Sunday, May 24, 2009

Justice Christine Arguello?

Cross-posted from

I was doing a little surfing on some state-level blogs in my home state of Colorado - and I found an interesting tidbit from last week that seems to have gone largely unreported in the national press. Apparently, Colorado district court judge Christine Arguello confirmed in an intereview with a local paper that she was being vetted for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now, that story is a few days old, but I think Arguello’s name is worth bringing up for one very specific reason: President Obama is facing pressure from a lot of people to appoint a person who meets specific criteria in the areas of demographics, experience, age, attitude, etc. The laundry list of “requirements” is almost nauseating to read - and almost impossible to find embodied in one person. This is why I’m intrigued by this woman - because up to now, she is the only candidate who meets all of the “qualifications”.

Female? Check. Hispanic? Check. Under 55? Check. Lengthy experience outside the courts? Check (only a District Judge since late last October, previously a tenured law professor, a top aide to Ken Salazar, and a counsel to the University of Colorado). Intellectual heft to satisfy Obama’s desire for an academic? Check. “Empathy” for the working class? Check (daughter of a railroad worker, family lived in a boxcar for a while during her childhood).

To top it off, Arguello could be shopped as a “bi-partisan” choice, as she was appointed to her current position by George W. Bush in the last days of his administration. Granted, that probably had more to do with getting her through the Senate, as Bush had specifically chosen not to renominate her earlier in his term (Bill Clinton had nominated her for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and her nomination was still pending when Bush took office).

Her ties to Ken Salazar may also help - as Salazar has himself been agressively pushed for the nomination by Hispanic groups and his fellow Coloradoans. However, as there is an even stronger push for a woman to take the seat, Salazar will likely be unjustly pushed off the short list due to his ownership of a Y chromosome. Arguello gives Obama a chance to tip his hat to both the Hispanic community and Salazar personally while still nominating a woman.

I would also say that her lengthy experience in non-judicial positions, and the fact that she does not sit on a circuit court (a qualification emphasized by several senators) gives Arguello a distinct advantage over the other Hispanic woman being mentioned for the job - Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. And last but not least, Arguello graduated from the same law school as President Obama - if that means anything.

Now, it’s entirely possible that Arguello struck out in the vetting. There could be problems we don’t know about, or the administration could have decided that her views aren’t what they are looking for. However, they have been implying that they are looking at potentially surprising nominees, and at first glance, Christine Arguello looks like their dream candidate.

So, you heard it here first - and while the rest of the world reacts in shock to Judge Arguello’s nomination, we at R4′12 can say that we were watching her all along.


  1. Great insights, as usual, Adam!
    I wonder if Obama will select a shocker/dark horse, someone who is pretty openly leftwing, just to regain control of the debate----because of late the Republicans have somewhat been gaining the upper hand (and Obama has even received criticism from his usually-adoring fans in the Dem party).

  2. Well, you were right about the Hispanic component. Why would Obama pass up obtaining THAT voting-constituency opportunity?

    I KNEW Obama would go for THE MOST RADICAL of appointees. I am FURIOUS that she thinks the court "sets policy." HOW DARE she believe that, when she KNOWS that's outside its role!? I hope the Republicans filibuster and do everything they CAN to keep her off the court.

    But do they have the courage? I know a LOT of conservatives have just about HAD it with the Republican Party, so it had better fight this RADICAL, ACTIVIST nomination!

  3. You're misinterpreting her remark, which was about the distinction between judging at the district and federal appeals level. More here (scroll to the bottom). The chances of the Republicans successfully filibustering Sotomayor -- who in mainstream legal circles is regarded as a center-left judge along the lines of Breyer and Ginsburg -- are somewhere between slim and none. Trot out a decrepit segregationist like Jeff Sessions to lead the fight and the Republican party's approval ratings will drop into single digits.

  4. "K. I'm not sure that MM is capable of digesting reasonable explanations"

    Listen, clown. Do you even know ANYTHING? Or did you star in "How Obama got elected"? You come in here every so often with your little moron HuffPo drivel and cheap little insults (your last resort when you have nothing else), I bet you won't even respond, coward.

    And K, I haven't forgotten about you,

    "Trot out a decrepit segregationist like Jeff Sessions"

    Or Robert Byrd, oops.............................

    Nevertheless, it's crap like that that every time you put on your little facade of "objective independent" your colors always show with the above. At least craniac truly is a know-nothing and doesn't try to act smart.

    A little harsh, maybe, but it's (past) time to start fighting back against these trolls.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Thanks, 12thMan.

    Craniac, I use caps for emphasis, just like your ole lib friends.

    Oh, and why is it you prefer to attack people, rather than discuss the issues? Pretty sad....

  7. I've attempted to discuss issues on an intellectual level before, only to be met with crude and thoughtless responses. "K" is experiencing the same thing. He makes thoughtful points all of the time...and does he get thoughtful responses in return? Nope...just insults from demagogues like 12thMan.

    These things considered, I decided that it would simply be easier, (and more entertaining) to simply make fun of this looney fringe.

  8. Um...what does Robert Byrd have to do with the Republican opposition to Sotomayor?

    craniac, I'm amused by the right-wing presumption that 65,000,000 Americans are ignorant and that listening to Rush Limbaugh is our chance to be Saul on the road to Damascus.

    Sonia Sotomayor falls well within the judicial mainstream, which like everything else in politics and government has a conservative-to-liberal continuum. She is not an extremist like Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Some conservatives want to paint her that way to justify a bare-knuckled assault on her. To me, that would be politically inane, but that hasn't stopped them in the past.

    I believe we will see a divide between the frenzy of the base and the elected senators who will by and large be extremely reluctant to attack a Latina version of Horatio Alger story. I can't say as I blame them.

  9. Craniac, from what I recall, your first statement above is just false and you've been a rude snot every time you've posted comments. But, if you've actually been mistreated, tell me the thread where that happened, because I will review it and get back to you.
    I am sorry you have felt mistreated, but you can't seriously think that YOU are an objective judge of when others' responses are "thoughtless." I mean, perhaps they were really trying to be thoughtful, but you misinterpreted their responses.
    Anyway, let me know on which thread (by title) here you've felt mistreated. Thanks!

    Now---re. K.: I apologize to you, too, K., because I did mean to respond to your remark above.

    I followed your link and found this quote by Sotomayor, and a comment and UPDATE afterward:

    << [Sotomayor said:] "All of the Legal Defense Funds out there — they're looking for people with Court of Appeals experience. Because it is — Court of Appeals is where policy is made.
    "And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don't 'make law,' I know. [audience laughter] Okay, I know. I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm . . you know. [audience laughter] >>

    Then the blogger at your link, K., noted, "As I see it, Judge Sotomayor is saying that, descriptively, the court of appeals is 'where policy is made.' She then realizes that what she has said could be used against her someday — presumably in a Supreme Court confirmation hearing — so she pokes fun at herself and her situation by announcing for the record that she doesn't promote or advocate that, with the audience in on the joke.
    "The impression I get is that she believes that court of appeals do make law, and properly so, but that some people out there don't understand this and you don't want to be on the record as expressing that position (even though it's correct). That's my best sense of what she's saying, at least.
    "UPDATE:...Judge Sotomayor ['s].... comment arises when she is explaining the difference between the district court and the court of appeals, and thus the difference in clerking at the two different environments. In the district court, she says, the goal is justice in the individual case. You need to think fast, and make a decision immediately. In contrast, at the court of appeals, the judges are usually — not always, but usually — worried about how the legal precedent will apply to the next case. So you need to be more contemplative at the circuit court level.>>

    OKAY! Here's my problem with the UPDATE above: Sotomayor had plenty of time to change her wording to reflect a more constitutional viewpoint. That is, when she stopped and realized her mistake, she could have said, "No, I meant that it's at the Appeals Court level that we set LEGAL PRECEDENT, which is different than setting policy----something I don't advocate judges' doing ever." THAT would have made her statement quite constitutional and clear.
    But Sotomayor did NOT reword her statement----and instead, she CONFIRMED that she meant the opposite of her denial later! She laughed, overtly mocking the requirements of the US Constitution that judges NOT "legislate from the bench" and NOT make policy!
    She laughed and said, "I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm . . you know."---Like HECK she wasn't....!
    She doesn't deserve to be confirmed, because she won't uphold the Constitution which she'll swear (fibbing and laughing again) to uphold.

    If the Republican leaders can make it clear (and Sotomayor will probably blow it during the hearings and reveal this all by herself!) that her viewpoints dishonor the Constitution, then YOU WATCH how the public will support a filibuster themselves. The Republicans will thus GAIN, not lose support.

    And if the Dems can

  10. Sorry---part of my comments didn't post. To continue:

    And if the Dems can forgive Robert Byrd's having been a member of the KKK (which is what 12thMan was alluding to above), then surely they can also forgive the segregationist beliefs in the distant past for Jeff Sessions----ri-ight?

  11. P.S. K.:
    You betray your strong leftwing bias by:

    1. Assuming that illuminating Sotomayor's beliefs constitutes an "attack" or (worse) an "bare-knuckled assault" on her record. Lord, SHE'S stated her positions already!

    - and,

    2. You stated, "Sonia Sotomayor falls well within the judicial mainstream.... She is not an extremist like Scalia, Thomas, and Alito." It's YOUR bias that her views are "mainstream," and the three referenced justices are "extremist." To conservatives who adhere to a strict interpretation of the US Constitution, those three judges are sensible and honorable----not extremist.

  12. I don't see how an appellate court can not make law unless it never overturns a single decision, and I don't care whether its makeup is liberal, conservative, or middle-of-the-road.

    It's not my "bias" that Sotomayor is a mainstream liberal: I haven't read a single description of her legal career that implies anything eles. She typically bases her opinions on precedent, which in itself gives lie to the argument that she's a judicial "activisit" (whatever that is).

    Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are ultraconservatives. Alito developed with the dubious (dangerous) legal theory the presidential signing statements supersede laws passed by Congress. Scalia and Thomas repeatedly ignore precedent.

    What is a "strict interpretation" of the Constitution? Who has said that a "strict interpretation" is inherently correct?

  13. OK which one of you two lib doofi wants to be slapped down first? K, we'll go with you.

    "Um...what does Robert Byrd have to do with the Republican opposition to Sotomayor?"

    I dunno, how is Jeff Sessions a "decrepit segregationist"? I GAVE you one with Byrd. BTW do your anti-segregationist views apply with Thomas (since you mentioned him too, and I will too), or do you just pick and choose?

    "Sonia Sotomayor falls well within the judicial mainstream, which like everything else in politics and government has a conservative-to-liberal continuum"

    Well you might remember five years ago she also gave the greenlight for career thug Maurice Clarett to go to the NFL, despite his disastrous academic and off-field record (his training regimen wasn't exactly something to be proud of either), some example. Oh BTW Clarett is currently serving time on robbery (among other) charges right now. So if the GOP went after that, would they be being racist, sexist, or whatever else you can pull out of your ass? I'm pretty sure according to you they would.

    " extremely reluctant to attack a Latina version of Horatio Alger story. I can't say as I blame them."

    Yep, just like the dems, to their credit, stayed away from Thomas for the very reason (swap African-American for Latina), right?

    "Scalia, Thomas, and Alito are ultraconservatives. Alito developed with the dubious (dangerous) legal theory the presidential signing statements supersede laws passed by Congress. Scalia and Thomas repeatedly ignore precedent"

    Even if that was the case (no wonder Obama believes the Constitution is a flawed, probably "ultraconservative" document), so what? Not only do you still have the advantage, but the discerning number of squishy moderates on, have been on, and dare I say will be on the bench (Souter, Kennedy), it's not like SCOTUS is going hard right anytime soon. But it was that nasty "ultra-conservative radical" influence that gave us the pro-eminent domain ruling in Kelo v New London right?

    "What is a "strict interpretation" of the Constitution? Who has said that a "strict interpretation" is inherently correct?"

    Let me guess, the Constitution should be a living, breathing document too right?

  14. Now craniac we'll get to you:

    "I've attempted to discuss issues on an intellectual level before"

    If those are what you call attempts, you need a refund.

    "only to be met with crude and thoughtless responses"

    Oh, so you've been to K's blog.

    "He makes thoughtful points all of the time"

    New Orleans ain't go nothin on you, Big Easy.................

    "Nope...just insults from demagogues like 12thMan"

    Rule of thumb, if hardcore Obama leftists all the sudden favor you, at least until you make the mistake of going up against them
    (see John McCain), then we got a problem. Thankfully, looks like I won't wander into that dark territory.

  15. "And if the Dems can forgive Robert Byrd's having been a member of the KKK (which is what 12thMan was alluding to above), then surely they can also forgive the segregationist beliefs in the distant past for Jeff Sessions----ri-ight?"

    Not at all. Byrd's record demonstrates that he has repudiated his past. Sessions has a lifetime ACU rating of 98% and hails from one of the two most rabidly segregationist states in the union.

    "You betray your strong leftwing bias"

    It's not a matter of bias. It's a matter of informed values.

  16. K spare us with your "informed values" and "objective analysis" crap. You're a card-carrying hypocrat that gets your talking points from AP-Obama, HuffPo, Media Matters (Not), and Keith Dobermann (Countdown To No Ratings). I've been onto you since you first popped up here. You had MM fooled by guising as a moderate before I called you out--remember that?

    So the big proof of Sessions being a segregationist is that he's from Alabama. Of course many Southern Dixiecrats were (including their longtime gov), so I guess that theory's shot to hell. Oh, and he HAS A 98% ACU RATING!!!!!!! Gee, a conservative with a high ACU rating, what a concept! (maybe it'd be a good idea for the GOP to start running those again, seems they always win when they do).

    Of course, you seem to favor the "conservatives" with lower(ing) ACU ratings, so that tells me how objective YOU really are?

    Seriously, go back to Politico, DU(h), or HuffPo with this crap. The trained monkeys (is that racist?) will eat that up and make you feel like somebody for it.

  17. BTW K, would this be the same Alabama, home of the march on Selma that one President Barack H. Obama claimed in 2008 to be a product of (despite the one large problem: Barry Jr. was three years old when that took place)?

  18. I never claimed to be a moderate. Nine times out of ten -- what the heck, 99 times out a 100 -- an objective reading of an issue leads to a liberal conclusion.

    As for Senator Sessions:

    National Hispanic Leadership Agenda - 0%
    NAACP - 10%
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 10%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    ACLU - 17%

    National Hispanic Leadership Agenda - 0%
    NAACP - 13%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    ACLU - 17%

    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 19%
    NAACP - 13%
    League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) - 13%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    ACLU - 14%

    NAACP - 18%
    LULAC - 18%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    ACLU - 25%

    NAACP - 18%
    LULAC - 13%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    ACLU - 20%
    Arab-American Institute - 0%

    NAACP - 0%
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 0%
    Arab-American Institute - 0%

    NAACP - 3%
    LULAC - 17%
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 0%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    ACLU - 0%
    Arab-American Institute - 0%

    National Council of La Raza - 0%
    NAACP - 5%
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 0%

    NAACP - 7%
    Iranian-American Political Action Committee - 0%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    ACLU - 8%
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 4%

    NAACP - 20%
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 8%
    Arab-American Institute - 0%
    ACLU - 29%

    NAACP - 28%
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights - 6%
    Human Rights Campaign - 0%
    Arab-American Institute - 0%
    ACLU -23%

    Sessions is pretty open minded as long as you are white and straight. For everyone else, he's a bigot.

    BTW, 12M, how could ANY contemporary African-American politician NOT be a product of Selma? Perhaps if you read Taylor Branch's trilogy America In The King Years you would understand the point.

  19. "I never claimed to be a moderate."

    B.....S, figure out the order. Want me to dig up your first post, or do you just plan on people's short memories, like liberals do -- oh what the heck, 99 times out of 100?

    Wow you picked what, EIGHT different leftist organizations to prove your allegations against a conservative? Impressive (in the realm that Keith Olbermann is an actual journalist)......................

    As I said yesterday, if those orgs were in favor of said conservative (like they would sya, McCain), I'd seriously be worried. So you prove nothing, as usual.

    "how could ANY contemporary African-American politician NOT be a product of Selma?"

    The point is someone who was born in August 1961 was supposedly a product of a march that took place some three and a half years later. Do we really have to spell it out for you people? SHEESH!

  20. The point is that history has a far-reaching impact. Obama's statement isn't that hard for thinking people to parse. Maybe that's the problem here.

    The NAACP and LULAC are leftist? Of course, this is coming from someone who thinks that there are only two conservatives in the United States Senate. Anyone to the left of Strom Thurmond is probably a radical to you.

  21. You do realize that Thurmond was a democrat for most of his "race-baiting" years don't you?

    That made the whole outcry against Trent Lott (you were up there protesting, I'm sure) baffling. Then again, see liberals preying on short memories, how many people know that Thurmond was/ran as a Dixiecrat in '48?

    I'm pretty certain that Lott burned his fair share of bridges (see Michael Wein, er, Savage) on the right, thus no real support for him among Rush and co. His dumb comment from years back about the party of Jefferson Davis (which sounds like something Howard Dean would say) probably didn't help.

    As for your other comment (and weak jab), yeah it sounds good and everything. Trouble is, that wasn't the case--you know, mentioning the whole thing about going to Kansas and creating Barry Jr. This sounds like crap liberals make up to cover themselves. This also from the people that brought us Hillary "Sir Edmund" Rodham and Al "The Union Label" Gore. So stop trying to make up stuff to sound smart. At least your little tagalong craniac doesn't pretend.

  22. You're conflating "Democrat" with "liberal" I don't care if Strom Thurmond was a Democrat or LaRouchite. He was a right-wing reactionary who for more than 50 years did his best to stem the tides of progress.

    Similarly, "Republican" has not always been synonymous with "extreme right." Republicans like Jacob Javits and Clifford Case, who supported Civil Rights legislation, were liberals whom today you would call RINO's.

    When it came time to doing the heavy lifting on civil rights legislation and making it more possible for all Americans regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation to partake of the full benefits of American life, conservatives of both parties were nowhere to be found.

  23. Oooo touchy aren't we there tiger? ROFL.

    So I guess HST, very much a conservative dem--esp in comparison to today's Reid/Pelosi communists, you have no use for. Same with Scoop Jackson.

    If you realize Republican and conservative don't always go together, you should have no problem seeing why McCain is mostly despised on this board.

    Of course, given the way you most recently politicized Jack Kemp's death, I should have expected this. Now George Wallace, Orval Faubus, Albert Gore, William Fulbright (all heroes of Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and most of today's Dems) were right-wing reactionaries all, oh that's rich. You're channeling your inner Howard Dean though, I'll give you that.

    That, and and you're continuing to make a complete joke out of yourself. I don't know whether to invite you over here so I can slap the hell out of you, or just to let you go on your merry way like some DUfus/KOSsack/FluffPo troll only you claim to be educated. Again, at least your little hanger-on craniac knows to stay away from that.

  24. Yes, you have managed to describe your contributions to this board, congratulations