- Leaked at about 9:00 this morning: President Obama today nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Sotomayor, 54, is a judge on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. She is the daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, and if confirmed by the Senate would be the first Hispanic-American justice on the nation's highest court. The other three finalists for the nomination were Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Judge Diane P. Wood of Chicago. Obviously, Judge Sotomayor's double diversity was a big plus for her nomination, as well as her compelling personal story and her experiences as a trial lawyer and judge, which President Obama said gave her the right kind of experience for a compassionate Supreme Court justice.
- In spite of twice before confirming Sotomayor (for a district judge post in south Manhattan and her current Circuit Court position), conservative legal activists and the Senate Republicans are gearing up for a fight. Among her most significant cases is one that is before the Supreme Court this term, an affirmative action case known as Ricci v. DeStefano, in which Sotomayor joined a narrow majority in upholding a ruling that held that the city of New Haven acted appropriately in throwing out standardized test scores for firefighters which not many African-Americans passed.
- In other news: North Korea continues to disregard the will of the international community, which has been clearly expressed over the past several days, and reportedly has test-launched two more short-range missiles. President Obama has been among those to denounce the tests, and has vowed to organize a strong international response. The crisis is seen as an early foreign policy test of this administration.
- Gay couples in California have been awaiting the results of the state supreme court's decision on the controversial Prop 8, which overturned the state's policy on allowing same-sex marriage. The verdict was announced this afternoon, with the court upholding the proposition. While allowing marriages that took place in that window to stand as valid, the court upheld the statewide ban on same-sex marriage.
- Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner is finally starting to look confident and competent in his job, as he now works on Obama's proposition to re-regulate the US financial markets.
- The Democratic primary for the contested Virginia governor's race is coming up at the start of June, and campaign workers are wondering how much voter turnout can be expected, and how much that will affect the race.
- William Kristol takes a look at the tests Obama has faced, the GOP response, and who they could put forward to confront Obama in 2012.
- Eugene Robinson compares Obama World and Cheney World in the Washington Post.
- The honored dead continue to serve: NYT reports that the military has been performing CT scan-autopsies on soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, using the information to enact policies that will help keep others alive.
- Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has refused to meet Pres. Obama at the airport this week when he arrives for a trip, saying that a statement the president made at a town hall meeting in Indiana was responsible for many businesses cancelling conferences that would have taken place in Las Vegas, thereby undermining the tourism industry there.
- Politico explores "How Obama Can Win the Health Care Debate."
- And for a non-political interest story: NYT has an article on the toll that texting may have been taking on teens, including "anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury, and sleep deprivation."
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Reading List: Tuesday 5/26
Big news day today!