Friday, July 17, 2009

Foolish Inconsistency

A couple of little afterthoughts from the Sotomayor confirmation hearings: Steve Benen points out that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) was very concerned about the possibility that Judge Sotomayor might be influenced by “foreign laws.”

We don’t want judges to consider legislation and foreign law that’s developed through bodies, elected bodies outside of this country.

And yet when it comes to abortion…

What I was trying to draw out to you is, where do we stand in this country when 80% of the rest of the world allows abortion only before 12 weeks, only before 12 weeks?

And yet we allow it for any reason, at any time, for any inconvenience under the health of the woman aspect.

As Steve said, “Sotomayor did not remind Coburn that he wants her to disregard ‘foreign law that’s developed through elected bodies outside of this country,’ but I kind of wish she had.”

Then there was Frank Ricci, the lead plaintiff in the discrimination case that was the focus of so much attention. Mr. Ricci testified yesterday as a witness for the Republicans and told a sincerely touching story about how hard he studied for the promotion test only to be denied because of affirmative-action. The Republicans all remarked about how moving his story was, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told Judge Sotomayor several times how disappointed he was that she and the other members of the court turned down the appeal with such a terse and unsympathetic ruling. Where was the compassion, the empathy? But weren’t these the same people who jumped all over President Obama for suggesting that judges should have empathy?

Funny, that.