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GOP Should Avoid Fight Over Sotomayor, Focus on Bigger Issues

Thursday, 28 May 2009 01:41 PM

Dick Morris appeared Fox News'America’s Newsroom with Megyn Kelly on May 28 to discuss the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Portions of verbatim transcript follow:

If there’s a collateral attack on Sotomayer about taxes or something like that, then the Republicans should barrel in. But if it is just a plain vanilla confirmation hearing about views or opinions, to oppose her would alienate the Latina vote, and this would be a very counterproductive move by Republicans.

She is going to get confirmed. There are 60 Democrats in the Senate, the question is whether we want to stand in the way.

We have other fights to fight that are terribly important. And this is a little bit like Clarence Thomas was for the Democrats. The Democrats pulled back initially and did not go after him. Then Anita Hill came out with her allegations of sexual harassment and it was open season and they went after him very vigorously.

If you reversed [her comment about Latinas making better judges than white men] and you had a white male saying that he thought white men could make better decisions than Latina women, then obviously that would be a disqualifying comment. There’s a point, though, to diversity. There’s a point that says that you have different people who sit on the bench, not just in race, but in age, in gender, and economic condition. Still, I would love to see how she explains that at her confirmation hearing.

On the debate at the heart of her confirmation... you really have two opposites that people don’t agree with. Those who say we should leave the Constitution precisely as the framers intended word for word, and if they didn’t intend it, we don’t do it. And the other, the judges legislate from the bench as super senators, super congressmen. Most people have both of those. They think the Constitution should be a living document that is applied to each situation and they also believe that [judges] should be elected by the people, not appointed for life. This would be a very useful opportunity for the Republicans to raise that debate, which is safely far away from race and gender.

As for stories about Sotomayor's touching life story... I thought Ann Coulter’s comment about that is terrific – they only get misty-eyed when they are liberal. I think that is really true. Nobody talked about Clarence Thomas’s background being wonderful, on the left certainly. And nobody noticed [Alberto] Gonzalez’ background as they were tearing him to shreds. But Sotomayor’s background and the background of those other people is really terrific.

I am very happy that we have a president that was raised in humble circumstances who is African-American and that we have a Supreme Court Justice potential who is equally humble in her background and will rise very high. I just don’t agree with them on much.

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