely divided Supreme Court that will bring home the importance of the Sotomayor nomination for jurisprudence in this area. The public will have occasion to see how a nominee, herself picked for identity-politics reasons, was unempathetic, one might say, and unjust to the victims of identity politics, the firefighters of New Haven who were denied promotions.

Sotomayor will probably be confirmed. But nothing is certain. And a Ricci-focused debate over her confirmation will serve to remind Americans of the unseemliness and injustice of the Constitution-corrupting, identity-politics-driven agenda so dear to the hearts of the modern Democratic party, the Obama administration, and Sonia Sotomayor.

--William Kristol