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Sotomayor Choice Puts GOP In A Bind

Publication Date: 
May 26, 2009
Source: 
NPR
Author: 
Liz Halloran

Larry Kramer, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean, and Lecturer in Law Thomas Goldstein are quoted in an NPR news story about the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court:

A recent analysis of her opinions, says attorney Tom Goldstein, writing on SCOTUSblog, show her to be in essentially "the same ideological position" as the man she would replace, Justice David Souter.

The power would remain with the man in the middle, Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote who sides most often with the court's four conservatives but also works with the four on the left side, too.

...

But Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer argues that Sotomayor, though ethnically a first, is status quo herself – an appellate court judge who, bottom line, amounts to a "safe and predictable" choice.

Picking another judge for a high court already stocked with them suggests that Obama doesn't have fresh vision for the Supreme Court, Kramer says.

He would have preferred that Obama choose a governor, an elected official or a statesman or woman — "somebody who's had to deal with real-world complications," he says, "with experience in the political world."

Kramer says the Supreme Court justices he defines as great did not have judicial backgrounds, including the late Chief Justice Earl Warren. Warren, a former California governor and attorney general, brought together a divided court and issued landmark decisions that included Brown v. Board of Education, which banned public school segregation.