Tied to the mast
…but orange now and black

The NYT’s ringing Sotomayor endorsement

RobeThe editorial today on Sotomayor is probably the most ringing endorsement I’ve read of Sotomayor’s temperment and record, going so far as to beam “Judge Sotomayor would also be a trailblazing figure in the mold of Thurgood Marshall”–trailblazing figure, sure yes, but I could have used more substance to support the claim that she would be in the “mold” of Marshall.

A question that’s been on my mind though, is how this is going to interact with the developing public debate on torture (which has been demoted to the other big law related debate of the moment). Once we get past the identity politics foofaraw (if we get past it), will it be held up by the media as a litmus test? Will it be regarded as a distraction and avoided by the two parties’ establishments?

The question of her stance on the legal limits of executive power has been raised in a few quarters–keep your eye on Andrew Sullivan who has promised to sleuth this beat–but I haven’t seen too many answers, at least not answers containing much content. That is itself alarming, and needs to be addressed (by further research, and in the Senate hearings). But it’s harder to stir up public outrage with a null finding than with a quote taken out of context, e.g. “the appeals court is where policy is made…”

Undoubtedly this will remain an issue in the blogosphere, but, as much as its influence has grown, a blogosphere victory is still measured in the number of weeks it takes to shame the NYT and WaPo into addressing a wrongfully ignored issue.

Abu Ghraib

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