Is Sotomayor Too Obnoxious for the High Court? The Kennedy Angle

Do grade school cliques really swing the court?

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

David Frum has a post about the Sotomayor nomination that makes a point both amusing and a bit horrifying. Frum writes that there is good news for conservatives in that the SCOTUS scuttlebutt has been that Anthony Kennedy has been a left-leaning swing vote in recent years in negative reaction to the brilliant but mean Antonin Scalia.

Having lost in 2008, Republicans had no hope of a conservative or even a moderate judicial nominee. What we should therefore be hoping for, my friend continues, is the most personally obnoxious liberal, someone certain to offend and irritate Kennedy—and push him careening back rightward.

So, Frum writes, assuming that the reports are true that she is something of a dislikable bully, she is the perfect choice so far as conservatives are concerned. It's an amusing take ... but there's something genuinely disquieting about the notion that high court decisions are being made on the basis of grade schools clique-ism ( I don't like Tony, so I'm going to vote against him; wow, I like Sonia even less, so maybe I'll swing back to the right.)

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