She’s the nominee to replace Justice Souter.  The White House has its talking points, which do in fact include the word “empathy” which hasn’t played well with conservatives, who have their own talking points accidentally released to the press.

The Republicans seemed ready for this selection.  Among their concerns for her character is that she is “domineering.”  Empathetic and domineering.  Hmmmmm.  And Senator Imhofe (R) is concerned that she may not be able to resist the “undue influence” of her race and gender.  Is it like demon possession or something?  The goblin of Hispanic womanhood threatens to render her a hapless zombie conjuring from the spirit world glamours of quotas, hostile workplaces, and bilingual education.

TPM looks at the big picture and the obstruction:

Technically, Republicans come into the Sotomayor confirmation process in an extremely weak position. Their caucus is only 40 members large. Four of those members are women. One is hispanic. And their ranks are teeming with people who’ve loudly decried the idea of filibustering judicial nominees in the recent past.

Now that same crew is faced with the prospect of playing the opposition (loyal or otherwise) to a 54 year old Hispanic female with honors degrees from Princeton and Yale and heaps of experience on the bench. Not exactly ideal circumstances.

At the same time, though, they’ve proven perfectly willing to stand athwart other, similarly qualified Obama nominees, most of whom serve (or will serve) in the executive branch for only a few years at the most.

And speaking of the paranormal, Norm Coleman promises to keep an open mind on the nomination “when I am re-elected.”

I don’t know anything about her and she hasn’t even said anything yet, but I already like her.  I just hope one of the conservative justices retires soon, because we just lost the Sixth Amendment.

Addendum: Mark Krikorean of the conservative National Review takes issue with how Sotamayor pronounces her name.  It’s “unnatural in English.”  We shouldn’t “give in” to it.  I swear the caricatures have nothing on the real people sometimes.

Oh, and she was a socialist, or at least willing to quote a socialist in her 1976 Princeton yearbook!

Norman Thomas was of course the perrenial Socialist Presidential candidate throughout his adult life.  I’m liking her even more!

Second addendum: Republicans have dug up even more dirt.  They wonder whether her love for a Puerto Rican dish consisting of pig’s tongue and ears with rice and beans will affect her impartiality.  Or do you think they’re just trying to find a lame excuse to gross some folks out about her cuisine preferences?  Nah.

Addendum: Uh oh.  TPM may have perpetuated the Hill’s cuisine cultural ignorance, and I may have done so right here.  Apparently the dish is made from pig’s feet and is some sort of soup!  What the nominee actually said in that fateful speech was:

For me, a very special part of my being Latina is the mucho platos de arroz, gandoles y pernirmorcilla, — pig intestines, patitas de cerdo con garbanzo — pigs’ feet with beans, and la lengua y orejas de cuchifrito, pigs’ tongue and ears. – rice, beans and pork – that I have eaten at countless family holidays and special events. My Latina identity also includes, because of my particularly adventurous taste buds, morcilla, — pig intestines, patitas de cerdo con garbanzo — pigs’ feet with beans, and la lengua y orejas de cuchifrito, pigs’ tongue and ears.

The photo to the right accurately depicts the soup. The one above is probably the arroz, gondolas y pernir.

I think the Republicans had better regroup.

So far the only reservation I have about her is her decision in favor of a school administrator punishing a student for blog speech made off campus.

Second addendum: Empathy bad.