After three days of hearings, including two in which Judge Sotomayor was questioned, I think we can say the following:
First, Sotomayor did not have the “meltdown,” that Lindsey Graham said, correctly, she would need to have in order not to be confirmed. Therefore, it’s almost certain that she will be confirmed.
Second, Sotomayor was a competent but hardly stellar witness. Her ability cogently to answer questions fell well short not only of John Roberts’ (an impossible standard), but also Samuel Alito’s. The hearings tended to confirm that, as I wrote a few days ago, Sotomayor was selected because she’s at the top of the Hispanic left-liberal list, not the top of the left-liberal list.
Third, Sotomayor was not an honest witness when it came to questions about her speeches. Her attempts to spin her “wise Latina” and related remarks into the opposite of what she actually said shocked even some on the left.
Fourth, Senators don’t appreciate less than honest responses to their questions (except, apparently, for Lindsey “Kumbaya” Graham who doesn’t seem to mind when liberals tell him tales; Graham, in fact, saw Sotomayor’s dissembling as somehow presenting a chance for him to do the country some good by giving her a “second chance”). Thus, it’s probable that Sotomayor will receive no more than one Republcan vote in committee. In this scenario, most Republicans in the Senate as a whole probably will vote against her, perhaps keeping her total number of votes in the low 70s.
Fifth, conservatives can take a little solace from the fact that Sotomayor completely disavowed (1) “empathy” as a vehicle for deciding cases, contrary to President Obama’s “jurisprudence” and (2) leftist legal theories about the role of race and gender in judging, the impossibility of objectivity, etc. The solace derives from the fact that Soltomayor’s repudiation of these notions, via a “confirmation conversion,” demonstrates that they still run contrary to the way most Americans view justice and the law.
Sixth, conservatives shouldn’t take much solace. There is no good reason to thnk that, once she’s on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor’s jurisprudence will be devoid of leftist influences or that it will be consistent with the way most Amercans view justice and the law.