The Nod Goes to Sotomayor | Harper's Magazine

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The Nod Goes to Sotomayor


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.

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