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Morning Bell: Sotomayor’s Troubling Record
Posted By Conn Carroll On May 27, 2009 @ 9:17 am In Rule of Law,The Morning Bell | 30 Comments
There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there is the United States of America. There’s not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America; there is the United States of America.
- Then Illinois state senator Barack Obama , speaking to the 2004 Democratic Convention in 2004.
The wise man is the detached man. …he is a runner stripped for the race; he can weigh the conflicting factors of his problem without always finding himself in one scale or the other.
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences … our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. … I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.
- President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor , speaking to a >Berkeley La Raza Law Journal in 2001.
Analyzing Sotomayor’s statement above, National Journal’s Stuart Taylor writes :
Imagine the reaction if someone had unearthed in 2005 a speech in which then-Judge Samuel Alito had asserted, for example: “I would hope that a white male with the richness of his traditional American values would reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn’t lived that life” — and had proceeded to speak of “inherent physiological or cultural differences.”
Any prominent white male would be instantly and properly banished from polite society as a racist and a sexist for making an analogous claim of ethnic and gender superiority or inferiority.
As disturbing as Sotomayor’s extra-judicial comments are, her record from the bench also presents cause for alarm, including:
Equal Opportunity: In Ricci v. Destefano , Sotomayor joined an unsigned opinion rejecting a lawsuit from a group of firefighters who claimed the city of New Haven, Connecticut violated their civil rights by invalidating the results of a test administered to fill 15 captain and lieutenant vacancies. The lead plaintiff, Frank Ricci, battled dyslexia and spent months studying for the test, which he passed, but because no African-American firefighters passed he was denied a promotion. Sotomayor’s curt rejection of Ricci’s claims prompted President Bill Clinton appointed Second Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes to write : “The opinion contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case. This perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal.”
Second Amendment: In Maloney v. Cuomo , Sotomayor joined an opinion holding that “it is settled law” that the Second Amendment only limits federal, and not state, gun control laws. Even the famously liberal Ninth Circuit reached the opposite conclusion last month in Nordyke v. King .
Property Rights: In Didden v. Village of Port Chester , Sotomayor joined an unsigned opinion affirming Port Chester’s condemnation of land which plaintiff Bart Didden planned to build a pharmacy on. Didden had been approached by a politically connected developer who demanded either $800,000 from Didden or 50% stake in his pharmacy. When Didden did not comply, Port Chester condemned the land the very next day through eminent domain.
These are just some of the serious questions that Sotomayor’s record raises. Her view of judging must be carefully and fully explored by the Senate.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/27/morning-bell-sotomayors-troubling-record/
URLs in this post:
 Barack Obama: http://www.barackobama.com/2004/07/27/keynote_address_at_the_2004_de.php
 Judge Learned Hand: http://books.google.com/books?id=R6M9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA300&lpg=PA300&dq=%22The+wise+man+is+the+detached+man%22+hand&source=bl&ots=54ZlR-dgtt&sig=VeTLnvdSpntQa6-U7XpYvMooYSM&hl=en&ei=WiwdSoeXMZS-twfQtpkg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#PPA300,M1
 the first Hispanic Justice on the Supreme Court: http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_05_24-2009_05_30.shtml#1243361519
 Sonia Sotomayor: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/politics/15judge.text.html?pagewanted=print
 writes: http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/or_20090523_2724.php
 Ricci v. Destefano: http://www.reason.com/news/show/133138.html
 write: http://ct.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.%5CC02%5C2008%5C20080612_0001355.C02.htm/qx
 Maloney v. Cuomo: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2009/02/second-circuit.html
 Nordyke v. King: http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/04/20/0715763.pdf
 Didden v. Village of Port Chester: http://www.ij.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=961&Itemid=165
 Effectively nationalizing the company: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/26/AR2009052602075.html
 the United States is expected to own 70% of General Motors: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/business/27auto.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
 violate the nation’s antitrust laws: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/health/policy/27health.html?ref=todayspaper
 circulating legislation: http://thehill.com/business--lobby/house-bill-proposes-new-changes-for-drilling-on-public-lands-2009-05-26.html
 no place: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/jamescarafano/Being-Green-is-not-the-job-of-the-US-military-45976897.html
 weapons-grade plutonium: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/world/asia/27korea.html?ref=todayspaper
 threatened a military response: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aS17xp.yHokM
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