• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Heritage Comments on President Obama’s Appointment of Sonia Sotomayor

    US President Barack Obama stands alongside his nominee for Supreme Court Justice, Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 26, 2009. Sotomayor is to serve as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court.

    Today, President Obama announced Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court. Any nomination for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court deserves careful review by the Senate. Nominations should be judged by a common standard: will they apply the Constitution of the United States and the law as it is written and according to its original meaning, or will they use the lifetime appointment to enact policy preferences from the bench. This standard is particularly important for Judge Sotomayor, who has made disturbing statements about the role of judges as policymakers.

    Former Attorney General and Center for Legal and Judicial Studies Chairman Edwin Meese, speaking of Judge Sotomayor’s nomination, remarked:

    What we already know about Judge Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy from public statements and judicial opinions demands careful inquiry by the Senate. Senators must engage in robust advice and consent to assure that if confirmed, Judge Sotomayor would not use her seat on the Supreme Court to advance liberal policy preferences, rather than applying the Constitution as it is written.

    Robert Alt, Deputy Director for the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, noted that “Judge Sotomayor’s statements about judges as policymakers, her questioning of whether judges can be objective in most cases, and her insensitive statement that the ethnicity of some judges somehow makes them better at doing their job than judges of different ethnicity—raise serious questions about her view of judging which must be carefully and fully explored by the Senate.”

    Follow Heritage’s continuing response to the Sonia Sotomayor nomination.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    35 Responses to Heritage Comments on President Obama’s Appointment of Sonia Sotomayor

    1. Ralph L. Franco, R.I says:

      When will we as a people through our elected officials begin a constitutional crises by simply not obeying the Supreme Courts rulings that destroy the Balance of Power mandated by the Constitution. When will a President do the same. We have had Republican presidents and none have even attempted to challenge the Court. The Founding Fathers did not create the Court to legislate or usurp the Executive powers. President Andrew Jackson comes to mind. We have a complete lack of leadership in this country. What a disgrace.

    2. Tim Mullins, Jupiter says:

      This nomination by President Obama simply further indicates not only his extreme liberal agenda, by appointing someone with an obvious disregard for jurisprudence and a propensity to place more value on ones race and position, but also his complete disassociation with the most basic ideals and principles intended by our Founders. I fear that most Americans have been suffering from the "ostrich syndrome" – if they stick their heads in the sand and cannot see the lion, that the lion will go away. Unfortunately, there are no ostriches available to prove this maneuver works! Thank God for your organization and the work you are doing! I will eagerly join as soon as I am once again gainfully employed!

      Tim Mullins

    3. Margaret Harris, For says:

      We should press our own individual senators to conduct a careful examination, to proffer questions that are thorough and pointed. We must have someone who has the ability to read and understand the constitution and who will not inject their own agenda into their decisions.

    4. Susie O'Connor says:

      I am very concerned sbout this appointment. I hope our senators (on both sides of the isle) will give her record and beliefs a very thorough examination. From what I have found so far she does not appear to subscribe to the same ideals put forth by our founding fathers with regard to the role the Supreme Court should play. I heard President Obama (I think it was him or someone in his administration) say how she had a great life story & that she would be the first Hispanic to be appointed & she is a woman. Why does this matter. I want to know the qualifications and record of the person who will be appointed. I am tired of always trying to be politically correct in our appointments. I want qualified people in office & their ethnic background and gender should not be a consideration. We have way to much of this in our state & it has contributed to the mess this state is currently in. Please can we get over the political correctness and find highly qualified people. Thank you Heritage Foundation for being a voice of reason in this wilderness of political corectness. I appreciate the information you present and will continue to support you through my membership.

    5. Jonathan, Wheeling W says:

      Lustitia has now taken off her blindfold. Justice now looks at you not through Natural Law or our unalienable rights but through the lens of the money we make, skin color, and who we call God.

      "[J]udges, therefore, should be always men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness, coolness, and attention. Their minds should not be distracted with jarring interests; they should not be dependent upon any man, or body of men." –Johns Adams

    6. John says:

      Considering the make up of the Senate, I don't see how she doesn't get confirmed.

    7. Jim TN says:

      The Supreme Court was established to interpret the law and not "make" the law. Our elected representatives are supposed to write the law, our President is supposed to act as a "check" on the legislative branch and the Supreme Court is supposed to determine if the laws passed by the legislature and signed by the President are in compliance with the Constitution. If Judges (and Justices) have a desire to "make" the law then all they are required to do is run for Congress. Eighty years of Judges and Justices "making" the laws has almost destroyed our Republic. Our Senate MUST do their duty if our Republic is to survive.

    8. Paul - Bigfork, MT says:

      Stunning !!!1 Another example of the extreme Obama

      administration. When will the people rise up and hold their politician's feet to the fire??? I'm 62 years of age and I hope theat I don't live long enough to see the "fruits" of the Obama administration!!!!

    9. marcy pompano beach says:

      a good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree after it's own kind, pres o keeps clearly throwing seeds after his kind…

    10. Paul, OH says:

      Judge Bork was derailed with much less substance against him in my opinion.

    11. Paul, OH says:

      Furthermore, Obama assured us a couple weeks ago that he would pick a moderate-type. Do you all remember the bumper sticker/slogan, "Bush Lied"? That was referring to the one incident where WMD's were never found IN IRAQ! Fair play would dictate a new bumper sticker/slogan: "Obama Lies–On an Ongoing Basis!"

    12. James Carter, San An says:

      I have recently completed the book "Men In Black" by Mark R. Levin and am currently studying "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution." I am very discouraged that our Supreme Court has had a very negative affect on our liberty, mainly by misinterpreting or ignoring the Constitution. I salute the Heritage Foundation for their work in trying to improve people's knowledge of our Constitution. I only wish there were some way that we could convince our legislators to force the Supreme Court to reverse some of their rulings. There is way too much attention paid to precedence, especially when they know the original ruling was wrong.

    13. Hank Hodge, Cincinna says:

      I would be interested in understanding the argument The Supreme Court is a court of equity. A court of equity is a court that is authorized to apply principles of equity as opposed to law.

    14. Justin T. Cooke, M.D says:

      The nomination of Judge Sotomayor gives all citizens of our great country a fleeting glimpse of the political, social, and personal philosophies of Mr. Obama. The nomintaion of an activist judge to the High Court showcases Mr. Obama's disregard for the Constitution and is yet another example of his inability to hold true to simple campaign promises. I can only hope that the continuance of such an iniability will help his supporters realize that the Mr. Obama they voted for never really existed.

    15. Kevin Carmichael, Na says:

      Sadly, this admonishment in the Anti-federalist Papers has come all too true.

      "When the courts will have a precedent before them of a court which extended its jurisdiction in opposition to an act of the legislature, is it not to be expected that they will extend theirs, especially when there is nothing in the constitution expressly against it? and they are authorised to construe its meaning, and are not under any controul?

      This power in the judicial, will enable them to mould the government, into almost any shape they please. — The manner in which this may be effected we will hereafter examine."

      Brutus. XI 31 January 1788

    16. BOB CASE says:

      WHAT A DISGRACE JUST ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO BY PASS THE CONSTITUTION AND DISREGARD THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE AND ALLOW THE COURTS TO IMPOSE THEIR WILL ON US BY CONFIRMING LIBERAL JUDGES. TERRIBLE DECISION.

    17. O'neal, Hartfor says:

      Is it out of the realm of possibility to believe that Judge Sotomayor is the most qualified person in the country for this appointment and President Obama and his staff went out of there way to verify that fact before offering said appointment to her? Could the fact that she is an Hispanic woman be a politically expedient coinsidance?

    18. Joe, Brooklyn New Yo says:

      I read in the papers this morning that Sotomayor grew up in the Bronx or Queens NY as a native New Yorker I truely wish she came from any other state…..anybody from another state want to adopt her?

    19. Marsha, Wheeling WV says:

      My husband lost his father in WWII and never knew him. He, his mother and step father lived in a box care. His step father was a railroad brakeman. He had to work in cotton fields in the summer to help the family earn money and his grandparents were part of the grapes of wrath. They had to go to California to escape the dust bowl and starvation. He served two tours voluntarily in Vietnam, because he was exempt from serving there as a sole surviving son.

      I am sick and tired of hearing her story. I think many Americans no matter what race they are have compelling stories. I have been in places of the world that I didn’t know whether I would live or die due to what was going on at the time I was there and they didn’t care who you were.

      She is a Communist; her mentor is Norman Thomas is and ran for the President on the American Socialist Party. In her Princeton Year book her favorite quote was “I am not a champion of lost causes, but of causes not yet won. – Norman Thomas.

      She is also an anti- Second Amendment rights judge.

      She also has more overturned rulings than most applet judges.

      By virtue of her ruling in the New Haven, Conn.: The Fireman case she has violated her oath of office to the 2nd Court of Appeals- Reference: 28 USC Sec. 453 “Oaths of justices and judges”. She also is in violation of the US Court’s Code of Conduct for United State Judges specifically Cannon 1, Cannon 2 and Cannon 3.

      This woman should have been impeached immediately after her statements of empathy; she is a female racist bigot and her statements that policies are made in the applet courts. This is a pure violation of separation of powers as indicated in the United States Constitution the supreme law of the land.

      Therefore, I suggest she will be unable to follow the oath that she has already violated and the fact that she violates the separation of powers by her own words and the fact that she is against the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which she has proven through ruled against it. She has also violated the equal protection clause through her empathy statement and her New Haven ruling. She has also violated both the 14th amendment Section 1 specifically to the United States Constitution. Her intents are to prefer one race over another which pure bigotry.

      The Senate has not done their due diligence by ignoring this and not bringing impeachment proceedings against her for violations of the laws of this land through her own rulings and statements.

    20. BJ, Indianapolis, IN says:

      I think its clear this woman agrees with Obama on his views that the Constitution is a constraining document.

      Obama has said the the Constitution is a document of negative liberties, that it says what the federal government cannot do, rather then what it can do. I expect Sotomayor is of the same thought process.

      I find it particularly terrifying that they view this as a problem, as though the framers did not do this on purpose. The federal government was never meant to be this large and smothering, its job is to provide protection and to regulate interstate commerce. The Constitution goes so far as to make mention of this, by stating that those powers not expressly granted to the federal government are reserved for the states.

      These are dark times, I worry everyday. Obama lied, America died.

    21. Al-Cherry Hill N.J. says:

      Marsha of wheeling has it right on.Have now called

      7 REp.& 1 Dem on the judicuary committee to express my fellings & then some.Lets all get with it.

    22. KR North Ridgeville says:

      I love this country, but I hesitate to say I do not "love" the government. We are on a fast track to destroying everything that we as a Nation have built for the previous 2 centuries, and this nomination is just one more step to the abyss.

    23. Pam Stevens, Brent,A says:

      Martha from Wheeling is straight on the truth. How can anyone in ther right mind not see this.never put a bumper sticker on before now. It says I LOVE MY COUNTRY BUT I FEAR MY GOVERMENT.We that see whats happening should fear. have extras if anyone wants one.

    24. DANVILLE CA says:

      I wonder how long it will before the this president is impeached, militarily removed by Junta or simply shot.

      He is showing his ineptitude daily. Our country has been fooled and now fouled by his presence. I had an early morning dream as a professional problem solving Architect with 50 years of experience. Can the Heritage Foundation propose a slate for the Republican Party that we can use to turn America back to peace and prosperity? At this point it could be a Heritage Party or American Party. Lets just do it.

    25. David Adams says:

      The discussion about Sotomayor's attitude towards White Men glosses over the distinct possibility that she really looks down on everyone who is not a 'latina'. Hatred does not stop at a single target; it spreads like a virus to include every Human Bring who is different from the hater.

    26. Jerome Zacny says:

      I do not believe that Judge Sotomayor is necessarily a racist or sexist because of some flippant remarks she made years ago, in an off-handed manner. Many, if not most of us, have probably made off-handed remarks, without thinking,which we would not be proud to see printed in the press or flashed across the TV screens of America. However, when such remarks are made by a person with the power to impose the rule of law and determine the course of events affecting people's lives, they deserve to be scrutinized to a greater degree.

      I believe that Judge Sotomayor should be asked directly, " Do you really believe that Hispanic women judges, because of their unique life experiences, make 'better' decisions than white male judges?" "Do you believe that Hispanic women judges make 'better' decisions that women judges of other races?" If the answer to either or both of these questions is yes, then the question "Better for whom" needs to be asked.

      I believe that Judge Sotomayor's academic credentials are first rate. But I also believe that her legal credentials are somewhat suspect, as more than half of her appellate court decisions have been reversed in the Supreme Court. While Mr. Obama confessed to looking for a Supreme Court Justice who was 'empathetic', I believe that the United States will be best served by a Justice who can set aside personal feelings of empathy and decide court cases on the basis of Constitutional law and legal precedent. I would be interested in Judge Sotomayor's response to the question "To what degree did you consider the "Equal Protection" clause of the Constitution when dismissing the suit of the New Haven firefighters?".

      I would like to hear her response to the direct question "Do you believe the the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right of citizens (who are not convicted felons, not mentally impaired and who have not been convicted of domestic battery or physicaal abuse)to keep and bear firearms?". If given the opportunity in the Court, would you seek to overturn Heller v D.C.?".

      I would like to hear her response to the question "Do you believe that the U.S. Constitution, as amended, unfairly restricts the rights of the federal government.

      Judge Sotomayor, in another off-handed remark, made the statement to the effect "we all know that the courts in effect legislate from the bench, even though I'm not supposed to say that". I would like to hear her response to the question "Even though you know it is not the duty of the judiciary to legislate from the bench, do you feel that this is something that is inevitable, so only lip service needs to be paid to that concept?".

      The Judge's rise from humble beginnings, her academic achievements and her status as an Appellate Court Judge and Supreme Court nominee

      are certainly commendable and a testamony to the opportunities available to all in America. On the other hand, there are many, many other minority men and women (and white men and women) who have come from equally humble, if not worse, beginnings, who have endured even more severe handicaps, that have also risen to become very successful in their fields of endeavor. Overcoming hardships, achieveing academic success and career success while comendable and compelling, are not the only criteria that need to be considered.

      Let there be a respectful,but thorough examination of this candidate's credentials, her values, her beliefs, her reasoning process in legal decision making and her attitudes about the role of a Supreme Court Justice.

    27. al carroll says:

      There should be as much of an equal balance on the court as possible.What do the Republican want they want all the Justices to be more conservative than all five of the so called conservatives on the court now.Combined.

    28. Matt L., Los Angeles says:

      Obama's choice was as predictable as the sun rising tomorrow morning. Instead of looking at qualifications irrespective of gender or race, our liberal leader played the "diversity" card. It's sad that this country's first black president did not look towards the content of character over ethnicity and gender. Another standard call out of the liberal play book.

    29. Michael F, Pacific, says:

      With the nomination of Sotomayer to the Supreme Court we have witnessed the ultimate manifestation of liberal lunacy. Neither her gender, nor her personal struggle, nor her ethnicity has any bearing at all upon her qualifications to serve on our nation's highest court. Whether one admires or bemoans her vaunted virtues, it says nothing regarding her frame of reference with regard to The Constitution of the United States of America. She is largely an unknown quantity with respect to this all important document of our nation's inner being and political fortitude. Image is everything in our present environment and one may safely say that her smile will weigh much more heavily in the minds of many than will her substance.

      She is a blank slate upon which the majority will project their rosy expectations.

    30. V.R., Pomona says:

      It shouldn't be a problem for the Senate to arrive at a decision regarding the nomination of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The fact that she has stated the Court is involved in making policy, rather than seeing that the Constitution is upheld,should be enough to disqualify any potential Justice.

    31. Selu Miller AL says:

      One mention of Impeachment…should include the impeachment and investigation of not only bama but the fed congress and senate that support these traitorous and treasonous acts NOW!

    32. J.E. KIRTLEY - LONGW says:

      To Pam Stevens of Brent Al.

      Like you I am not a big bumper sticker fan.

      I have 22 years military service behind me which says that I love my country very much. I fear that our leaders are much more interested in conservation of their power than the wellbeing of our society. this sticker clearly convey my thoughts & I suspect many others share our opinions. I would like a bumper sticker. cost requested.

      KIRT

    33. Harry, Illinois says:

      This hearing is nothing but a Dog & Pony Show. BO warned congress not to attempt to block her nomination and Mr. LayHe has already stated that she will be confirmed. This is nothing but a waste of taxpayers time and money as ususal.

      The same will be for Cap & Tax and National Healthcare or whatever they decide to call it. They pushed thru the Stimulus bill in record time because they didn't want or couldn't read it. What BO want's BO gets and don't dare challenge him. You can bet your bottom penny that neither of these two bills will be "posted on the Web Site for our 5 day review". BO knows what's good for us and we just have to sit there and eat our spinich.

    34. Pingback: FACTS: WHY VOTE AGAINST SOTOMAYOR « FactReal

    35. Edite , Canada says:

      During the first day of hearings regarding Judge Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, a session that one watched only briefly, the facial contortions that she made prior to answering a Republican Senator's question gave me great pause and concern. It is said that the camera does not lie and in this case I believe that wholeheartedly. Her facial expressions changed her look considerably and in my view she looked very menacing and not at all truthful in her answers.Just short of calling her facial expressions almost evil looking, I wish I could see that portion of the tape again in order to either support my views or dispel them.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×