Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sen. Reid: Sotomayer's judicial record does not matter--no plans to read any of her past decisions

It's bad enough when our representatives in Washington assume we do not care how much they are spending or insult our intelligence by wasting time on the taxpayer's dime by calling in a speed-reader in an apparent mocking gesture and insult to the vast majority of Americans who naively expect their representatives to actually read legislation before they vote on it.

But now we have this from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

He sidestepped questions about her past decisions, telling reporters that he's never read any of the hundreds she's written during her 17 years as a federal judge. And, he added, "if I'm fortunate before we end this, I won't have to read one of them."

Is this a joke? With a salary of $174,000 a year, gold-standard healthcare plans that are unmatched by any other employer or profession, and over 4 months of taxpayer-subsidized, paid vacation a year, I guess expecting senators who will be voting on Sotomayor's nomination to actually study and read her judicial record is just expecting too much. Maybe our elected body should be content with judging whether she meets racial and gender quotas for the court and ignore her legal opinions and decisions--after all, why pay attention to details? Supreme Court Justices only serve for life anyway and are never subject to a public vote of confidence or approval.

For the record, Sotomayor has an impressive legal background and history, and I'm sure she herself would agree that she should be judged by her legal body of work and opinions--after all, professors up for tenure are judged by their research, surgeons are evaluated based on the procedures and operations they have performed, and entire corporations are judged on past earnings and profitability ratios. Shouldn't we expect a judge to be "judged" on her past work?

Sen. Reid is an embarrassment--it's no wonder nearly half of Nevadans have an unfavorable opinion of Reid and 45 percent say they would definitely vote to replace him. Reid may follow in Dascle's footsteps in 2010.

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