Document Type

Editorial

Publication Date

5-27-2009

Abstract

This short article provides a view of the circumstances and issues surrounding President Obama's nomination of federal circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

With President Barack Obama's nomination of federal circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, his judicial appointment team has been presented with an early introduction to what has become one the most challenging areas of presidential governance over the last several decades.

The nominations to the nation's highest court have generated controversies going back to Ronald Reagan's failed attempt to elevate the highly controversial federal Judge Robert Bork to the court in the late 1980s. Those hearings, which delved deeply into the political and social beliefs of Judge Bork, transformed the nomination process for all time and assured that in the future no Supreme Court nominee would go on the court without the "strict scrutiny" which the Court must sometimes apply when it decides cases.

President Obama should be thanking Justice David H. Souter not only for his service on the high court but for providing a Supreme Court appointment so early in his first term.

By announcing his resignation from the court at the end of its most recent term, Souter will allow the president to test the Senate waters with a Democratic majority for the first of possibly several Supreme Court appointments.

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