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Never again is what you swore the time before

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Sonia Sotomayor has been a great SCOTUS justice, but:

(1) The odds of Democrats holding the Senate this November are slim.

(2) The Senate electoral map is bad again in 2026.

(3) The odds of the Democrats holding the White House this year are harder to calculate, but anybody who denies that Donald Trump has a very real shot of winning is completely delusional.

(4) Joe Manchin has been a very reliable vote on judicial nominations.

(5) Sotomayor’s health history is sketchy.

(6) Judicial talent is not in short supply.

Add it all up, and this is an extremely easy call, but to this point there’s almost no public pressure on Sotomayor to step down.

Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, remembers how this story went last time, and he’s begging for a different ending.

“Sotomayor has been an outstanding justice,” he said. “But the Ruth Bader Ginsburg precedent ought to be extremely sobering. … The cost of her failing to be replaced by a Democratic president with a Democratic Senate would be catastrophic.” . . .

“You have the votes,” said Campos, who began to lead the calls for Breyer to retire in 2021. “You have the votes right now, and you’re not going to have the votes a year from now. It’s really that simple.”

And if you think a GOP-controlled Senate wouldn’t let a SCOTUS seat sit empty for years, I have a $60 bible to sell you.

Campos wonders what exactly Democrats hope will happen in the meantime. To him, it seems as though they’re thinking, Maybe it won’t be that bad – the same wish-casting that surrounded Ginsburg.

“Sotomayor is a test case” of whether the party had learned the right lesson, he said. “Are people going to get real or not?”

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