There aren’t many opportunities for a promotion once you’ve made it to the bench of a circuit court, but Sonia Sotomayor has been offered the chance to move up from the Second Circuit to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama. If confirmed, she will be the second woman currently serving, and the first person of Hispanic origin to ever serve on the Supreme Court bench.
Will confirmation come easily? That remains to be seen. The Republican Party has issued talking points to its members, which it accidentally released straight to the media. Mosts of them concerned social issues such as the rights of the unborn and same-sex marriage. But numerous reports suggest on the other hand that the Party is reluctant to go after her and risk further alienating the Hispanic voting bloc. George W. Bush had been making inroads into the Hispanic electorate, but hard line positions on illegal immigration ceded many votes to the Democrats.
That will probably not be the case with ideologically-driven watchdog organizations. Some were out with statements before the nomination was officially announced. Regardless of what strategy the Republican Party takes, the watchdogs are a good bet to open their checkbooks soon for some airtime.
Sotomayor has been serving in New York City at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 1998. Occassionally, that court gets broadcast issues in the docket, most recently Fox and FCC’s set-to on fleeting expletives, but Sotomayor was not one of the three judges who heard the case. And there appear to be few other cases of interest to broadcasters on her resume.
RBR/TVBR observation: There is one broadcast connection in Sotomayor’s history. According to the New York Times, her career path was taken in part due to her love of the classic “Perry Mason” television series. Personally, we wouldn’t hire Mason to fight a traffic ticket, because once he’s on board, somebody is going to get murdered. But it does give Perry Mason bragging rights. We’ll bet Gilligan never inspired somebody to become a Supreme Court justice.