Bush’s torture lawyer, John Yoo, who is facing an ethics investigation, trashed Sotomayor today

Last week, the American Enterprise Institute provided the forum for Dick Cheney to give his creepy and disturbing speech espousing the virtues of torture. Today, over at the the American Enterprise Institute’s blog, one of the architects of the Bush/Cheney torture policy, lawyer John Yoo, launched an attack on Sonia Sotomayor:

Conservatives should defend the Supreme Court as a place where cases are decided by a faithful application of the Constitution, not personal politics, backgrounds, and feelings. Republican senators will have to conduct thorough questioning in the confirmation hearings to make sure that she will not be a results-oriented voter, voting her emotions and politics rather than the law. One worrying sign is Sotomayor’s vote to uphold the affirmative action program in New Haven, CT, where the city threw out a written test for firefighter promotions when it did not pass the right number of blacks and Hispanics. Senators should ask her whether her vote in that case, which is under challenge right now in the Supreme Court (where I signed an amicus brief for the Claremont Center on Constitutional Jurisprudence), was the product of her “empathy” rather than the correct reading of the Constitution.

An attack from Yoo should pretty much guarantee Sotomayor’s nomination. Yoo is facing an effort to have him disbarred for his advocacy of torture. And, Yoo is the subject of an ethics investigation at the Department of Justice, which he’s desperately trying to have altered. So, let’s just say, his legal credentials are already suspect, at best.

But, just for fun, read what the hypocrite Yoo said about Clarence Thomas. For a right-wing conservative, the personal story matters:

Justice Thomas speaks from personal knowledge when he says: “So-called ‘benign’ discrimination teaches many that because of chronic and apparently immutable handicaps, minorities cannot compete with them without their patronizing indulgence.” He argued that “these programs stamp minorities with a badge of inferiority and may cause them to develop dependencies or to adopt an attitude that they are ‘entitled’ to preferences.”

By forswearing the role of coalition builder or swing voter — a position happily occupied by Justice Anthony Kennedy — Justice Thomas has used his opinions to highlight how the latest social theories sometimes hurt those they are said to help. Because he both respects grass-roots democracy and knows more about poverty than most people do, he dissented vigorously from the court’s 1999 decision to strike down a local law prohibiting loitering in an effort to reduce inner-city gang activity. “Gangs fill the daily lives of many of our poorest and most vulnerable citizens with a terror that the court does not give sufficient consideration, often relegating them to the status of prisoners in their own homes.”

Expect a lot of this kind of hypocrisy from the Republicans and their minions over the next couple months — aided and abetted by the traditional media, for example, Politico.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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