President Obama’s recent Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, is about to begin the long and arduous confirmation process.
President Obama’s recent Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, is about to begin the long and arduous confirmation process. At first glance her public comments on race and “making policy” from the bench are concerning. Senate Republicans will take a full and in-depth review of her record and if it warrants a tough hearing and possible filibuster, so be it. But I also feel Republicans need to be consistent. When John Roberts and Sam Alito went through the same process nearly three years ago, I, along with many Republicans, was furious with Senate Democrats' lack of respect for these well-qualified jurists. In fact, Samuel Alito had to beat back insinuations that he was a racist and intentionally hurt women with his rulings. In response to a sympathetic question from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, Alito was forced to state, “I’m not any kind of bigot.” This exchange was far too much for Alito’s wife, who was moved to tears and had to leave the hearing. It should never have come to that. The Senate Judiciary Committee shouldn’t act like a Kangaroo Court. So when the cameras start rolling in a few weeks, senators cross-examining Sotomayor should focus on how she interprets the law, rather than what’s in her heart. My hope is that Republican senators tasked with questioning Sotomayor stay away from those terrible tactics we saw a few years ago. Anything less would be wrong. I also think, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Sotomayor should probably be confirmed. When a president wins an election, he deserves the right to appoint judges to the bench that he feels are most qualified. President Bush had that right and so does President Obama. A thorough and respectful review is what’s deserved. I hope Senate Republicans give that to Ms. Sotomayor.Phillip Stutts is president of Phillip Stutts & Company. You can follow Phillip at www.PhillipStutts.com or on Twitter @phillipstutts.