Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

SCOTUS: Media Heathers Want To Talk “Character” Now

Well, why not just come out and say what you are really insinuating, NYTimes?

Judge Sotomayor’s sharp-tongued and occasionally combative manner — some lawyers have described her as “difficult” and “nasty” — raises questions about her judicial temperament and willingness to listen.

You want to know why those opposing Sotomayor keep raising this issue of "she’s a bitch on the bench?" (And how often have you seen this tack with a man.  Honestly.)

It’s because they know that a Heathers campaign is media catnip.

The titillating nature of junior high anonymous gossip mongering is so much more amusing and more easily understood by political reporters who don’t bother trying to comprehend legal intricacies. 

Having to wade through all those tedious legal opinions?  It’s hard work.  Forcing people to go on the record if they want to snipe?  Glenn’s been having a field day with this sort of idiocy, and for good reason.

It’s just easier to pass notes in class and knife someone in the back anonymously, isn’t it?

The fact that Sotomayor can hold her own during questioning, and doesn’t stand fools gladly in her courtroom makes her, by implication in far too many articles at this point, a bitch. Perusing just the right-wing PR releases on Sotomayor’s nomination shows their intention to reinforce that with the press because they know it’s a tantalizing hook for our People Magazine media culture. Let’s just take one example from Ed Whelan:

President Obama abided by his dismal and lawless “empathy” standard and, in his selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, picked a nominee whom he can count on to indulge her own liberal biases. Sotomayor’s outrageous shenanigans in Ricci v. DeStefano—the case now awaiting a ruling by the Supreme Court in the next four weeks or so—shows what the Obama “empathy” standard means in practice….

She "indulges her liberal biases," and an opinion in which she participated as one of several judges equals Sotomayor’s "outrageous shenanigans." (See this summary from Hilzoy on why that’s laughable.)

Does Ed always feel that way? I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know that Justice Scalia’s famously outspoken demeanor is a-okay with Ed:

…Scalia’s supporters say it is simply Nino being Nino, offering the public a playful taste of his unvarnished thinking, which they call healthy for the court.

"I think people have called for the justices to be less monastic and get out there and talk to the people, and he’s doing that," said M. Edward Whelan III, a former Scalia law clerk who heads the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington.

What’s wrong with Sotomayor being similarly outspoken like her fellow New Yorker Scalia? As Tom Fitton said, "Obama nominated her." And there you have it.

Maybe I should just take a Midol and calm down.  My female parts clearly make me so irrational and bitchy. 

I’ll let Kevin Russell, who was on a WH-sponsored call I sat in on the other day, speak for me with his manly wisdom:

I understand that she has the reputation for being tough and doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

I understand some of those fools may not be happy about that.

Is it too much to ask that when these anonymous gripers come calling that the following be disclosed publicly:  Who asked you to speak to the media?  How did this contact come about — who arranged this?  So the public might ascertain for themselves the real agenda.  Or even, dare I say it, require them to go on the record so that their intent and agenda might be squarely front and center?

(YouTube — Rolling Stones, live in 1972, performing "Bitch.")

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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