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by Vault Law Editors | July 28, 2009

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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

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