Thursday, July 30, 2009

Max Should Support Sotomayor

Max Baucus has been too busy to find out about Obama's Supreme Court nominee, and has told The Hill that he doesn't know how he will vote next week. I urge him to support her and vote for her confirmation. Not because I think that she will be a great justice, in fact I really don't. She was picked solely to placate the identity police, and her legal reasoning leaves a lot to be desired. But that is just the reason Max should support her.
In every trial when you are picking a jury, you are trying to guess who will be the foreman (or forewoman) since they will have extraordinary power over how the jury votes. My baseline guess is usually the oldest, tallest best educated male. It doesn't always work out, but often enough that it's a good rule of thumb. That person will be the one that can carry your side in the argument if you can persuade them.
Others in the jury will have varying degrees of influence all the way down to what are essentially fillers. People who will go along with the majority, no matter what they think.
Sonia Sotomayor is just that, a filler. She doesn't have the intellectual firepower to persuade the other justices and so she will always vote consistently in whatever way Breyer or Ginsberg tell her to. If her nomination was rejected, it is quite possible that Obama could select someone who makes a difference in the justices' conferences after argument.
She replaces Souter, whose signal achievement was the Kelo decision that says governments can take over property just because they can get more tax revenue under another owner. With this nominee, there won't be any change in the balance of the court, so no harm, no foul.

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