Justice is blind. But is she qualified?
Today, President Barack Obama nominated U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonya Sotomayor to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
Indeed, her career is an impressive one of triumph over adversity. Sotomayor grew up with her Puerto Rican family in a South Bronx housing project. After her father died her mother raised her and brother Juan, now a physician. Sotomayor excelled in school, dealing with juvenile diabetes and graduated from Princeton summa cum laude. Fast forwarding, she was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush in 1992. In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Impressive, yes. But what about her ideology? After all, this is a woman who said:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” — Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in her Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture at the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law in 2001
Of course many on the left are already howling that we dare not attack Sonomayor or her record. Do they think we’ve so quickly forgotten the Alito and Roberts nominations?
In other words, find yourself a stimulus check, buy yourself a bridge to nowhere. And get over it. We’re going to look at her record.
Consider for example that Sontomayor’s Radical Legal Group Helped Kill the Estrada Nomination. President Obama’s radical new nominee to replace Associate Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, used to serve on the board of LatinoJustice PRLDEF (White House backgrounder), one of the racial grievance groups that helped to sink the judicial nomination of Honduran-born Miguel Estrada in 2003. Read more at The American Spectator.
Estrada, you may recall was Dismissed As Bush ‘Affirmative Action Candidate’. National Public Radio reporter, then working for ABC, said Miguel Estrada is a very promising young lawyer who went to some excellent schools, had excellent clerkships, has a good work record. What he lacks in judicial background he makes up with a compelling life story….And you know what that’s called George? Affirmative action. He is an affirmative action candidate as practiced by the Republican Party and the conservative movement….
The story here is, that regardless of her qualifications, we are to believe that Sotomayor is more qualified to serve in the Supreme Court because she’s Latina.
Identity Politics And Sotomayor
The judge’s thinking is representative of the Democratic Party’s powerful identity-politics wing.
Stuart Taylor, National Journal, May 23, 2009
Indeed, unless Sontomayor believes that Latina women also make better judges than Latino men, and also better than African-American men and women, her basic proposition seems to be that white males (with some exceptions, she noted) are inferior to all other groups in the qualities that make for a good jurist.
Indeed, Sotomayor has expressed as much in her own words.
“I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society,” she said at the event, sponsored by the law school. “I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that — it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.”
CNN Political Ticker: Sontomayor: Gender, ethnicity should influence judges
We understand the political reality here. We understand that the Democratic majority in the Senate, along with a weakened, ineffective GOP likely means that this nomination will sail through.
Sotomayor’s record and history should be as thoroughly reviewed and vetted as any conservative nominee of preceding eight years. An honest, transparent government as promised by the President would make sure of that.
A Justice nominee who understands the Constitution would demand it.
What others are saying:
For all the President’s talk of finding ‘common ground,’ this appointment completely contradicts that hollow promise. Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy undermines common ground. She is a radical pick that divides America. She believes the role of the Court is to set policy which is exactly the philosophy that led to the Supreme Court turning into the National Abortion Control Board denying the American people to right to be heard on this critical issue. This appointment would provide a pedestal for an avowed judicial activist to impose her personal policy and beliefs onto others from the bench, at a time when the Courts are at a crossroad and critical abortion regulations — supported by the vast majority of Americans — like partial-birth abortion and informed consent laws lie in the balance.
Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life
Sotomayor, Abortion and Faith
One thing the Supreme Court Sotomayor pick tells us is that Obama’s recent talk promising to find common ground was just talk.
Sontomayor Doesn’t Live Up to Obama’s Word
Deborah O’Malley, TownHall
President Obama wants Second Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill Justice David Souter’s seat on the Supreme Court. But her nomination paints a grim picture of the Supreme Court’s future for those who believe the law should be interpreted according to its original meaning.
Identity Politics on the Supreme Court
George Will, TownHall
Before Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings begin, the Supreme Court probably will overturn a ruling she supported on the 2nd Circuit — the propriety of New Haven, Conn., canceling fire department promotions because there were no African-Americans (although there was a Hispanic) among the 18 firemen the selection test made eligible for promotion. A three-judge panel of 2nd Circuit judges, including Sotomayor, affirmed a district court’s dismissal of the firemen’s complaint, doing so in a perfunctory and unpublished order that acknowledged none of the large constitutional questions involved.
Virginia Virtucon: Obama Nominates Judge for S. Ct. Who Doesn’t Understand Role of Courts
NetRightNation: Sonia Sotomayor Nominated for Supreme Court