I've been asked about the Sonia Sotomayor nomination, and am really overdue in discussing the political implications. I will leave the issue of her qualifications to those more qualified.
- this nails Republicans, who cannot oppose her much without alienating the Latino population. Every criticism or derogatory reference to affirmative action or lack of intellectual heft will be replayed in the next election.
- it helps solidify the Democratic Party's attraction for Latinos.
- there has been conflict at times between African Americans and Latinos, and I think there is symbolic importance to an African American president naming a Latina to the Supreme Court. I wouldn't want to make too much of it, but it is relevant.
- this gives Obama breathing room on immigration reform, and thereby greatly decreases the chances of a reform proposal before the end of the year.
Unless something dramatic happens (e.g. a hitherto unknown scandal about her) it is hard to see anything but approval.