Karl Rove Launches Gender-Loaded 'Emotion' Attack on Sotomayor

Even before President Obama announced Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, former Bush adviser Karl Rove began attacking her credentials. Since then, Rove has claimed that she’s “not necessarily” smart and has acted “like sort of a schoolmarm” on the 2nd court of appeals. Today, in his Wall Street Journal column, he implies that her judicial decisions are led by “emotion“:


“Empathy” is the latest code word for liberal activism, for treating the Constitution as malleable clay to be kneaded and molded in whatever form justices want. It represents an expansive view of the judiciary in which courts create policy that couldn’t pass the legislative branch or, if it did, would generate voter backlash.

There is a certain irony in a president who routinely praises America’s commitment to “the rule of law” but who picks Supreme Court nominees for their readiness to discard the rule of law whenever emotion moves them.

Rove isn’t the first conservative to use the gender-loaded “emotion” attack against Sotomayor. In a blog post for the American Enterprise Institute, torture advocate John Yoo wrote that Republicans needed “to make sure that she will not be a results-oriented voter, voting her emotions and politics rather than the law.”

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.