Memo to libs: While you may well consider Sotomayor a folk heroine because of her gender and ethnicity, that is not how most of us think. The principle we seek to have vindicated is not white power or male power. It is racial and gender neutrality and equal protection of the laws.
Nor does Lithwick accurately perceive the conservative mindset regarding Sotomayor's reputed "empathy" orientation to jurisprudence. The fact that Sotomayor would only selectively indulge her empathetic impulse -- in favor of certain minorities -- is no news flash. Liberals of the race-conscious variety make no secret about their selective approach to racism and sexism. Just ask Attorney General Eric Holder, who has made clear his view that proposed hate crime statutes are only designed to protect those who have been historically aggrieved, which excludes, for example, white men.
But that's hardly the point concerning judicial "empathy." Our main concern here is that appellate judges make their rulings based on the law and not their feelings -- or policy preferences, for that matter.
Lithwick proceeds to describe Ricci's allegedly "litigious" past, presumably to make him a less sympathetic and credible witness.
But again she misses the point. These confirmation hearings are not about Ricci or his past. And the relevant issue in his recently successful reversal of the Sotomayor court was not his alleged penchant for lawsuits. It was whether that court visited an injustice upon him and his fellow plaintiffs and, if so, why.
It seems to me that the People For the American Way, Lithwick and other windup liberal activists might be getting more than they are bargaining for if they continue to pursue this line of impeachment. Their attacks will surely just cause a brighter spotlight to fall, not only on Sotomayor's cavalier handling of the Ricci case but also on what the National Journal's widely respected legal analyst Stuart Taylor describes as his "concern that her decisions may be biased by the grievance-focused mind-set and the 'wise Latina woman' superiority complex displayed in some of her speeches."