Monday, June 06, 2011

Sotomayor and Kagan: At least Obama knows how to pick rubber stamps...

Anyone who claimed America was getting independent jurists when Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayer and Elana Kagan to the Supreme Court was either carrying water for the left, or as easily duped as a common carnival mark.

The New York Post reports on how single (and simple?) minded these two recent appointees have been on decisions that touch upon the lives of ever citizen in America:

The newest members of the nation's highest court -- local Obama appointees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan -- have agreed with each other in all 23 cases they've voted on, which is a supreme rarity, observers said.

Legal scholars find the Sotomayor-Kagan mind meld a bit unusual but hardly shocking.

"The pattern of agreement is typically based on ideology or a view of the law," said professor Barry Friedman of NYU Law School.

But the New York twins don't just agree in general terms. Justices can agree fully or partially in a case, depending on whether they write a separate concurring or dissenting opinion. Often two justices will come to the same general conclusion for very different reasons.

Sotomayor, who joined the court two years ago, and Kagan, who began serving last October, agreed fully 91 percent of the time.

Scalia and Alito were in full agreement only 59 percent of the time, according to statistics compiled by the Web site SCOTUSblog.

Only three other pairs of justices fully agreed more than 79 percent of the time.

Friedman, author of "The Will of the People," said one possible reason why Kagan, a former Upper West Sider, and Sotomayor, a Bronx native, think alike on so many judicial issues could be their shared experiences of growing up in New York in the 1960s and '70s...

Or maybe they just share a rigid ideological viewpoint, one that is buttressed by living in the city where - in the circles where law professors and judges mingle - almost everyone agrees with them, vehemently.

Diversity, Obama-style. Two women, both from the same city, who think exactly the same way and agree with each other almost all the time. Wow. That's progress.

It's been a problem since the beginning of his administration for Obama to find anyone for either his inner circle or a key government post that isn't a tried and true member of the blue state tribe. Explains some of the monolithic thought that come out of the White House these days. And, of course, the Court.

Maybe next time, some regional diversity would help "balance" the Supreme Court? Although to Obama, that would probably mean a nominee out of Chicago, or maybe Cali. You know, places where liberal policy is a given. Places where the dream goes to die....

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