Tue, 26 May 2009 13:24:44 +0000 – Whatever Judge Sotomayor's "qualifications," this is clearly a political pick and a "three-fer" for Obama.
She is a woman, a Hispanic and a liberal.
In much of the commentary so far, there is nothing about Judge Sotomayor's view of the Constitution which ought to be the primary concern for anyone ascending to the court.
As the first Hispanic judge she will help shore-up the Democrats' base among the nation's largest minority. As a liberal, she satisfies Obama's criterion for someone who has "empathy" with people. As a woman who almost certainly would uphold abortion rights, she satisfies liberal females.
Unfortunately in much of the commentary so far, there is nothing about her view of the Constitution, which ought to be the primary concern for anyone ascending to the court. We have moved from such things to biography, "feelings" and "empathy," thus allowing the Constitution, in the words of former Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, to become whatever the Justices say it is. That is dangerous for the country and the Constitution.
Judge Sotomayor should easily win confirmation because Democrats have the votes in the Senate, but Republicans should raise these issues and educate the country about what can happen if the Constitution is what the Justices say it is, rather than allowing that grand document to speak for itself. If a conservative judge decided the Constitution meant only what he or she says it means, there would be an outcry reaching to Heaven, if the secular Left believed in such a place.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.