Saved Baseball?

This ABC News story notes how columnist George Will has taken one of President Obama’s claims about his new Supreme Court pick to task. Will notes that despite Obama’s claim that Sonia Sotomayor “saved baseball,” she, in fact, prolonged its problems.

“He says that when she ended the baseball impasse that was interrupting play in 1994 and 1995, she saved baseball,” Will says. “Far from it. What she did was overturn in a sense, the essence, the underlies, the essential theory of American labor relations, which is the parties should slug it out because they know best and whoever wins, wins.”

Will says that “in fact, what she did was take sides, took union’s side against the management, and in so-doing, wasted 262 days of negotiations. That, far from saving baseball, consigned baseball to seven more years of an unreformed economic system, which happened to be the seven worst years in terms of competitive balance.”

Sotomayor, Will says, “delayed the restructuring of baseball. So I would say that far from her saving baseball, as the president says, that in fact, baseball thrives now because we got over the damage that her judicial activism did in that strike.”

While this, in the grand scheme of important judicial decisions, does not rank high, it was touted as one of the most noteworthy achievements in the judicial record of Sotomayor. And, as Will points out, it may display an example of a potential for judicial activism on her part.

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