Vice President Joe Biden may have crossed the line when he assured national law enforcement groups Monday that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor "has your back."
The remark quickly stirred criticism in the legal world, since Biden was making a pledge that a fair and objective justice would not necessarily be able to keep.
Biden made the remark at an assembly of eight law enforcement groups after he detailed Sotomayor's tough-on-crime record in the courtroom.
"There's a part of her record that seems to be, up to now, been flying under the radar a bit. And that's her tough stance on criminals and her unyielding commitment to finding justice for the victims of crime," Biden said.
He then repeatedly said, "She gets it," and sought to assure the law enforcement groups that she would be on their side.
"So you all are on the front lines. But as you do your job, know that Judge Sotomayor has your back as well," Biden said.
Biden is of course known to shoot his mouth off. But he wouldn't have said this unless he had some reason to believe it. It'll be interesting to see if anyone on the left speaks up on this, or if traditional liberal issues like protecting the exclusionary rule and the rights of the accused give way to party unity.
Also today, the New York Times has a story about a man whose appeal on a rape and murder conviction was denied after Sotomayor and another judge on the 2nd Circuit refused to even consider evidence of his innocence because his lawyer filed the petition four days late. Six years later, the man was released from prison after DNA testing cleared him of the crime.