Sotomayor is the pick: Is the GOP ready for the fight?
TO: JCN Members and Interested Parties
FROM: Wendy Long, Counsel to Judicial Confirmation Network
RE: Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor
-- President Obama has threatened to nominate liberal judicial activists who will indulge their left-wing policy preferences instead of neutrally applying the law. In selecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee, President Obama has carried out his threat.
-- Judge Sotomayor will allow her feelings and personal politics to stand in the way of basic fairness. In a recent case, Ricci v. DeStefano, Sotomayor sided with a city that used racially discriminatory practices to deny promotions to firefighters. The percuriam opinion Sotomayor joined went so far out of its way to bury the firefighters' important claims of unfair treatment that her colleague, Judge Jose Cabranes, a Clinton appointee, chastised her.
-- According to Judge Cabranes, Sotomayor's opinion "contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case" and its "perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal." Even the liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen expressed disappointment with the case, stating, "Ricci is not just a legal case but a man who has been deprived of the pursuit of happiness on account of race."
-- Sotomayor's terrible decision in Ricci is under review by the Supreme Court and an opinion is expected by the end of June.
-- Sotomayor readily admits that she applies her feelings and personal politics when deciding cases. In a 2002 speech at Berkeley, she stated that she believes it is appropriate for a judge to consider their "experiences as women and people of color," which she believes should "affect our decisions." She went on to say in that same speech "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." She reiterated her commitment to that lawless judicial philosophy at Duke Law School in 2005 when she stated that the "Court of Appeals is where policy is made."
-- The poor quality of Sotomayor's decisions is reflected in her terrible record of reversals by the Supreme Court.
-- Sotomayor is a favorite of far left special interest groups. In addition to her record as a hard left judicial activist, Sotomayor has been recommended for the Supreme Court by Nan Aron of the very liberal Alliance for Justice, who stated in a 2004 memo to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sotomayor had "been through an initial vetting and fit into the criteria that we believe should be the standard for any Supreme Court justice."
-- The White House is sure to argue that Sotomayor is a "bipartisan pick" because Bush 41 appointed her to the district court: President George H.W. Bush nominated Sotomayor in 1991 only because the New York senators had forced on the White House a deal that enabled Senator Moynihan to name one of every four district court nominees in New York. In 1998, 29 Republican senators voted against President Clinton's nomination of Sotomayor to the Second Circuit.
On that last point, Souter was a supposedly "bipartisan pick" that the GOP in Congress should have killed in committee. (Rule #1, folks: When Democrats are happy with what you did, be concerned. Don't take it as a bury-the-hatchet moment.) All of the above is very concerning to us, especially the racially-tinged comment about a "a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." Madam, your life experiences have absolutely NOTHING to do with how a jurist INTERPRETS the law, as it is written.
Barry got his empathetic judge. The rumblings coming out of the GOP on a possible filibuster, we believe, is a tad premature. Let's see them knock her off in committee. It's clear that in Ricci alone, and some of her more incendiary statements, that she lacks: A) The temperament to be a jurist on the Supreme Court; B) The basic knowledge and education to take the job seriously; C) The philosophical maturity to be a judge whatsoever.
Will we support a filibuster of this nominee? That depends on what we find out about her in the committee hearings. If she is as extreme as the other high-court watchers claim, then yes we will. the last thing we want to see is another highly-partisan jurist that believes in ruling on things other than the rule of law. If she's as extreme as we believe, we absolutely would support a filibuster of her.
ADDENDUM: For more on her check out Captain Ed's post on her, take a look at Ed Whelan and the crew at Bench Memos, and the guys at Verum Serum. These guys have taken the lead today in sounding the alarm.
People are going to say we're making a big deal out of nothing over Ms. Sotomayor. No, really, we're not. We're sounding the alarm with the rest of the conservatives on this pick because she has no respect for the rule of law unless where it suits her, i.e., racial matters, which seems to drive her philosophy. Also, the White House is already gearing up to pull the race card out on anyone who is critical of her nomination.
Can she be stopped? The chances are slim and none because the Democrats have the numbers to pass her out of committee and pass her onto the Supreme Court. (The good news, if you can call it that, is that she's only one of nine on the Supreme Court. Whatever Barry may want out of her, she's not going to dominate the high court.)
One last note: For all of those people out there who refused to vote for John McCain for a host of reasons (many of which we can rattle off the top of our heads), congratulations. You are now reaping what you sow. Elections have consequences, and one of them is when a hard-Left, partisan, thuggish, liberal is elected president, he's going to get a chance to appoint hyper-partisan, emotionally-driven judges on the federal bench which is just going to screw up our justice system even more.