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SCOTUS: Justice In The Balance With A Sotomayor Nomination?

The White House has sent out an official press notice that their SCOTUS announcement will come at 10:15 am ET. NBC News, the AP, NYTimes and SCOTUSblog all indicate that the upcoming SCOTUS pick will be Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.  I am also hearing WH confirmation that it is, indeed, Sotomayor. 

Pete Williams just went with the details live on MSNBC.

As I said earlier, Sotomayor has a compelling personal story to bring to the nomination table:

She grew up in the projects in the Bronx, lost her father at the age of nine, and was raised along with her brother (who is now a doctor) by her single mother. That’s some life experience to bring to the table.

She began school having much more Spanish than English, but managed to graduate in top levels of her classes all the way through. And went on to become the editor of a law journal at Yale.

She has worked both in a district attorney’s office as a trial lawyer in New York as well as in private practice before her seat on the 2nd circuit, so she has trial chops to bring to the table as well.

She was appointed to the bench originally by George H.W. Bush and is considered, even by conservatives who have been before her, as a moderate judge who is particularly well-versed in the law and well-prepared. That makes for good pushback on GOP antics, it’s just a pity we have to think politics and not legal temperament.

Tom at SCOTUSblog hits a similar end note this morning:

Republicans cannot afford to find themselves in the position of implicitly opposing Judge Sotomayor. To Hispanics, the nomination would be an absolutely historic landmark. It really is impossible to overstate its significance. The achievement of a lifetime appointment at the absolute highest levels of the government is a profound event for that community, which in turn is a vital electoral group now and in the future….

For Republican Senators to come after Judge Sotomayor is not only hopeless when it comes to confirmation (something that did not deter Democrats in their attacks on Roberts and Alito) but a strategy that risks exacting a very significant political cost among Hispanics and independent voters generally, assuming that the attacks aren’t backed up with considerable substance.

Much more to come on this as the day moves forward, including analysis on opinions and weak points as well as strengths.

Suddenly, the Ben Nelson fishing expedition on Fox News over the weekend comes into sharper focus: he’s making a move while his vote still has cash value. And before one of the other "floaters" cuts a deal of their own.

But, for now, let’s see what President Obama has to say…and whether they send Jon Kyl or John Cornyn out to make the Federalist Society case in rebuttal, or someone else entirely.  Because I can’t quite agree with Tom at SCOTUSblog that the GOP will give Sotomayor any sort of pass. 

I’m bracing myself for the inevitable wave of shitstorm kabuki.  And I hope the WH has planned for the same.

For readers who have had experience with Judge Sotomayor, let’s hear some courtroom stories.  Please.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com