Did the Sotomayor Hearing Matter?

My impression is that many Americans have followed the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation process fairly closely. Television coverage has been ample, to say the least. Intriguingly, however, Scott Rasmussen finds that the public’s support for Sotomayor’s confirmation hasn’t changed a bit since the hearing began.

Byron York thinks the Republicans blew it by not devoting more prime-time attention to Sotomayor’s service on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. Perhaps so. My own guess is that the Republicans did the right thing in focusing mainly on the “wise Latina” speeches and the Ricci case.

What is most striking about the Rasmussen poll data is the fact that Sotomayor commands so little popular support. A plurality say she should not be confirmed:


By a similar 47-43 margin, the public has an unfavorable opinion of Sotomayor. This strikes me as remarkable: the Democrats have fawned over Sotomayor, the press coverage has been favorable, she herself has come across as likable, I think, and has deflected most tough questions in a manner that casual observers aren’t likely to see through. And an individual nominee facing a Senate committee tends to come across as a sympathetic figure, regardless of party or ideology.

Yet,somehow, a great many Americans have figured out that Sonia Sotomayor is not committed to the principle that people of all races and ethnic backgrounds should be treated equally. It’s almost enough to restore one’s faith in the Republic.

PAUL adds: The big loser this week, in the short term at least, is the “progressive vision of the Constitution” (otherwise known as lefty jurisprudence). Sotomayor and/or her handlers in the White House figured out that the “progressive vision” was too unpalatable to Americans (i.e., too un-American) to espouse publicly during high stakes, closely watched hearings.

The disappointment on the left was palpable, just as palpable as the glee among conservatives when John Roberts and Samuel Alito presented the traditional vision of the Constitution and the role of judges (which Sotomayor largely mimicked this week) during their hearings.

Unfortunately, I imagine the left will get the last laugh when it comes to Judge Sotomayor.


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