Thank God For Grinches (7/14/09)
If Sonia Sotomayor had been nominated to the Supreme Court by a Republican president, Mitch McConnell wouldn't be asking any hard questions about her past decisions or qualifications. The Democrats would be doing that.
But since Judge Sotomayor was nominated by President Obama, this time around McConnell is the guy demanding a tough grilling.
Yes, it's a hypocritical system. But strangely, it works. Because it guarantees someone will always ask tough questions when a Supreme Court seat is at stake. As it should be.
McConnell believes several past rulings by Sotomayor call her impartiality into question. He suggests her much-praised "empathy" for certain racial or ethnic groups may work unfairly against people who don't belong to those groups. And he wants to hear her explain her troubling - and inaccurate -- statement that appellate courts "are where policy is made."
I'm glad he's raising these issues. I'm not saying Sotomayor is unfit simply because they exist. But it's important that they not be swept under the rug without getting some critical review.
Some are complaining that Mr. McConnell and the Republicans are just being Grinches. But they should remember the shoe's been on the other foot many times in the past. And in any case -- no matter who's playing the role -- the Grinches of both parties are important to the process.
But what do you think? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.