Christy Hardin SmithCommunity

SCOTUS: Senate Debate On Sotomayor Continues After 9:30 am ET

The Senate finally got to some debate on the Sotomayor SCOTUS nomination late yesterday, after an interminable wrangle on the agriculture bill. The Senate is expected to gavel back into session at 9:30 am ET this morning.

After morning business concludes, the SCOTUS debate should resume with a vote likely sometime later today or early tomorrow.

C-Span has been keeping a handy, alphabetized tally of Senator’s public statements on voting intentions which shows, as of this morning, 57 votes for confirmation and 15 votes still pending some public statement.

CQ has an article this morning on the glories of bi-partisanship according to Lindsey Graham, and the loss of those halcyon days of yore with the increasingly partisan judicial battles now and to come. The article makes it sound as though we are governed by immature 7-year-olds who don’t care about the good of the country, only positioning for the next election cycle and settling grudges:

The Sotomayor nomination is the latest in the increasingly partisan battle over judicial nominations, including lower-court nominations. And the way Republicans have largely united against Sotomayor signals trouble for President Obama’s future Supreme Court nominations should Democrats lose seats in the midterm elections….

The opposition from Hatch and another senior Judiciary Committee Republican, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, is particularly notable. Neither Hatch nor Grassley has ever voted against a Supreme Court nominee before. They both supported Clinton’s two nominees, Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer .

Hatch, like other members of his party, indicated that he is still bitter about the way Democrats treated GOP nominees to the lower federal courts when they were in the minority.

Of course, Hatch was responsible for bottling up the Clinton judicial appointments during a stretch of GOP Senate control, so his peevish tantrum on that score always makes me laugh.

What isn’t a laughing matter? The Beltway press is pushing the GOP framing of "this signals trouble" for future judicial nominations. How about, instead, a "grow up, you people are Senators, so stop gaming the rule of law for your electoral needs?"

But that would be too much to ask, wouldn’t it?

Like I said yesterday, instead of signaling a problem, this ought to be a freeing moment for Democrats — since the petty political peevishness will outweigh the decent in far too many cases, why bother trying to make them happy? If it isn’t going to happen, why not select judges passionate about the rule of law and let the petty crowd pout in the corner.

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