You saw it here first!
Back in 2005, I recommended on my blog that President Bush tap Federal Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor for a vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Sotomayor is considered to be a moderate and was first appointed to the bench by Bush’s father. And it would have given him the distinction of appointing the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court.
To his great detriment, Bush did not heed my advice and instead chose yet another far-right wing Antonin Scalia clone for the court vacancy. He did this to try and please the extremist, looney-tune, right-wing whacko-base of his party, which today accounts for 99.999999 percent of the GOP. And what did that ultimately get him? Nada. Today he is still spat on by the wingnuts and dismissed as a “liberal” because they can never accept the reality that their nutjob political ideas, which Bush faithfully executed, DON’T WORK!
But anyhow, it now appears that President Obama will have the opportunity to pick up where Bush missed the boat and nominate Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She is currently being touted as a front-runner for the nomination.
In case you missed it, the sudden talk of Supreme Court nominations was prompted by Justice David Souter’s surprise announcement that he will step down after the current court term. Even though Souter was appointed by Bush the Elder, he is considered to be part of the moderate-liberal wing of the court today. Replacing him with Sotomayor would change the ethnic and gender makeup of the court more than it would shift the court ideologically. But that won’t matter to the nutjobs on the far-right who will gear up for a huge wild-eyed hissy fit as soon as Obama makes his pick known.
That is why it is a good thing that the Democrats will likely have their 60-vote majority in the Senate by the time this nomination comes up for consideration. There is no point in trying to make bi-partisan concessions with an extremist minority party that has no interest in governing the country. Obama should just concentrate on picking the best qualified people and then moving forward with the other important business that he has to deal with (i.e. continuing to work on fixing the huge mess that the Republicans left him with.)
There is a good chance that Souter won’t be the only court appointment Obama will get to make. Justice John Paul Stevens is almost 90 years old and Ruth Bader Ginsburg has some major health issues she is dealing with. But even if Obama gets to replace all three of them it still would not shift the court from its current right-wing bent because all of them are from the moderate-liberal side. But hopefully Obama will take the opportunity to pick at least one justice who can serve as the intellectual leader of the court on the left, much the way that Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan used to do and the way that Antonin Scalia currently does for the rightwing majority on the court.