• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • N.Y. Times: Sotomayor Ignores Inconvenient Laws

    New York , NY - The New York Times Manhattan headquarters building.

    In its editorial today endorsing Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the New York Times makes a bizarre claim that, if true, is extremely troubling. Sotomayor, the paper claims, has not only “repeatedly displayed the empathy” espoused by President Obama, but gone a step further: “She has shown little patience for the sort of procedural bars that conservative judges have been using to close the courthouse door on people whose rights have been violated.”

    Those “procedural bars” that the Times bemoans are no less important, and no less a part of our law, than the substantive law that the paper wishes to enforce. For example: nearly all criminal offenses include limitations periods after which the offense cannot be prosecuted. This protects those who might be accused of such offenses from prosecution long after exonerating evidence may have wasted away. Indeed, it is a vast body of procedural law that affords criminal defendants all the rights we hold dear: due process, jury trials, the presumption of innocence and high burden of proof, the appointment of counsel, and so on.

    Would the Times have a judge toss these protections by the wayside when she just knows that the defendant before her is guilty? Might as well dispense with the trial altogether.

    As the Times tells it, that’s Sotomayor’s practice when favored parties—those apparently deserving of “empathy”—appear before her. “She has listened attentively to, and often ruled in favor of, people who have been discriminated against,” the paper gushes. But was that with or without a thumb on the scales of justice?

    Ignoring inconvenient law to get desired results—in other words, favoring the rights of one party over those of another—is no way to judge. In the Times’ praise, those who respect the rule of law find a very serious accusation.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to N.Y. Times: Sotomayor Ignores Inconvenient Laws

    1. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      Sotomayor ignores inconvenient laws and the media ignores unappealing pieces to her history! In the first few hours following her nomination, folks like Matt Lauer were explaining that this justice would not be "Reflexively Liberal."

      Liberals by definition are 'reflexive' given over to emotion rather than a hard rule of law.

      It would be difficult to calculate the number of strange statements issued by the Washington crowd about this nomination. ( But.. for a top ten list of the silliest Sotomayer statements, you can visit: http://firstconservative.com/blog/political-humor… )

      Empathy is the new liberal code word for activist. Empathy justifies overruling legislative intent in favor of whatever the justices are feeling at that moment. A more slippery legal slope cannot be imagined!

    2. charles cannon, cash says:

      God help us.

    3. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      NY Times, aka, Al Jazeera of the West is a rag whose time has come to close its doors when it has ceased to be objective just like the Supreme Court nominee is. And, that is an asset?

    4. Coultergeist -- CO says:

      This is the kind of activism I have a problem with — coming from disgraced Republican ex-Chief Judge Edward Nottingham (who had an Elliot Spitzer-like taste for courtesans on a judge's salary and evidently, was taking bribes at the rate of ~$60,000 a year), as reported by one of his magistrates:

      "The biggest problem with your case is that Judge Nottingham hates employment cases and there's nothing you can do about it. It's random. Now don't get me wrong, he's a fine judge, but he just hates employment cases. That's why he will try to find any way in the summary judgment briefs to say there's no material issues and grant summary judgment, and if he doesn't, he will make it tough at trial, and you won't win . . . I'm going to look you right in the eye and tell you that you're gonna lose."

      Pl.’s Mot. For Recusal of Judge Nottingham Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §144 and §455(a) and (b)(1) [Dkt. #59], Phillips v. Pepsi Bottling Group, No. 05-cv-01322-EWN-KLM (filed Nov. 1, 2007.

      No judge has the right to enforce only those provisions of the United States Code that he agrees with. Problem is, Roberts and Alito are every bit as dirty as Sotomayor is likely to be, and no one is interested in policing federal judges.

    5. Paul G. Littlefield says:

      What is troubing me most with the nomination of Sotomayor is couple her with Dawn Johnsen, nominated to Asst. AG and Chief, Office of Legal Counsel, and you have the foundation for Obama to effectively change the U.S. Constitution from protecting citizen rights to protecting government rights to dictate policy as Obama has already done in the auto industry and will set the stage for Obama to become President for Life of the United Socialist States of America. Don't laugh.

    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.

    ×