The Limits of Empathy for Sonia Sotomayor

Obama says Sotomayor's roots show a concern for ordinary people. Her record is more muddled

Susan Walsh / AP

U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to become the next Supreme Court Justice

If you doubt that President Obama has changed American politics, consider that we are about to have the first Supreme Court confirmation hearing in almost a quarter-century that does not revolve, in one way or another, around Roe v. Wade. The appeals-court judge Sonia Sotomayor has ruled on just three cases that dealt, indirectly, with abortion. She has written a lot about racial preferences, though. That is one reason the country is set to have a knock-down, drag-out fight over affirmative action instead.

Judging from his dramatic introduction in the East Room, the President is dazzled by his nominee's Puerto Rican...

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