The Magazine

Sotomayor v. Obama

A pseudo confirmation conversion.

Jul 27, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 42 • By TERRY EASTLAND
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Judging by not just her hearings but her years on the lower courts and her often confounding speeches and writings, it doesn't appear that Sotomayor will be a compelling exponent of judicial liberalism. A vote for it certainly, but nothing more. Meanwhile, the Sotomayor hearings have made it politically harder for Obama to advance via his nominees a judicial philosophy that goes "beyond the process of law" and embraces some new "constitutional vision," one that seeks to address what he described during his campaign as the country's "empathy [that word again] deficit." However wise it was tactically to pick Sotomayor--the first or second Hispanic named to the Court, depending on how you regard Benjamin Cardozo--the choice weakens Obama's ability to select "even more progressive" nominees. A small consolation for conservatives, I know, but, in this era of united Democratic government, one to be taken nonetheless.

Terry Eastland is the publisher of
THE WEEKLY STANDARD.