Talking about the "things that matter most" on May 26
3:00 – SCOTUS Gets a New Member
If confirmed by the Senate, Sonia Sotomayor will join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the current court, the third in history. She would succeed retiring Justice David Souter. She would be unlikely to alter the ideological balance of the court, since Souter generally sides with the liberals on key 5-4 rulings. But at 54, she is a generation younger that Souter, and liberal outside groups hope she will provide a counterpoint to some of the sharply worded conservative rulings. Paul Schenck has been working at the Supreme Court for years, and is here to offer his opinion.
3:20 – Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court
President Barack Obama chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice this morning, praising her as "an inspiring woman" with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely. Obama said Sotomayor has more experience as a judge than any current member of the high court had when nominated, adding she has earned the "respect of colleagues on the bench, the admiration of many lawyers who argue cases in her court and the adoration of her clerks, who look to her as a mentor." However, that experience is being called into question by those opposed to the nomination with some calling it laughable to say she has a superior legal intellect. Robert George of Princeton University analyzes.
3:40 – North Korea test-fires 2 more missiles on the heels of a nuclear bomb test
North Korea reportedly tested two more short-range missiles today, a day after detonating a nuclear bomb underground, pushing the regime further into a confrontation with world powers despite the threat of U.N. action. Pyongyang also warned ships to stay away from waters off its western coast this week, a sign it may be gearing up for more missile tests, South Korea's coast guard said. How big of a threat is North Korea, and what can we do about the clearly rogue regime? Bruce Klinger of the Heritage Foundation has the answers.
4:00 – Will Republicans Mount an Opposition to Sotomayor?
Larry Klayman, the founder of conservative groups Freedom Watch and Judicial Watch, is praising -- in a qualified way -- the Sotomayor pick, calling the selection "a very prudent and wise decision from a far left liberal like Obama." Republican Judiciary Committee member Jon Kyl stressed the need for Republicans to have plenty of time to review Sotomayor's record. Kyl cited examples from past Supreme Court confirmations under a Republican-controlled Senate where the then-Democratic minority was afforded "ample time" to review the nominee. What will conservatives do with the nomination? Gary Bauer is here.
4:20 – CA Supreme Court Upholds Prop 8 – Also upholds gay “marriages” already performed
The California Supreme Court has upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, but it also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed. The decision rejected an argument by gay rights activists that the ban revised the California constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval. We talk with Bill May of Catholics for the Common Good.
4:40 – The Pope in the Holy Land: A Review
In the final days of his Holy Land trip, Pope Benedict forcefully denounced the Holocaust, telling Israelis that the brutal extermination of Jews by the "godless" Nazi regime would never be forgotten or denied. His language appeared to lift Jewish disappointment over earlier remarks about the murder of six million Jews by his fellow Germans, which to Israelis had sounded cold and distant. Ending a Holy Land pilgrimage which he said made "powerful impressions" of hope and sadness, the 82-year-old pontiff also appealed for peace between Israelis and Palestinians so each can live in their own state, as trustful neighbors in security. We review the trip and ask what impact it will have. John Allen is our guest.
5:00 – Sotomayor and social issues
President Barack Obama called Judge Sonia Sotomayor at 9 p.m. on Memorial Day to say she was his pick for the Supreme Court. Sotomayor’s record on the divisive issue of abortion is murky. In 17 years on the federal bench, she has issued no opinions dealing directly with abortion rights. And in two cases dealing tangentially with the issue—involving anti-abortion protesters and the government right to limit abortion-related speech by foreign recipients of U.S. aid—the appeals court judge’s ruling favored abortion opponents. Still, anti-abortion forces are convinced that Obama would not nominate Sotomayor without being confident that she supports abortion rights. Hadley Arkes is here to look at her record.
5:20 – Victory for Prop 8 – Where Does the Fight Go From Here
The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, but it also decided that the estimated 18,000 gay couples who tied the knot before the law took effect will stay wed. The 6-1 decision rejected an argument by gay rights activists that the ban revised the California constitution's equal protection clause to such a dramatic degree that it first needed the Legislature's approval. The court said the people have a right, through the ballot box, to change their constitution. How big is this victory and where does the battle go from here? Maggie Gallagher has the answers.
5:40 – Kresta Comments