Two wrongs don’t make a justice

Hm. Instapundit cites Randy Barnett, who writes:

When [Jeffrey] Rosen published his critique [of Sonya Sotomayor], I knew very little about Sotomayor. After forcing myself to watch much of the hearings, I wonder if those who criticized him then are having any second thoughts today.

I am having second thoughts about my own measured enthusiasm for Sotomayor, which was based on a selfish interest in a particular area of law plus what I believed was the range of options from this Administration, yes.

But do I have second thoughts about my criticism of Jeffrey Rosen (it’s buried in here; and no, I don’t think Jennifer Rubin meant me when she asked the question)?

No. Rosen’s article seemed rushed, and was based on very few specifics, and a lot of anonymous sources. The specifics were also very pedestrian. She was obviously vulnerable on Ricci v. DeStefano, but, well, “everyone” knew that — I am sure that that includes Randy Barnett. If her opinion in Ricci was that bad (and evidently it was!), why couldn’t Rosen give us six more such-a’s? That was his job as a reporter.

To the contrary, Rosen is to be criticized not only for pulling back from his original view so he wouldn’t lose out on invitations to all the right parties, but for writing such a damned lazy legal journalism article when in fact there may have been not only smoke but some fire to report. There’s a lot of that going around.

I also didn’t, and still don’t, think much of this slam by Jennifer Rubin, also cited by both Glenn and Randy:

The question is not whether Sotomayor will get through, but why the president felt so compelled to select her. If he was desperate to find a Latina, he should have found a wise one.

Talk about “wise.” I know wisdom is not the same as intelligence, but I don’t think Jennifer Rubin has the slightest inclination to make that distinction here. Well, I’m sorry, but Sonya Sotomayor won the Pyne Prize at Princeton, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude, and then on to Yale Law School. She made her way steadily up the ladder of achievement in the legal and judicial worlds. Her career is unquestionably highly distinguished on the merits in a way that would be harder to argue for many other members of the Supreme Court, past and present.

That’s very hard to do, no matter what your background. Now, everyone knows I am brilliant, maybe even wise, but I barely graduated Princeton sans laude. It’s not just me: It takes some degree not only of intelligence, but wisdom of a degree possessed by a precious few, to apply your talents such that you can achieve on this scale.

Jennifer Rubin should be so wise. I have had a lot of trouble finding Jennifer Rubin’s resume online myself — not just today — but I am sure it is because of her modesty over her own demonstrations of wisdom.

Now look. I don’t think Sotomayor sounded too impressive in her hearings. Her oral expression is stilted. I am positive that her decision in Ricci was motivated, not by a lack of “wisdom,” but by a clear political agenda. Like the man who nominated her, Sotomayor has not always kept the most respectable company; but America has told us it does not mind this in the least. I am not excited about the prospect of her being on the Supreme Court.

So, yes, I too would like to see Randy Barnett on the Supreme Court, not Sonya Sotomayor. I can think of a lot of other people, too, ahead of her on the list. But this was exactly what was to be expected from the Obama Administration, which won the last election handily, and frankly compared to, say, David Souter or Harriet Miers… Judge Sotomayor has nothing — nothing — to apologize for when it comes to “wisdom.”

This was originally posted on Ron Coleman’s politically idiosyncratic blog, Likelihood of Success.

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