Sotomayor: Early notes


An early barometer, of sorts ….

Adam Liptak, for the New York Times:

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial opinions are marked by diligence, depth and unflashy competence. If they are not always a pleasure to read, they are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship, which prizes careful attention to the facts in the record and a methodical application of layers of legal principles.

Judge Sotomayor, whom President Obama announced Tuesday as his choice for the Supreme Court, has issued no major decisions concerning abortion, the death penalty, gay rights or national security. In cases involving criminal defendants, employment discrimination and free speech, her rulings are more liberal than not.

But they reveal no larger vision, seldom appeal to history and consistently avoid quotable language. Judge Sotomayor’s decisions are, instead, almost always technical, incremental and exhaustive, considering all of the relevant precedents and supporting even completely uncontroversial propositions with elaborate footnotes.

Brian Dickerson, for the Detroit Free Press tells us all about Sonia Sotomayor, Princeton University residential adviser.

Howard Kurtz, of the Washington Post, on the spin war.

Daphne Eviatar and the Washington Independent strike back against early GOP rabble-rousing.

• Politico has broad early coverage, including Josh Gerstein and Eamon Javers projecting the political battle, Ben Smith and Josh Kraushaar on the politics of the pick, and Jeanne Cummings on GOP tousling over opposition strategies.

Emily Bazelon discusses Sotomayor’s mysterious Ricci ruling—sure to be a focus of the confirmation politics—at Slate.

The Hill offers up what are apparently the first round of RNC talking points.

• And then there’s Gawker with the yearbook photo, quote, and expectations of a requisite uproar.

The purpose of health care is to make lots of money


Paul Krugman on how insurance companies are gearing up to fight the Obama health plan even as they claim to want to be a part of it:

The Post has the storyboards for the ads, and they read just like the infamous Harry and Louise ads that helped kill health care reform in 1993. Troubled Americans are shown being denied their choice of doctor, or forced to wait months for appointments, by faceless government bureaucrats. It’s a scary image that might make some sense if private health insurance — which these days comes primarily via HMOs — offered all of us free choice of doctors, with no wait for medical procedures. But my health plan isn’t like that. Is yours?

“We can do a lot better than a government-run health care system,” says a voice-over in one of the ads. To which the obvious response is, if that’s true, why don’t you? Why deny Americans the chance to reject government insurance if it’s really that bad?

For none of the reform proposals currently on the table would force people into a government-run insurance plan. At most they would offer Americans the choice of buying into such a plan.

And the goal of the insurers is to deny Americans that choice. They fear that many people would prefer a government plan to dealing with private insurance companies that, in the real world as opposed to the world of their ads, are more bureaucratic than any government agency, routinely deny clients their choice of doctor, and often refuse to pay for care.

As we go forward in this critical and oft-complicated debate, I would simply ask people to keep a certain point in mind:

    The primary concern of the health care industry is profit.

What? It’s the way private enterprise works.