Friday, May 29, 2009

The Case Against Sotomayor--Part 3

To an audience of Duke University law students, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said, "I'm not supposed to say this but guess what? We legislate from the bench. Oops, I'm being recorded, I shouldn't say that."

That revealed three liabilities, each of which would be sufficient to derail her nomination:
1. Exceeding the authority of judges: Judges are not supp0osed to legislate from the bench.
2. Dishonesty: Admitting that she what she says in front of a camera is different from what she does in real life. Given she's capable of that, can we trust that when she testifies during her confirmation hearing (the most important on-camera appearance of her life) that she'll be honest?)
3. Terrible judgment: Knowing the camera was on, to lie and then admit to lying. Also, the audience was primarily law students. What sort of example does she set when she essentially tels them they should, as judges, do what they are constitutionally prohibited from doing, but on a camera, lie about it.

Combine those liabiilities with her claiming that Latinas make better decisions than white males, and the opinion of many judges and attorneys that have appeared before her, asserting that Sotomayor is an intellectual lightweight, a bully on the bench and too full of herself, and it is clear she is not the most qualified person to join the U.S. Supreme Court. The only rationale I can fathom for why she was nominated is that she's a Latina and Obama knew that Republicans, desperate to attract Latino voters, therefore won't vote against her. (By the way, how sad that we accept, without criticism, the racist behavior of Latinos who only vote for candidates who support other Latino candidates.)


Anonymous said...

Apparently she did not say that; it's what an MSNBC commentator said she said.

A transcript of the original remark shows what she said is different; she's distinguishing beteen the apellate and district courts.

"all of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people with court of appeals experience, because it is -- court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know -- and I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law, I know. OK, I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it, I'm -- you know. OK. Having said that, the court of appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating -- its interpretation, its application. And Judge Lucero is right. I often explain to people, when you're on the district court, you're looking to do justice in the individual case. So you are looking much more to the facts of the case than you are to the application of the law because the application of the law is non-precedential, so the facts control. On the court of appeals, you are looking to how the law is developing, so that it will then be applied to a broad class of cases."

There is much more of an issue with some of her theories on race and gender (for me) after reading the Denver Post column.

Marty Nemko said...

One regular commenter to this blog who chooses to remain anonymous writes in a distinctive style and I usually won't publish his/her comments. To me, they represent the worst in blogger comments. Oh, I'm sure the person is intelligent, likely a retired professor or some such, but his/her goal is not to shed light but to be annoying, try to find some possible tiny flaw (legitimate or merely claimed as in his most recent submission to me) in my writing or research, no matter how irrelevant to the issue at hand, and further claim that it makes me, as a person, less than worthy. As readers of this blog know, I routinely post comments that disagree with mine, even strongly disagree but I think all of us bloggers need to feel okay about not posting the comments of even intelligent commenters that deflect the argument from its substance.

I might also remind that commenter and perhaps others that I write this blog without compensation and with no aspirations of personal gain. I am already extremely fully employed, content with my career, and do so merely do be an engaged citizen. I not only receive no recompense, I suffer the demeaning slings and arrows of this commenter--who knows perhaps it's two or three similar people. I can't be sure. I'd ask as recompense, your circumspection when deciding what comments to submit.


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