Justice on the Campaign Trail


News coverage would suggest that the nomination of U.S. Federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor has unleashed a fire storm of criticism and led to active campaigning for and against her confirmation to the Supreme Court.  However, except for the efforts of radio host Rush Limbaughand the new-book hawking Newt Gingrich, the campaign against the nomination has been fairly lukewarm.  There is nothing to compete with the activity around the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Sure the professional legal interest groups like the Judicial Confirmation Network and the Third Branch Conference are mounting some sort of campaign, but they practically admit that that they are merely exercising their arms for a more important fight in the future (e.g. if and when Justice Kennedy's seat is vacated).  To a political memorablia collector, the key indicator is whether or not there is gear for sale actively supporting a campaign--buttons, bumper stickers, maybe T-shirts.  I've been monitoring ebay since the announcement and have seen precious little to indicate a serias anti-Sotomayor campaign.  From day one, a number of ready to make commemmorative items (buttons, trivets, decorated plates) appeared touting the judge, all using her official copyright-free photo.  Button makers & printable decals are cheap and this is typical of any name in the news and does not indicate any real-world pro- or anti- campaigns, only entreprenuers trying to cash in on the news. The only item with a partisan stance is a "Confirm Sonia Sotomayor" T-shirt that appeared for sale .  I've also checked the few "rejection" sites, including JCN's aboutsoniasotomayor.com and found nothing that fellow travelers can buy to show their views (even though they ARE taking donations).

I'll keep looking, but I've seen nothing with the passion of the following item from 2000:













For more detailed versions of the items shown, see my Repository of American Legal Ephemera on Flickr.