USSC rebukes 10th Circuit hyper-partisanship on Utah same-sex marriage decision.

Quick background: a federal judge in Utah recently tossed that state’s same-sex marriage ban (which is, by the way, based off of a state constitutional amendment*); the judge also then refused to put a stay on the decision until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver had a look at it.  At that point the screaming reached the point where Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who oversees requests from the 10th Circuit) noticed; the Supreme Court then turned around and instituted said stay on the decision.  It now goes to the Court of Appeals’; presumably, it will then proceed to the Supreme Court with all due speed.

I take Ed Morrissey’s position on this:

This may well be a rebuke from the top court to the rest of the federal judiciary about refusing stays for obviously activist decisions. I’m not sure it says anything more than that.

Continue reading USSC rebukes 10th Circuit hyper-partisanship on Utah same-sex marriage decision.

Justice Sotomayor puts temporary stay on contraception mandate case.

So, what’s going on, here?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing some religious-affiliated groups to provide health insurance coverage of birth control or face penalties as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Acting at the request of an order of nuns in Colorado, Justice Sotomayor issued the stay just hours before the requirement was to go into effect on New Year’s Day. She gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court.

Well, it’s not completely complicated: just perhaps a little surprising to people who assumed that Barack Obama has managed to do what no other President has ever done and installed 120% super-loyal never-straying justices on the Supreme Court. Hot Air runs through the possible outcomes: basically, this is a temporary stay for a specific case, but the odds are good that the Supreme Court is going to look favorably on injunctions on implementing the contraception mandate until the court answers the question once and for all this year. It’s reasonable, too: fining groups for refusing to comply with a law that turns out to be unconstitutional can be… awkward. Continue reading Justice Sotomayor puts temporary stay on contraception mandate case.

‘Mostly harmless.’

That’s Ben Domenech’s two-word assessment of Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice:

This is worth noting: given the chance to select Diane Wood, a brilliant legal voice and a hardened defender of unrestricted abortion rights, Obama went for the personal story that would appeal to the media instead, disappointing once again some of his supporters. It is possible, yes, that Sotomayor is personally an abortion centrist. But the pro- and anti-abortion groups should fall in normal lines on this nominee — her decisions in favor of anti-abortion policies weren’t based on opposition to Roe, and in viewing the entirety of her background, Sotomayor gives no signs of being a stealth nominee for the pro-life cause.

This is what it all comes down to, in fact. As John Yoo notes, Sotomayor gives no signs of being a threat or an asset to any particular cause. It’s unlikely that she’ll be further left than the man she’s replacing, and if she has the gift for motivating or shifting her fellow justices, she hasn’t displayed it on the Second Circuit, where even after 17 years, no one regards her as a leader. She is, in other words, unlikely to shift the Supreme Court in any direction, to any significant degree, from where it was before her arrival.

Continue reading ‘Mostly harmless.’

Lindsey Graham wounded by Sotomayor’s hurtful remarks.

Senator Lindsey Graham goes there:

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told “FOX News Sunday” he wasn’t buying President Obama’s attempt to walk back his Supreme Court nominee’s controversial statement from 2001. Obama said Friday that given the chance Sotomayor would have “restated” that comment, and that she was merely trying to express how her experiences give her perspective on others’ hardships.

“She didn’t say that at all,” Graham countered Sunday, suggesting Sotomayor’s statement raises questions about her objectivity.

“What she said is that based on her life experiences is that she thought a Latina woman, somebody with her background, would be a better judge than a guy like me — a white guy from South Carolina,” Graham said. “It is troubling, and it’s inappropriate and I hope she’ll apologize.”

Continue reading Lindsey Graham wounded by Sotomayor’s hurtful remarks.

Perhaps the White House doesn’t *want* Sotomayor confirmed.

Look who they’ve farmed the prep work off on:

Cynthia Hogan, chief counsel to Vice President Biden, will lead the White House team, with assistance from several other Biden aides. Former Obama campaign adviser and transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter will handle message and communications, two administration officials tell CNN.

The vice president, a veteran of Supreme Court nominations from his time on the Judiciary Committee, is also expected to play a key role, an administration official confirmed to CNN.

This helpful graphic may clarify the point:


That’s from the Alito hearings, which the Democrats rather badly wanted to short-circuit, but couldn’t. I concur in the implicit advice suggested by that graphic and the end of the CNN article: GOP Senators, make Sotomayor talk and talk and talk. Short questions, make her clarify everything, and the Senators going on later, keep track of what she was saying earlier and ask her about that.And here is my radical suggestion for these hearings:

I want every Republican Senator on that committee to set a goal of no more than 1,000 words for questions, and stick to it.

These are days for boldness.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.