May 26, 2009

Some clown like Orrin Hatch

A Court of Appeals grapples with the difficult questions, the gray areas in the law, and ultimately issues rulings one way or the other. These rulings then become the policy of that particular circuit, serving as controlling precedent in future cases. This is just as true in the ultra-conservative Fourth Circuit as it is the more liberal Ninth Circuit.

But in Simplistic Republican World, none of this actually happens. Good conservative judges don't "make policy," they simply enforce the law. The law is apparently always clear. Indeed it's a wonder that lawyers even bother to appeal cases in the Fourth Circuit. After all, they should know that the conservative jurists in that circuit will simply "enforce the law" (because they wouldn't dream of "making policy"), so the outcome should be very predictable.

Undoubtedly conservatives will point to Sotomayor's reaction to her own words as evidence that she was letting slip some secret about how liberal judges actually operate. But the obvious truth is that she was merely anticipating that some clown like Orrin Hatch might someday twist her words to mean something they don't.
The Anonymous Liberal

Let the clown parade begin.

eta: Oh, look, it already has. Milwaukee's own heavyweight clown and credible source for all things judicial, Charlie Sykes, thinks Sonia Sotomayor is "something of a lightweight" (citing Jeffrey Rosen's anonymous sources). That oughta sink this nomination for sure.

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