Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why elections matter

When President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the White House immediately went into spin mode, trying to obscure her long judicial record, which was exceedingly liberal. As an appellate judge, she had a long record of being soft on crime, always willing to give criminals the benefit of the doubt.

The White House insisted that she was a "law-and-order" judge, and even trotted out Joe "Pinnochio" Biden to tell a law enforcement group "she has your back."

Well, she cast her first vote yesterday, and we now know the White House was lying. A convicted hitman from Ohio, Jason Getsy, asked the Supreme Court to overturn his death sentence. In 1995 Getsy tried to kill - in a murder-for-hire plot - an Ohio man named Charles Serafino. Getsy shot Serafino seven times, and though Serafino lived, Getsy killed Serafino's mother in the attack.

Getsy's lawyers never denied that he had done the crime: Their defense focused only on getting Getsy life in prison, rather than lethal injection. Even Ohio's liberal governor, Ted Strickland, was repulsed by the crime, and refused to stop the execution.

So Getsy appealed to the Supremes, and Sotomayor voted to stop the execution. Fortunately, most of her colleagues disagreed, and the court voted 5-4 to deny his appeal.

The people of Ohio rid themselves of Jason Getsy at 11 a.m. today, via lethal injection. You can read the Chicago Tribune's account of the case here.

Unfortunately, the people of the United States will have to put up with Sotomayor for many more years. It's just another price we pay for putting a diversity hire in the White House.

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