Sotomayor's Allies

Emily Bazelon has a great and revealing interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the upcoming edition of The New York Times Magazine. Most of it centers on the role of women on the court, all of which is interesting. The full-throated endorsement of Sonia Sotomayor is itself interesting, the gentle ribbing of Breyer and Scalia as aggressive questioners on the Court and her deep affection for the late Chief Justice WIlliam Rehnquist and her thoughts on his growing sensitivity to feminist causes all make for good reading on the Sotomayor hearings. It's hard to believe that the interview wasn't timed to help Sotomayor not that she needs much help.

I spoke with a Democratic Senator just after Sotomayor made her first round of courtesy calls to Judiciary Committee members. He's not someone who would oppose Sotomayor in any event but he said something which was quite interesting: Sotomayor was incredibly charming, collegial. For him, it helped put to rest the idea that she was somehow uncollegial. "She'll be really potent in conference," the Senator told me, referring to the sessions where the Justices hammer out how they'll vote.

Sotomayor will rightfully get questioned about the New Haven Firefighters case where the Court reversed the Second Circuit ruling and struck down the Connecticut city's aggressive affirmative action plan. She'll get knocked around a bit for her "wise Latina" comments. But she seems heading to an incredibly smooth hearing next week. I'll be especially interested to watch Orin Hatch who was a vocal advocate for Steven Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Will he be on board for Sotomayor. I'm sure conservative stalwarts like Jon Kyl and Jeff Sessions will vote against her. There's a reflexive wing in both parties. (Bill Bradley voted against David Souter.) But Hatch is the swing vote I'll watch. And even if he decides to lay down a marker against her, it'll be a pretty easy set of hearings.


Presented by

Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Dravet Syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that affects children. Could marijuana oils alleviate their seizures?

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

More in Politics

Just In