Here's your weekly roundup of bloggers who are writing about Cato research and commentary:
- Liberty Maven blogger Mike Miller cites Jim Harper in a post about the effort to impose a national ID card on American citizens.
- W.E. Messamore, AKA The Humble Libertarian, interviews Cato health analyst Michael D. Tanner about Obama's plan to overhaul the health care system.
- Insider Online blogger Alex Adrianson covers Cato's standoff with Hugo Chavez supporters and government agents during a pro-free market conference in Venezuela.
- Writing for Real Clear World's Compass blog, Greg Scoblete cites Doug Bandow's commentary on North Korea's nuclear plans. Also blogging at the Compass blog, Kevin Sullivan links to David Boaz's commentary on Obama's speech in Egypt.
- At Red State, Ryan Ellis uses Michael Cannon's research in a post about a market-based alternative to government-run health care.
- Blogging for Young Americans for Liberty, Jeff Hubbard and Elliot Engstrom write about Cato University and Ilya Shapiro's CNN commentary on Sonia Sotomayor.
Obama Picks Sotomayor for Supreme Court
President Obama chose federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Hispanic Latina to serve on the bench.
On Cato’s blog, constitutional law scholar Roger Pilon wrote, “President Obama chose the most radical of all the frequently mentioned candidates before him.”
Cato Supreme Court Review editor and senior fellow Ilya Shapiro weighed in, saying, "In picking Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has confirmed that identity politics matter to him more than merit. While Judge Sotomayor exemplifies the American Dream, she would not have even been on the short list if she were not Hispanic."
Shapiro expands his claim that Sotomayor was not chosen based on merit at CNN.com:
In over 10 years on the Second Circuit, she has not issued any important decisions or made a name for herself as a legal scholar or particularly respected jurist. In picking a case to highlight during his introduction of the nominee, President Obama had to go back to her days as a trial judge and a technical ruling that ended the 1994-95 baseball strike.
Pilon led a live-chat on The Politico’s Web site, answering questions from readers about Sotomayor’s record and history.
And at The Wall Street Journal, Cato senior fellow John Hasnas asks whether "compassion and empathy" are really characteristics we want in a judge:
Paraphrasing Bastiat, if the difference between the bad judge and the good judge is that the bad judge focuses on the visible effects of his or her decisions while the good judge takes into account both the effects that can be seen and those that are unseen, then the compassionate, empathetic judge is very likely to be a bad judge. For this reason, let us hope that Judge Sotomayor proves to be a disappointment to her sponsor.
North Korea Tests Nukes
The Washington Post reports, “North Korea reportedly fired two more short-range missiles into waters off its east coast Tuesday, undeterred by the strong international condemnation that followed its detonation of a nuclear device and test-firing of three missiles a day earlier.”
Writing in the National Interest online, Cato scholar Doug Bandow discusses how the United States should react:
Washington has few options. The U.S. military could flatten every building in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), but even a short war would be a humanitarian catastrophe and likely would wreck Seoul, South Korea's industrial and political heart. America's top objective should be to avoid, not trigger, a conflict. Today's North Korean regime seems bound to disappear eventually. Better to wait it out, if possible.
On Cato’s blog, Bandow expands on his analysis on the best way to handle North Korea:
The U.S. should not reward “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Il with a plethora of statements beseeching the regime to cooperate and threatening dire consequences for its bad behavior. Rather, the Obama administration should explain, perhaps through China, that the U.S. is interested in forging a more positive relationship with [the] North, but that no improvement will be possible so long as North Korea acts provocatively. Washington should encourage South Korea and Japan to take a similar stance.
Moreover, the U.S. should step back and suggest that China, Seoul, and Tokyo take the lead in dealing with Pyongyang. North Korea’s activities more threaten its neighbors than America. Even Beijing, the North’s long-time ally, long ago lost patience with Kim’s belligerent behavior and might be willing to support tougher sanctions.
Cato Media Quick Hits
Here are a few highlights of Cato media appearances now up on Cato's YouTube channel:
- Ted Galen Carpenter discuss the North Korean missile tests on WOR radio.
- On Fox News, Chris Edwards disputes the idea of a federal sales tax.
- Gene Healy comments on the future of Guantanamo detainees on BBC.
- On CNBC, Dan Mitchell explains why California is like the “France of America.”
- In Friday's Cato Daily Podcast, John Samples discusses how at least three presidents used the Fairness Doctrine to squelch dissenting speech.
In picking Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has confirmed that identity politics matter to him more than merit.
Judge Sotomayor is not one of the leading lights of the federal judiciary and would not even have been on the shortlist if she were not Hispanic.
She has a mixed reputation, with a questionable temperament and no particularly important opinions in over 10 years on the Second Circuit. Most notably, she was part of the panel that summarily affirmed the dismissal of Ricci v. DeStefano, where the City of New Haven denied firefighter promotions based on an admittedly race-neutral exam whose results did not yield the “correct” racial mix of successful candidates. Sotomayor’s colleague José Cabranes—a liberal Democrat—excoriated the panel’s actions and the Supreme Court will likely reverse the ruling next month.
If this is the kind of “empathy” the president wants from his judges, we are in for a long summer—and more bitter confirmation battles in the future.
In nominating Second Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, President Obama chose the most radical of all the frequently mentioned candidates before him.
Given the way her panel recently summarily dismissed the Ricci case –- involving the complaint by New Haven, Connecticut, firefighters that the city had thrown out the results of an officers exam because the results did not come out “right” –- and the expectation, based on oral argument, that the Supreme Court will reverse the Second Circuit decision, there will likely be an extremely contentious confirmation battle ahead. If confirmation hearings are scheduled for summer, they will follow shortly upon the Court’s decision in that explosive case.
Are we to imagine that President Obama chose as he did because he wants that battle?