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Pundits & Editorials

SCOTUS Ricci ruling elicits debate on affirmative action and Sotomayor. Plus: Why are GOP politicians straying right now?

• "Leaders in Congress and in the administration seem open to nearly any idea so long as it will lead to passing legislation," David Brooks remarks. But this "approach comes with its own shortcomings."

Jonah Goldberg takes President Obama to task for "some of the most absurdly counterproductive legislation imaginable" on health care and energy.


Rich Karlgaard criticizes the energy bill: "There is no way the U.S. economy can enjoy future prosperity without the big three electrical energy sources of clean coal, natural gas and nuclear."

• The Washington Post thinks the Supreme Court justices should have remanded the Ricci v. DeStefano case, handed down on Monday with a 5-4 vote, back to the trial court to determine all the facts of the case.

• "The egregious behavior by" the New Haven "government, in a context of racial rabble-rousing, did not seem legally suspect to even one of the court's four liberals, whose harmony seemed to reflect result-oriented rather than law-driven reasoning," George F. Will scoffs.


• "There will be a time when affirmative action is no longer necessary, but the paucity of minority officers in fire departments like New Haven's is just one bit of proof that the time hasn't come," USA Today contends.

• "Using race to make decisions about promotion should be a last resort, not the first option after learning that the demographics of the successful candidates were not to your liking," Michael Rosman of the Center for Individual Rights counters in an opposing view.

• "It isn't merely a matter of results-oriented political ideology that causes" the lower courts and high court to have split votes, Ann Woolner says. "The law on race and employment is about as complicated as any field of law. And it didn't get any simpler" Monday.

• "Cheer Monday's ruling or deplore it, one thing that is clear from reading the Supreme Court's 89 pages of opinions in the case is that" Sonia Sotomayor "and her colleagues played by the old rules, and the court changed them," former New York Times Supreme Court correspondent Linda Greenhouse maintains in the Times.


• "Sotomayor's handling of the case deserves to be thoroughly aired during her confirmation hearings, insofar as it reinforces concerns that she is prone to race-conscious jurisprudence," the Wall Street Journal maintains.

• This case "drops" Sotomayor's "record to 2 for 6 before the highest court, and she probably is the most overturned nominee to seek the high bench in history," the Washington Times opines.

• "What does all this tell us about Sotomayor the judge? Not a lot," the Chicago Tribune argues. "It's true that the court reversed her decision. But that was not hers alone."

• "Because of" Justice David Souter's "quiet ways... it's easy to forget how different the country would be today if this unmarried recluse from the North hadn't decamped long ago to join the court's liberal wing," Dana Milbank remarks.

• "The question isn't why Republicans like John Ensign or Mark Sanford are having marital crises. It is why they are choosing to have them now," Amity Shlaes writes.

• Sanford's "fall from grace... effectively deprives the fiscally conservative wing of the Republican Party of one of its highest-profile spokesmen," former Roll Call columnist Louis Jacobson asserts in Politico.

• "An open-minded individual, I am willing to support an adulterer for elective office," columnist Froma Harrop concedes on "But my ability to look past marital infidelity depends on how much humiliation was heaped on the wife. The details matter."

• "In a republic of limited government, the governor, two-thirds of the state legislature and the heads of every regulatory agency should be able to go 'hiking the Appalachian Trail' for a lot longer than five days, and nobody should notice," argues columnist Mark Steyn in the Washington Times.

• "The admirals and generals who oppose repealing 'don't ask, don't tell' are out of touch with American society." Richard Cohen charges that "they live in a cloistered world that has not changed while much of America has."

• "None of us can be lulled into believing that Iraq is a 'mission accomplished,'" Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad Al Bolani cautions in the Washington Post. "June 30 is not an historical endpoint to be celebrated by political philosophers; it is the beginning of a highly uncertain chapter in Iraqi democracy and self-governance."

• "For a president who came into office literally selling the Audacity of Hope -- not just for Americans but for all mankind -- his Iran policy can so far be summed up as the timidity of 'realism,'" Bret Stephens writes.

• "Even though the Honduran Congress and military may believe they are defending the country against a would-be dictator, the ends don't justify the means," the Los Angeles Times says of the recent upheaval in the country.

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