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Another conservative urges restraint

From NBC's Savannah Guthrie
Another conservative -- joining Charles Krauthammer and Peggy Noonan -- appears to be calling for an end to the incendiary rhetoric on race and intellect surrounding Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. This morning, Wendy Long, counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network and a former clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas, posted an item on National Review Online urging that the debate focus on her judicial philosophy.

"Somehow, this important debate is turning into an argument about race and identity politics," Long wrote. "Many of us in the conservative movement believe that Judge Sotomayor is intelligent, and that, at least on paper, she has professional qualifications that are certainly sufficient for occupying a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court."

Nevertheless, Long continues to believe Sotomayor's judicial philosophy is "very troubling" and that her comments in 2001, in which Sotomayor stated that a Latina woman may reach a wiser judicial decision than a white male, are fair ground for debate. Long also cites Sotomayor's 2005 comment that appellate courts "make policy" as cause for alarm.

Of course, Long herself was one of the early voices raising the race issue. On the day of the Sotomayor announcement, Long told NBC's Pete Williams, "Imagine if a white man said, 'I think a white man would make a better decision than a Latina or a black woman.' We would justifiably be completely outraged. And I think the outrage should be completely the same when it's coming from her side."