On Sunday’s This Week roundtable, ABC national correspondent Claire Shipman tried to argue that it would be “very hard” for Republicans to label Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a liberal. “When you look at Sotomayor's record and look at the cases, it's very hard for people to make the case that she's a typical, you know, elite liberal judicial philosopher,” Shipman declared.
That was too much even for liberal columnist Cynthia Tucker, who is currently the editorial page editor of the Atlantic Journal-Constitution but will this summer move to Washington as the paper’s D.C.-based political columnist. “She is certainly liberal, she’s called herself liberal,” Tucker informed Shipman, but agreed that Sotomayor is “nobody’s knee-jerk radical.”
Shipman used to appear on the This Week panel alongside her husband, then-Time magazine Washington bureau chief Jay Carney, but Carney has since joined the Obama administration as a top aide to Vice President Joe Biden.
Here’s a bit more of the exchange that took place on the June 7 roundtable:
CLAIRE SHIPMAN: "I think it's also hard when you look at Sotomayor's record and look at the cases, it's very hard for people to make the case that she's a typical, you know, elite liberal judicial philosopher. I mean, really, she's not. Her cases go back and forth. It's going to be hard for the Republicans to try to pin down what that means. She's tended to give -- to be tough on crime, to give police the benefit of the doubt...."
CYNTHIA TUCKER: "As Claire just said, her opinions don't show -- she is certainly liberal, she's called herself 'liberal' -- but she's nobody's knee-jerk radical. In fact, she often sides with the prosecution in cases, probably from her experience as a young prosecutor...."