With a newly minted sixty-vote Democrat majority in the US Senate, the approval of the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is all but assured. But what isn't assured is that it won't cost the Democrats something before all the dust settles. And that's up to the Republicans.
Do they have what it takes to make her positions on hot-button issues so toxic that the Democrats from "purple" or "red" states who support her will find themselves in political hot water back home? Her record represents just such an opportunity.
Before becoming a judge, Sotomayor was a leader of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), even serving as the Chairman of its Litigation Committee. And there we get a glimpse of some of the issues she was willing to lend her support to.
During President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, he campaigned under the premise that abortion would be safe, legal and rare or words to that effect. Unfortunately, the Democrats' proposed health care legislation will only increase abortions in America which are already being performed at the stunning rate of 1.2 million abortions each year. Indeed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.37 million abortions in America in 1996.
In the Democrats' proposed health care legislation, abortion on demand would be mandated by the federal government in medical insurance policies. There would be massive federal subsidies for abortions in America, even though a majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. New abortion clinics would be mandated in the Democrats' bill. Health care workers would be forced to participate in abortions or lose their jobs.
Numerous reports in the past week or so documented a split between Secretary State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama with regards to how the administration should react to the Iranian street protestors following the apparent stolen presidential election in Iran.
Secretary Clinton advocated a tougher approach and it took a long time before Obama adopted Clinton's position, although he refused to give her a heads-up when he finally adopted her position. She believed after the killing of the young woman, Neda Agha-Soltan -- seen on a video which went around the world -- that it was time for the president to get tougher against Iran.
Incredibly, the United Nations, instead of trying to broker peace agreements amongst the world's warring nations -- or dismantling the nuclear weapons programs of rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea -- is meddling once again in the affairs of the nuclear family and the Obama administration is trying to give them an assist.
Pro-family forces in America are fighting back. There is now a bill, authored by Congressman Pete Hoekstra, Republican from Michigan and co-sponsored by the Republican leader of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner from Ohio, which will establish a Parents' Rights Constitutional Amendment (H. J. Res. 42.) The entire leadership of the Republicans in the House of Representatives are also co-sponsors. It now has 100 co-sponsors and gaining more every day as Members of the House find out about this commonsense pro-family legislation.
It seems that every time we have a contentious judicial nomination process, especially for the Supreme Court, a great fuss is made over not asking certain questions. More to the point, we're told that nominees should not answer questions that could disclose how they may rule on certain issues in the future.
The problem with this notion is that the federal judiciary has grown ever more powerful over the years versus our other branches of government. Further, the Supreme Court is held to be the final arbiter of what the Constitution actually "means" at any given point in time - information that's surely useful to the people that document is meant to govern.
Some unnamed Republican politicians are lambasting President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in the media for her belonging to an all-female social organization called the Belizean Grove. Undoubtedly, some of these same Republicans defended past Republican nominees for belonging to all-male social organizations such as the Bohemian Club, whose membership is made up of male movers and shakers in America.
As "The Washington Times" reported yesterday, the New York-based Belizean Grove club "finds itself caught up in Supreme Court confirmation politics, with Republican lawmakers raising questions about the group's most famous member. Federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor joined the group a year ago and went on her first trip last year to Peru. Her membership went largely unnoticed until she listed it on a Senate questionnaire in preparation for her July 13 confirmation hearings."
A United States Senator from my home state of South Carolina, Jim DeMint, and a Congressman from California, Dan Lungren, are trying to return God to the public square; in this case to the United States Capitol Building.
Incomprehensively, the bureaucrats running the show at the U.S. Capitol Building seemed to forget that this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles when they built the new Capitol Visitors Center (CVC). So today, Senator DeMint, introduced a resolution which tells the Architect of the Capitol to engrave America's national motto, "In God We Trust," and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag inside the gigantic CVC.
When it comes to the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Republicans have an opportunity to do something that would benefit both themselves and the nation. That is, they should use the process as a chance to hold forth on the meaning of the Constitution and the proper role of the judiciary in our political system and society.
Three main areas are ripe with opportunity for Republicans if they have the nerve to play hardball.
First, the notion that "empathy" should play any role in American justice.
Obama previously stated that he wanted judges that had "empathy" when it came to how they made their decisions. But empathy is merely a euphemism for justifying politically liberal results.
Recently, Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, wrote to the 99 U.S. Senators, urging them to support Democrat Senator Bob Casey's "Pregnant Women Support Act" (PWSA), S. 1032 -- introduced earlier this month by the senator -- which he believes provides life-affirming support for pregnant women and their unborn children.
The voters in California on Tuesday severely rebuked the big-spending, big-taxing Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzennegger. They overwhelmingly rejected, by a 2-1 margin, Governor Schwarzennegger's proposed tax increases and budget proposals which were supposed to meet his gargantuan $21.3 billion budget gap. And this was the governor who was elected to change things after the voters recalled his Democrat predecessor a few years ago because of the Democrat's big-spending, big-taxing ways.
California, in recent years, has rarely given the rest of us in America anything which was good for the nation. Considering that 33 states have either raised taxes to eliminate budget deficits or are trying to do so, the voters of California -- as they did with their earth-shaking Proposition 13 vote in 1978 -- have fired a shot across the bow of state legislatures and governors, and indeed, the Democrat-controlled Congress and President Barack Obama.