Newt Gingrich is an irrelevant crackpot, said Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly. So why does the political press care that the "disgraced former House speaker," via Twitter, echoed talk-radio powerhouse Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday and said Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a racist and should withdraw. And all because she once said a "wise Latina woman" in some cases could reach a better judicial decision than a white male because of her "richness of experience."

A judge who rules according to race or gender instead of the Constitution is definitely "unfit for the Supreme Court," said John Hinderaker in Power Line. Unless Sotomayor recants, Republicans should oppose her confirmation unanimously. The fact that Democrats don't seem to mind her "racist views" shows "which party is on the side of equal justice under the law."

Sotomayor's statement bothered me at first, too, said Rod Dreher in BeliefNet. But after reading her entire speech in The New York Times I see that she was merely saying that jurists are influenced by upbringing no matter how hard they strive for neutrality. "I'm quite sure I won't care for" her Supreme Court rulings, but the context of her speech "makes it look a lot less provocative and troubling."