AP's "new" Sotomayor narrative not-so-new

Blog ››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

Today, the AP boldly declared:

Senate Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a new narrative ahead of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, questioning her commitment to constitutional guarantees on the right to keep and bear arms and equal treatment under the law regardless of race or gender.


The Republican messaging from now through the confirmation hearings beginning July 13 includes issues popular among conservatives: Sotomayor's commitment to Second Amendment gun rights, her opinions on whether the Fifth Amendment protects against public takings without just compensation and on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

But we've heard all of these before. In some cases, before Sotomayor was even named the nominee.

Indeed, the Politico noted "None of these lines of attack are new." In fact, according to the Politico, "the use of Senate floor time suggested that Republicans are trying to create some sense of unity within the party - and perhaps rally conservative activists - leading up to the July 13 confirmation hearings."

Rally conservative activists? Ah yes. Conservatives did say all along they were going to use this nomination for that purpose. Well, for that and for jump-starting their fundraising...

Another tired talking point surfaces at the end of the AP article: you can EITHER "hew to the Constitution and the law" OR "also employ ... empathy."

Republicans also want to know more about whether Sotomayor would hew to the Constitution and the law in her rulings or also employ the empathy that President Barack Obama said he wants in a justice on the high court. Sotomayor has told senators that a justice must ultimately and completely follow the law.

Conservatives' history of citing the importance of empathy in a judge? Not mentioned.

Associated Press
Supreme Court Nominations, Sotomayor Nomination
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