Tuesday, June 02, 2009

On Empathy

The big news while I was gone was Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court. As with the nominations of Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts, I won't make any political commentary about the nomination, as I have business before the Court. However, I did want to pass along one little bit of trivia on the subject of judges and empathy.

Ever since Souter announced his retirement, conservatives have jumped on Obama's statements about empathy being a good quality in a judge. Sounds reasonable to me, but some GOPers apparently want turn any confirmation hearing into an extended Voight-Kampff test:

The trivia is something Ed Brayton dug up, specifically about a judge whose nominating President said "has great empathy" and who said at his confirmation hearing:

So you feel that you have the same fate, or could have, as those individuals. So I can walk in their shoes and I could bring something different to the Court.
That was Clarence Thomas.

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