John McCain goes on national TV this weekend and talks about his party's problems with Hispanic voters, how there's "much work to be done" and how Sonia Sotomayor is a great American success story. One day later, after claiming to be undecided, he comes out against Sotomayor, claiming that she's "an activist judge who legislates from the bench." Ian Milhiser does a great job showing how conservative activism on the Court is basically repealing the 20th Century.
Repealing the Twentieth Century: In three opinions that read like a tea-bagger’s wet dream, Justice Thomas would have restricted Congress’ power to enact economic regulation to a point unheard of since the Great Depression. A short list of laws that would simply cease to exist in Clarence Thomas’s America includes “the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the sick leave portions of the Family and Medical Leave, the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act, as well as minimum wage and maximum hour laws.”
Selling Justice To The Highest Bidder: Roberts, Thomas and Alito all joined dissents arguing that a West Virginia coal magnate could literally buy a judge for $3 million to overturn a verdict against his company.
Corporate Immunity From the Law: Joined by Roberts, Alito wrote a dissent arguing that drug companies have almost-total immunity from the law when one of their dangerous products caused a former professional musician to lose her arm and her ability to play music. Roberts, Thomas and Alito also joined a majority opinion giving sweeping immunity to the makers of dangerous medical devices.
Massive Resistance: All three justices joined a radical opinion which not only held that it is unconstitutional for school boards to desegregate public schools, but which audaciously cited Brown v. Board of Education for this proposition.
This Election Brought to You By Wal-Mart: Perhaps most ironic of all, all three of McCain’s justices are poised to declare McCain’s signature legislative accomplishment, campaign finance reform, unconstitutional.
McCain voted for all of the judges leading that charge. In fact, he's voted to confirm EVERY SINGLE JUDGE in his Senate career except for Sotomayor. And that's the larger point. Republicans are so in hock to their right-wing base that they must risk a generational divide with Hispanic voters by voting against a qualified Latina judge:
Most Senate Republicans say opposition to Sotomayor is a principled stand based on the belief that her public speeches reveal a personal bias in her judicial philosophy. Republicans have cited her views on Second Amendment cases, speeches she has given during her time as a federal judge and a key ruling on affirmative action -- all issues that are of sharp interest to conservative-base voters.
But some senators and Republican strategists worry that efforts to shore up support from conservative voters who dominate the GOP primaries could become a missed opportunity to extend an olive branch to Latino voters, who gave just 31 percent of their ballots to McCain last fall.
If you look at the demographic shifts of the country, both with age and ethnicity, you'll see that this is just suicide. But I'm not about to get in the way of it.