In all fairness, it's not called " Good Ideas"

Poor old former Senator Rick Santorum. So many opinions, and so little relevance. It's kind of sweet that Politico decided to give him some space to write an "Ideas" piece on the Sotomayor nomination. Unfortunately, none of the ideas in the piece are any good.

Presumably they asked him to write because he voted to confirm Judge Sotomayor for the circuit court of appeals, and they wanted to know how he would vote now. Any guesses on what Sen. "Man on Dog Sex" had to say?
Senate Republicans should do a thorough examination of Sotomayor’s judicial record: Why does she have such a high reversal rate by the Supreme Court? Are there other decisions like the infamous New Haven firefighters discrimination case that would disqualify her?

Her out-of-court statements about her judicial philosophy have been rightfully making news, including her claim that the appeals court is “where policy is made.”

Or her statement that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Bias, elitism, the politics of separating people into classes and racial and ethnic pigeonholes are not what one would expect from a nominee of a president who promised to get us past that.

I will be the first to admit, elections have consequences. Obama won, which means that only the naive would have believed that Obama would appoint someone who believed in a strict constructionist approach to the Constitution. But it doesn’t mean that Republicans shouldn’t put up a fight against someone who ignores the Constitution completely.

I always like when there's a lot of stupid in one place, thus saving me the trouble of looking too hard for it. Thanks, Politico!

So, let's look at that "high reversal rate," shall we? You're on, Steve Benen!
Sotomayor has been on the appeals court federal bench for over a decade, and during her career, she's written 380 rulings for the 2nd Circuit's majority. Of those 380, five have been considered on appeal to the Supreme Court. And of those five, three have reversed the lower court's decision. That's how the right gets to a 60% reversal rating -- three out of five, as opposed to three out of 380.

Of course, if that 60% figure were really scandalous, the right should have balked at the Alito nomination -- he had two of his rulings considered by the high court, and both were overturned. (That's a 100% rating! He must have been a horrible judge!)

The irony is, Sotomayor's reversal numbers are actually better than the norm, not worse. Media Matters noted yesterday, "[A]ccording to data compiled by SCOTUSblog, Sotomayor's reported 60 percent reversal rate is lower than the overall Supreme Court reversal rate for all lower court decisions from the 2004 term through the present -- both overall and for each individual Supreme Court term."

A better average than Alito? I'm sure Santorum voted against him, right? Ha, ha. No. Either he had a sudden burst of common sense that allowed him to see what a ridiculous metric that was to judge a nominee, or he was too tickled with Alito's political leanings to care. Not great for his current argument, either way.

On those "bias" and "racial and ethnic pigeonholes" questions, I defer to SCOTUSblog (which is probably a good policy in general), where Tom Goldstein has actually bothered to review her record:
In sum, in an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times. Only one case (Gant) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas) she dissented to favor a white bigot.) She participated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims. Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking.
That "white bigot" case is a fairly ringing rebuttal of the whole "race-based thinking" meme that Santorum is flogging here. Glenn Greenwald has plenty more here. He thinks her Pappas dissent should end these slurs against her. We'll see.

About that last "point," Sen. Santorum completely abandons all sense. It's one thing to disagree with how a Justice approaches or interprets the Constitution. But it is patently, laughably absurd to aver that a circuit court judge just simply ignores it because you don't like the politics of the man who nominated her.

I'll bet the people of Pennsylvania miss him terribly.

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