Senatorial primacy might not be enough to push Supreme Court appointee Sotomayor through to confirmation after all. From the website NOW Hampshire:
Sonia Sotomayor will begin her confirmation hearings next week with some of the highest levels of public opposition of any Supreme Court nominee in the last two decades, according to a new poll by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation.
In fact, only one nominee had a higher level of opposition: Harriet Miers, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Miers later withdrew her nomination under questions about her qualifications from both the political left and right.
Sotomayor even underpolls torpedoed left-wing lightning rod Robert Bork:
No other recent nominee, not even Robert Bork, whose own nomination under President Ronald Reagan was scuttled, faced public opposition this severe. In the last poll taken during the Bork confirmation fight, thirty-eight percent wanted to see him confirmed versus thirty-five percent who did not.
Thanks to her terse one-paragraph ruling in the Ricci case and her “Wise Latina” pronuncements, the public perceives Sotomayor as a racial spoils system/affirmative action fan. This bad for her because affirmative action has never been very popular with Americans in general. Her Ricci ruling has been generally viewed as unjust and, while the public might not know or care about the finer points of Judicial philosophy, they expect their judges to be fair.
Bush took a huge hit when he nominated Harriet Meyers, which he only partially recouped by replacing her with Roberts. As Obama’s approval numbers continue (albeit slowly) to drift downward , one has to wonder what a failed Supreme Court pick will do to him. He needs a genuine victory, and soon.
One way he won’t get it is by sliming Frank Ricci, the firefighter at the center of the original case. Sotomayor supporters (led by the liberal activist group People For The American Way – who declined to comment) have begun piling up opposition research on the man, sending emails to reporters urging them to probe his “Troubling History”. The Politics of Personal Destruction (a phrase coined by a Democrat) have served liberals well in the past, but in this case wreaking havoc on a person as sympathetic as Ricci isn’t going to make Sotomayor look any better.