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October 28, 2010

Liberal Legal Icon Laurence Tribe In Letter To Obama: Don't Appoint Sotomayor, She's A Bully

A little inside baseball tidbit likely to get lost in the elections but kind of fun.

I guess Tribe and Obama have a relationship going back to the time they shared at Harvard and he wrote a wide ranging letter to Obama when David Souter resigned. In the letter Tribe offered some advice to Obama about how to approach appointments to the Court of the course of his first time. Basically it came down to, name Elana Kagan first and then a real overt liberal like Kathleen Sullivan next.

Bottom line, don't nominate Sotomayor!

Bluntly put, she’s not nearly as smart as she seems to think she is, and her reputation for being something of a bully could well make her liberal impulses backfire and simply add to the fire power of the Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas wing of the Court on issues like those involved in the voting rights case argued last week and the Title VII case of the New Haven firefighters argued earlier, issues on which Kennedy will probably vote with Roberts despite Souter’s influence but on which I don’t regard Kennedy as a lost cause for the decade or so that he is likely to remain on the Court.

Of course, Obama didn't take Tribe's advice and Sotomayor is on the Court and Kagan followed about a year later.

Also of note is the first paragraph of the letter in which Tribe gives voice to what a lot of people seem to think..Anthony Kennedy is kind of mushy and can be wooed to win votes. It's almost impossible to know how true that perception actually is but here's hoping that the 'good' Kennedy shows up more often than not in the next few years.

Should Professor Tribe find himself in front of the justices anytime soon it might be just a tad bit...awkward.

Now the hunt is on to find out how this letter found its way to a conservative legal figure like Ed Wehlan.


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posted by DrewM. at 06:05 PM

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