Sonia Sotomayor, Secret Laws, And Property Rights Jurisprudence

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on July 14, 2009

Well, this isn’t promising. About the only good thing that we see from this line of questioning is that the nominee is revealing herself to be out of the mainstream. Of course, such revelations are only valuable if Democratic Senators are willing to take Judge Sotomayor to task for unsatisfactory answers. Something tells me, however, that they will be infinitely patient with her instead.

Fine. Republicans played favorites with nominees that Republican Presidents sent to the Senate. But that doesn’t make Judge Sotomayor’s comments on property rights and secret laws any more acceptable. (UPDATE: More on Judge Sotomayor’s analysis of Kelo–and the problems with that analysis–can be found here. And still more.)

UPDATE: While it has nothing whatsoever to do with secret laws or property rights, it is worth noting that the discussion concerning the Second Amendment and its possible incorporation against the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment was anything but edifying. There is a powerful case to be made for the proposition that the Second Amendment ought to apply against the states, but apparently, that argument didn’t get much attention in today’s hearings.

Really, the whole enterprise is depressing. Irrespective of whether Sonia Sotomayor becomes the next Associate Justice of the United States, the degree to which the ball is getting dropped on the discussion of substantive legal issues ought to alarm people.

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