Preparing for Sonia's First Day

Today is the first day of Senate hearings on Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Texas Supreme Court Justice, was asked about a filibuster in a lengthy interview yesterday on Fox News.

“It was unheard of to filibuster judges until our friends on the Democratic side filibustered a number of nominees — and unfortunately a gentleman who might have been the first Hispanic nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Miguel Estrada, who was filibustered seven times and denied an up or down vote,” Cornyn said.  “I don’t think that will happen to Judge Sotomayor even though that precedent has been now established. I just don’t see it happening in this case.”

Democrats have the magic number of 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, but Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) are not in daily attendance at the Senate due to health issues.  

Cornyn has questions about Sotomayor’s conduct in Ricci v. DeStefano, the discrimination case that was recently overturned by the very Supreme Court she seeks to join.

“What’s troubling about the outcome in the Ricci case where if Judge Sotomayor had her way that cities would basically deny promotions based on the color of one’s skin, including Hispanics like Lieutenant Ben Vargas who will be testifying at the hearing this week, and that’s just wrong,” Cornyn said.  “But as troubling as the outcome was the way Judge Sotomayor and her fellow judges on that panel sought the sweep the issue under the rug in an unpublished, with the summary order, which was not an opinion. … It took another judge who heard about the case to call attention to the court and say this can’t be true, that these Constitutional arguments about racial quotas are not even being addressed by the court. So that’s another component.”

Cornyn was also asked about Sotomayor’s now infamous 2001 “wise Latina” comments:  “I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

“This is not an isolated comment,” Cornyn said.  “This was an argued point that she repeated again and again and again. The president said she misspoke. His press secretary said maybe she should have used different words. But this is a point that she was trying to make and has consistently made that in some ways the quality of justice depends on who the judge is. And that just can’t be true. I think we ought to hope for — certainly aspire to — the equal treatment to people who are similarly situated in court.”

Democrats Propose Raising Taxes on Small Businesses

Late Friday, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y), serial tax evader and Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, announced a Democrat plan to raise taxes on the “rich” to pay for the government takeover of health care.  The Democrat plan would force a three-tiered surtax on those making more than $300,000, $500,000 and $1 million per year, which in actuality would target a majority of small business owners who file as individuals. The new tax would pull an additional $540 billion out of the private sector placing it in government hands.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the Senate Republican Whip, spoke about the proposed tax hike on ABC yesterday.

“We know that between 75 and 80 percent of the jobs created in the country are created by small business,” Kyl said.  “At least 55 percent of the income that would be generated by this surtax directly hits the entrepreneurs who run these small businesses.  It would be a job killer. It would be exactly the wrong thing to do any time, but especially when we’re in the middle of a recession.”

Rangel also proposes mandates to force small business to purchase health insurance for all employees or face heavy fines.

Eugenics Alive and Well on the Supreme Court?

In the lengthy interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg published yesterday by the New York Times magazine, the justice may have been just a bit more candid than she would have liked.  The interview was set up for Ginsburg to endorse fellow far-left liberal Sonya Sotomayor, Obama’s nominee to replace retiring Justice David Souter. 

While lamenting about women of means having better access to abortion, Ginsberg was asked if she was referring to barring funding of abortion through Medicaid.

JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae — in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong. [emphasis added]

Wonder who Ginsburg was referring to when she said the “populations that we don’t want to have too many of”?  Eugenics enthusiast and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger would be tickled pink.

Obama’s Presidential Approval Index Lowers Again

In Sunday’s Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential tracking poll, Obama’s approval index lowered to new depths. 28% of America’s voters now strongly approve of the Presidents job performance, and 35% strongly disapprove. The President’s approval index is now -7, down a full point from a low of -6 last week.

The approval index is calculated by subtracting the number of respondents who approve of the President’s job performance from those who disapprove.

For the second straight month, voters also trust Republicans more on eight of the ten key electoral issues tracked by Rasmussen, including the economy.  Voters trust Republicans over Democrats to handle the economy by a margin of 46 % to 41%.