"We have learned nothing"

by Vault Law Editors | July 28, 2009

  • My Vault

Today, by a 13-6 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nominationof Sonia Sotomayor to become a Supreme Court justice, setting up a final confirmation vote by the full Senate.  Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was the only Republican Senator to break ranks to vote in favor.

Legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin, in a very interesting podcast interview, grumpily declares that “we have learned nothing—[confirmation hearings are] now settled into a minuet where everyone knows what the moves will be … there’s a great myth abroad in America that a judge can decide cases by saying ‘I will apply the law whatever it is’ … it is not simply an alternative to apply to political convictions, it is an absolute necessity’ … Nominees are now required to stand before the nation and tell a lie.”

Also, Dworkin decries the ‘incrementalism’ of the Roberts Court where “The technique is to overrule the guts of previous cases while pretending not to.”

(Fun facts: Dworkin clerked for Learned Hand and was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell.) 

                                                   -posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

Close button

Get tips on interviewing, networking, resumes, and more directly to your inbox.

No Thanks

Get Our Career Newsletter

Interview, resume and job search tips emailed directly to you.