Let me try to figure out your position on what Judge Sonia Sotomayor has said about a couple of issues. I have a few questions.
First, you noted in your last post that she said that Roe v. Wade was “settled law.” Is this a bad thing? I thought conservatives were supposed to like the doctrine of stare decisis, the idea that absent extraordinarily compelling reasons, the Supreme Court does not overturn the basic reasoning of earlier cases — that precedent matters.
As you know, Roe didn’t resolve all the questions regarding access to abortion or there would not have been a half dozen major subsequent cases on reproductive choice at the Supreme Court since that decision. If the judge had said “Roe is ripe for reopening,” would you have said, “she had no respect for precedent and believes in judicial activism”? Or with your strong anti-abortion beliefs, would you have said, “I applaud her willingness to re-open matters which were resolved in a way I didn’t like in the first place”?
Second, why are you fearful of “empathy”? Some Senate Republicans seem to equate it with “prejudice,” a stretch of the language beyond recognition. I assume you wouldn’t go that far. “Empathy” is simply the capacity to feel the experiences of others. It is not even “sympathy,” which generally means you want to change the conditions of others. Do you believe that Justice Thomas has no “empathy” but that this is a good thing for a Supreme Court justice?
Third, you continue to say you want the Senate to learn her views on “important constitutional protections.” So why don’t you ask the folks you know to ask questions about issues other than guns and abortion? Specifically, where are the religious liberty questions? (So far, only Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin has even broached the topic.) Curiously, even our mutual friend, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention came out against Judge Sotomayor because of her positions on guns and property rights but not because of anything she said about religion. Isn’t this odd?
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