Sonia Sotomayor has been heralded as a judge with a life story that should inspire all Americans and, even though she has a fairly conservative voting record in some areas, liberal activists have rallied around her nomination. A new poll, however, suggests that most Americans are neither inspired nor supportive. Only forty-seven percent of people polled by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation support Sotomayor and, more importantly, forty percent outright oppose her confirmation.
Those figures put Sotomayor in a worse position than Harriet Miers who was forced to withdraw from consideration for the Court.
It is also lower that the support for Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
Even independents are split on the nomination with forty-two percent in favor and forty-one percent against the nomination.
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25 thoughts on “Poll: Less Than Fifty Percent of Americans Support Sotomayor Nomination — Numbers Lower Than Harriet Miers Going Into Confirmation Hearings”
I think the problem here is the outmoded framing of the nomination entirely with the judge’s ethnicity and gender. The Republicans are deftly exploiting the shallow, symbolic factors related to Sotomayor’s nomination. Those factors really should be beside the point. If the public discussion were more honest and open paricipants would all recongize and agree that having more diversity among judges opens the judicial system up to being more responsive and even handed than if we had a purely homogeneous judiciary. It’s just a fact of human nature that who we are can have an important impact on how we view and evaluate situations and circumstances. If the judiciary is so utterly dominated by one kind of viewpoint then it naturally has limitations as a result. This would be true no matter what particular class or group dominated. It would be just as detrimental if all judges or the vast preponderance were black males or black females or hispanic females, etc… The fact that Sotomayor is hispanic and female should only be a secondary factor IMHO because by any measure she is a very capable judge and that is really what is important. My own view is she is being put in a position that I’m sure she dislikes by focusing on her demographics as though those factors alone define her instead of her substance. Wouldn’t human beings be a sorry lot if the only things that shaped our viewpoint and intellect were the circumstances to which we were born? I cannot wait for the day when the symbolic gender, ethnicity, race and other such factors are of no consequence and we only focus on what kind of judge the nominees really are.
What I find objectionable about Ms. Sotomayor is the implicit inference that only non-white, non-male are likely to care about fairness or an even playing field. In truth, though blacks still had to struggle in furtherance of fairness and civil rights, the struggle depended heavily on the conscience, decency and morality of many, many white men in power who willingly shared it and helped fight for legislation to support those goals. As a Democrat, I’m beginning to believe that the legacy of the Obama administration may be one of setting race relations back several years if not decades and that the cause will be an overweening tone deafness, the likes of which was (fairly) attributed to George W. Bush…but will be just as fairly applied to Obaba.
What a pity that the first non-white (as it were) president will be, I believe, an ineffective, one-term president, clearly incapable of understanding macroeconomics and already having lost the respect of many of the world leaders. Being from Chicago and having seen the post-Alinsky result of Alinsky-style “community organizing”, I’m at a loss to understand how the Obama administration would want to emulate that!
Here’s to you Nicola and Bart. Rest forever here in our hearts. The last and final moment is yours. That agony is your triumph.
Seriously though, I don’t think it’s over for Sotomayor. She is one of the most qualified candidates to be nominated for the Supreme Court. The media is painting her in a very negative light and if not for them, I think she’d likely have a much higher approval rating among Americans. The media is great at messing up a person’s image.
Randy Macon is right on point.
The rampant ignorance in this Country is staggering. Among these are the Dupes, redneck vacuities, cretins, and crackpot evangelicals who most reliably vote against themselves in every cycle. The scoundrels at Fox Newstwisters Channel and in rightwinger squawk radio depend upon them for audience ratings and for their obscene compensation and wealth for spewing the plutocratic bilge.
This demonstrates once again what cowards and tactical morons the Democrats are. They sit by passively for months failing to effectively counter a character assassination campaign against a judge far more qualified than Roberts, Alito, Scalia and certainly the incompetent Thomas. And even while they left Sotomayor twist slowly in the wind the Republican campaign of hate and lies barely puts an ill-informed majority ont their side. Imagine if the pusilanimous Democrats had done anything to defend the judge?
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