My opinion of President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is very easy to discern from this despicably racist and sexist quote:
In 2001, Sonia Sotomayor, an appeals court judge, gave a speech declaring that the ethnicity and sex of a judge “may and will make a difference in our judging.”
In her speech, Judge Sotomayor questioned the famous notion — often invoked by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her retired Supreme Court colleague, Sandra Day O’Connor — that a wise old man and a wise old woman would reach the same conclusion when deciding cases.
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” said Judge Sotomayor[.]
Imagine the reaction if someone had unearthed in 2005 a speech in which then-Judge Samuel Alito had asserted, for example: "I would hope that a white male with the richness of his traditional American values would reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn't lived that life" -- and had proceeded to speak of "inherent physiological or cultural differences."
I fully expected President Obama to nominate a liberal "living constitutionalist" to the Supreme Court, but I find it reprehensible that he selected a racist bigot.
Wendy Long says that Sotomayor isn't just a liberal, she's an activist:
Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important that the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench. ...
She has an extremely high rate of her decisions being reversed, indicating that she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court.
Tome Goldstein looks at the political dynamics:
For Republican Senators to come after Judge Sotomayor is not only hopeless when it comes to confirmation (something that did not deter Democrats in their attacks on Roberts and Alito) but a strategy that risks exacting a very significant political cost among Hispanics and independent voters generally, assuming that the attacks aren’t backed up with considerable substance.
Yep, elections count. Republicans lost. The President gets to seat anyone he wants on the Court, and he chose someone that both baits Republicans to oppose her and simultaneously hurts us if we do. I think it's a lesser loss to highlight the shortcomings of her philosophy but let her sail through mostly unopposed.