Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sotomayor Doesn't Suit Yoo

As Republicans mull their response to the naming of a Latino woman to the Supreme Court, they have the benefit of legal scholarship from John Yoo, who suggests that Sonia Sotomayor would be "voting her emotions and politics rather than the law."

George W. Bush's torture expert is troubled by the nominee's lack of legal "firepower." He points out, "There are no opinions that suggest she would change the direction of constitutional law as have Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court, or Robert Bork and Richard Posner on the appeals courts."

Disregarding for the moment the murmurs of "Thank God!" from the Left, Yoo's commentary may reflect a shrewd legal strategy in his own self-interest. As the lawsuit against him by convicted terrorist Juan Padilla winds its way through the courts, Yoo may be setting the stage for asking Judge Sotomayor to recuse herself if it reaches the Supreme Court.

Padilla is suing Yoo as one of the architects of unlawful policies that led to his designation as an "enemy combatant," detention in a military brig and the interrogations he underwent there.

Ironically, the Obama Justice Department is siding with Yoo in deeming a civil suit an inappropriate vehicle for this issue, however much the Administration has reversed and repudiated his legal judgments on torture during the Bush era.

Just in case the suit continues and reaches the Supreme Court, Yoo could claim that his dismissive opinions on Justice Sotomayor's qualifications might prejudice her against him from the bench.

In the alternate universe John Yoo inhabits, that makes as much sense as the rest of his thinking.

1 comment:

Stimpson said...

Yoo don't own me, I'm not just one of your many toys
Yoo don't own me, don't say I can't go with other boys

And don't tell me what to do
And don't tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with Yoo
Don't put me on display, 'cause

Yoo don't own me ...

(Apologies to Lesley Gore)