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In the first of his Supreme Court picks, Barack Obama has given the nod to the early favorite, Bronx-born Sonia Sotomayor. My take on the pick is up now at The Daily Beast. In past years, Supreme Court nomination battles have focused on the hot button issues of the Religious Right: abortion and gay marriage, among other things. More recent polling shows public interest in those issues fading away, while most Americans now pick runaway powers exercised by the Executive as their biggest legal policy worry. On that point, Charlie Savage recently noted that Sotomayor is something of a mystery—the Second Circuit rarely gets this sort of case. Charlie’s piece is excellent, but I’m not so sure about his conclusions on Sotomayor. In the tough way she approaches prosecutors who appear before her, I see a judge who believes that those who wield executive power have to be held to account for it. That should add to her appeal to civil libertarians, who are generally disappointed with many of Obama’s recent calls on national security issues.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”