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Elon Law professors Steve Friedland, Scott Gaylord, and Howard Katz provide insight into Supreme Court nomination hearings through N.C. media

Appearing on News 14 Carolina, Fox 8 WGHP, WFMY News 2, and WFDD radio, members of the faculty of Elon University School of Law recently provided analysis and evaluation of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor.

Steve Friedland, Scott Gaylord, and Howard Katz

In an interview with WFMY News 2, Elon Law professor Steve Friedland noted that Sotomayor’s appointment, while historic, was unlikely to alter the current balance of the court’s liberal and conservative perspectives, saying, “She's replacing Justice David Suiter who while appointed by a republican, nominated by a republican, has not been associated with the conservative part of the court, so in all likelihood, she would not change the composition. There will still be a lot of five to four votes.”

Scott Gaylord, associate professor of law at Elon, making his fourth appearance this summer as a guest legal expert with Fox 8 Morning News WGHP, discussed the purpose of the hearings, noting that the Senate was fulfilling its constitutional duties under Article II to provide “advice and consent.”

Gaylord also assessed what Republican members of the Senate were trying to accomplish through the hearings, stating, “The Republicans have tried hard to stake [Judge Sotomayor] out and her positions on judicial philosophy…so they can see how she responds once she…is sitting as a Justice. Secondly, they are putting pressure, I think, on President Obama and his…wanting Justices who have empathy or sympathy for those who appear before the Court. And, in fact, Judge Sotomayor has said that she disagrees with that view…[which] may restrict what President Obama can do in terms of [future] nominees and make it that he may not be able to get a Justice who really adopts and holds true to this view of empathy or sympathy for particular parties.”

Speaking both with WFDD 88.5 FM radio, an NPR affiliate in the Triad region of North Carolina, and with News 14 Carolina, the statewide television news station, Elon Law professor Howard Katz evaluated Judge Sotomayor’s performance in the Senate hearings and described the anticipated outcomes of the nomination process as it advances through the Senate, saying, “She went in with people expecting her to be confirmed, and I think coming out of the hearings, it is highly likely…that she is going to be confirmed and will take her seat on the Supreme Court.”

Click on the E-Cast links to the right of this article for the extended comments of Howard Katz in his interview with News 14 Carolina and a summary of Steve Friedland’s interview with WFMY News 2.

Click here for background information about Friedland, Gaylord, and Katz.

Philip Craft,
8/28/2009 2:55 PM