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  • Morning Bell: The Judicial Oath vs Sonia Sotomayor

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.

    - The Judicial Oath, USC Title 28, Section 453.

    Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences … our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. … 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.

    - Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Spring 2002 issue of Berkeley La Raza Law Journal.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee begins their confirmation hearings today for President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Pressed to square Sotomayor’s assault on judicial impartiality quoted above, the White House first tried to claim that Sotomayor “misspoke.” But this claim has been thoroughly refuted by the fact Sotomayor has delivered similar prepared remarks on at least seven separate occasions. As troubling as these repeated statements are, they are just the tip of the iceberg of Sotomayor’s judicial and extra-judicial record. Senators must press Sotomayor to explain what exact “physiological differences” between ethnicities and genders leads her to believe that some people make better judges than others. Other important areas of inquiry include:

    Policy-making from the Bench: At a 2005 Duke University panel discussion, Sotomayor said: “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, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don’t make law.” The American people deserve to know: Does Sotomayor still believe that judges should be overhauling the law and making policy? If not, when did she change her position, and why did she say and write these things in 2005?

    Overcoming Bias: In the same 2001 speech cited above, Sotomayor wondered “whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society.” Does Sotomayor believe that following the judges’ oath of office is a disservice to society? Does she believe that she is doing a disservice to the law if she impartially discharges her duties in a completely impartial manner?

    Respecting Judicial Procedure: In Ricci vs DeStefano, Sotomayor signed a one-paragraph opinion dismissing a racial discrimination case brought by a group of New Haven firefighters. President Clinton appointee Judge Jose Cabranes flagged that decision for an en banc hearing writing that the “core issue presented by this case … is not addressed by any precedent of the Supreme Court or our Circuit.” The Supreme Court then ruled, 9-0, that Sotomayor’s one-paragraph summary order was insufficient. Does Sotomayor believe that her treatment of these cases was appropriate, particularly considering the fact that the Supreme Court not only found the case important enough to hear but also reversed her?

    The Empathy Standard: Defending his vote against Chief Justice John Roberts, President Barack Obama said: “While adherence to legal precedent and rules of statutory or constitutional construction will dispose of 95 percent of the cases that come before a court … what matters on the Supreme Court is those 5 percent of cases that are truly difficult… That last mile can only be determined on the basis of one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.” Does Sotomayor agree with President Obama that empathy is a proper way to decide cases?

    Legal Realism: In a 1996 Suffolk University Law Review article, Sotomayor wrote: “Yet law must be more or less impermanent, experimental and therefore not nicely calculable. Much of the uncertainty of law is not an unfortunate accident: it is of immense social value.” Does Sotomayor believe that it is the role of judges and the courts to change the laws if they believe the law is outdated or needs changing? What prevents a judge from simply implementing her policy preferences in the place of legislature, and what recourse do citizens have when an unelected judge gets the policy question wrong?

    Importing Foreign Law: In an April 2009 address to the American Civil Liberties Union, Sotomayor stated: “[U]nless American courts are more open to discussing the ideas raised by foreign cases, by international cases, that we are going to lose influence in the world.” Apart from treaties that incorporate foreign law into U.S. domestic law, why does Sotomayor think it is a good idea for judges to consider foreign law in deciding domestic law cases?

    Sotomayor has also issued troubling decisions and memos on the Second Amendment, Felon Voting, and the Death Penalty. Before she is confirmed to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, Senators must engage in questions like the ones above to assure that she will be able to uphold her oath to impartially decide cases and that she will do so according to what the law says–rather than how she would seek to change the law. The American people, and the Constitution, deserve at least this much. Please join President Reagan’s Attorney General, Edwin Meese, chairman of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, for a live Tele-Town Hall tomorrow night with Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), where they will share their thoughts on the Sotomayor confirmation hearings and the proper role of a Supreme Court Justice.  Click here to RSVP.

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    35 Responses to Morning Bell: The Judicial Oath vs Sonia Sotomayor

    1. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      I have read much about the Latina Lady. I think she represents the moral, ethical and legal values of the democrat party. That is to say, she will ensure that discrimination will continue. Mis-speaking is one thing and most of us recognize it when it occurs. The Latina Lady does not mis-speak…she insists on qualifying her views. Let's get this ordeal over with so we can get back to Michael Jackson's funeral.

    2. mb, Virginia says:

      We'll see which GOP members step up to the plate today and take a swing. Come on guys you can do it!! Who cares if you lose some votes you don't have anyway. If you do what's right you just may have found something new. Quit making deals and do what's right, for a change. I wrote Mark Warner asking him to vote against her. Good luck!

      They're trashing the Constitution….who cares? Let's find out. Quien tienen cojones grandes? ha ha … thanks mb

    3. Jim J., Texas says:

      Why does the senate go thru these hearings, when they are going to appoint her to the Supreme Court anyway ? They don't

      care about the majority americans don't want her sitting in that high lifetime position. Again, her poor childhood background does'nt qualify her as dog catcher ! She's a racist and her decisions have reflected that in her overturns by the Supreme Court! America will curse the day she's appointed.

    4. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      It seems those taking oaths say "I do" and have no intention of fulfilling the Oath! Obama has been trashing the Constitution and our Bill of Rights from the moment he swore to protect and uphold them.

      Why should we believe Sotomayor will honor the Oath she takes? Congressmen don't.

      Morality is non-existent in Washington D.C.

    5. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The Supreme Court has been overstepping its bounds since Rowe vs Wade. Policy and law is not made or changed by "the bench". That is Congress' job! The Supreme Court is supposed to work with the law – the same law that they had to rule on when it was proposed by the Congress – and deal with the facts and the case. Justices have, over the years, felt that they are the hinge of the law when in fact they are the interpreters of the law. Being Liberal or Conservative, Democrat or Republican should have no bearing on a judge and his/her decisions.

      Justitia carries a balance weigh the facts of each side, a sword to dole out punishment as prescribed by law and a blindfold so she cannot see who she the parties she is dealing with (all are equal in the eyes of the law). The latter is what modern justices fail to don when they enter the Court of the People of America!

    6. Proud citizen says:

      May God bless America! It's our only hope! Our medicare and social security system going broke and our veterans not getting the quality care they deserve should tell America that nationalized health care would be a failure too.

      We seem to be dooming ourselves with the democratic liberal government who should be of the people, by the people and for the people!

      Washington DC seems to think everyone is stupid and it feels like dictatorship is the goal.

    7. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      The MORE TAKE-HOME PAY

      Tax cut

      that the HF NEVER has WRITTEN ABOUT,

      pumps $1BILLION a month into the economy.

      THAT HAS TO HELP AND IS PART OF THE REASON -

      President Obama said his $787 billion stimulus bill “has worked as intended.”

      The BEST Health Care Plan

      Medicare

      Cost = $100 a month

      Co-Pay = $10.00

      Perscriptions = 3 months supply for $7.00

      Is YOUR plan better than that?

      http://sites.google.com/site/thisisthebestplan/

    8. Christopher Popham S says:

      The founders of this once great nation must be

      doing sommersaults in their graves!

      The warp speed at which this Administration and

      the leftist Congress are driving this country, is

      clearly beyond what any pundit, newscaster or

      citizen ever imagined. Not only are our trusted

      founding documents being shredded before our

      complacent eyes, but on a daily basis, we are

      inundated with the "audacity of change". Perhaps

      some kind of 21st Century American Revolution is

      beginning to take shape. If WE THE PEOPLE fail

      to take a stand here and now, on all the issues

      that affect us, our children and our grandchildren, then we have failed ourselves, but

      worst of all we have failed our nation.

    9. Lwesson Texas says:

      I will be gentle as to not be censored yet again because of Sotomayor's association with La Raza Unida (the RACE United) and the unseemly quotes of it's founder. Sotomayor as a member IS noteworthy and SHOULD be brought upfront to the ever wise Latina. In the hearing, founder Jose Angel Gutierrez's quote(s), while not being able to be printed here as "Mom" would be offended, should be presented to Sotomayor for her invaluable insight and her wise words. Hopefully the Senators will not have "Mom" in the hearing room as Sotomayor's La Raza group advocates homicide, racism and has, ah, rather impolite comments to make for those of not of the insightful Latin makeup.

      Had Sotomayor been a member of a particular party started in Germany in the 30's which is active today while having a different name for herself to, ah, fit in, no doubt "MOM" would be asking about the curious quotes of said Partie's LEADER and not fielding questions about the positive things about said party like the Autobahn or Volkswagen's… .

      I fear that our Republic does NOT have the stomach to ask troubling questions but will vacillate as La Raza Unita wants. Any question to Sotomayor is actually a personal attack… . Ben Franklin was right in his fear that, We The People, could not KEEP our Republic.

    10. Nelia, AZ says:

      If Obama's 787 Billion stimulus bill has worked as intended, the intent must have been for it to fail. Now the Democrats plan to increase income taxes by 540 Billion. Where do they think the taxes will come from? Certainly not from those who have lost their jobs, or still face losing their homes thanks to the creative financing of Fannie and Freddie. Yet it's business as usual for the Feds while we, the people struggle. Absolutely time for term limits – maybe impeachment.

    11. Minister Robert S. K says:

      When Obama was elected, I was worried; with Sotomayor, I'm scared!

    12. Frank & Bella says:

      Transparency? If she were a white lady who belonged to a group called "The Caucasian Race Union", do you think she'd ever get as far as the Senate floor? This Double Standard that the Obama Administration has fostered is becoming transparent, indeed! We can see right through it!

    13. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      She honors her racism and her sexism. It wouldbe a travisty for her to hold one of the highest judicial positions in this land. Then again we have Obama. At least his position is not life long.

      Hozro

    14. Lwesson Texas says:

      One further uplifting observation about the pending approval of Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court. Since she has repeatedly referred to herself as being a wise Latina and that that is a superior position to be in to make good decisions, since she was a member of an openly racist organization whose founder, Jose Angel Gutierrez openly calls for genocidal extermination to help along the "re-conquest" of regions claimed, namely North America, then there seems to be a silver lining that the wise Latina has set into motion.

      Say and do as Sotomayor has done openly and without a sniveling quiver of remorse or apologetic Uncle Tom hang dog foot shuffling! Quote Ben Franklin's un PC musings. Sotomayor has shown us non Sotomayor types, the way!

      PS: My Mom was born and raised in none other than Crystal City, the birthplace of La Raza Unida. Believe me, she would NOT be upset to see these words from her son. Her small town, the self proclaimed, "World Capital of Spinach so says a statue of none other than, Popeye", has been La Raza Unida-ed and is a dangerous place for someone like Mom. At least she has passed away and need not be concerned that, like Crystal City, the rest of nation seems all too willing to die off.

    15. Jeff, Rehoboth says:

      I would like to see Sotmayor questioned regarding her finding regarding the New Haven firefighters case. Her dismissal of the case is equivalent to upholding the argument that the questions on the test were racially biased.

      It would seem to me that at the minimum, in order to perform a comprehensive evaluation that enables one to rule so summarily in this way, one would have to dismiss the possibility of collusion on the part of the people that failed the test. I'd like to know how, or if she did that.

      It seems to me that one way to perform that task is to point out the offending questions.

      I'd like to further provide her with a copy of the test and have her identify the racially biased questions, and explain why they are racially biased.

      Any Senators in the mood to do this?

    16. Ron,Derry NH says:

      As long as the rule of law is an affront to criminals and a total dis-concern for the eventual pay back cost of these over reaches by congress we will always have the advantage to those who can manipulate or benefit for the destruction of our once stabilizing and generous values.

      Sotomayor is reckless with her judgments as proved by her record and willing to subvert our Constitution and legal system to parade her feelings from the bench with total dis-concern for true justice as perceived by the wisdom of time.

      She not only has proved to be arrogant in her attempts to pervert justice from the bench but has no shame or apologize for not even having the legal bounds to back it up. If this is what Obama considers a valid choice to sit in league with the intellectually based supreme court; then why did any one ever oppose Bushes choices?

      Sotomayor in her own words cares little for justice given without respect to sex,race or creed, in fact she seems to promote justice bent toward an ethnic origin; so what gives Obama the audacity to choose a person whose only uncontested qualifications are that she is a women and of ethnic decent and seems to discard written law and case study as if it were toilet tissue and not the wisdom of experience and the foundation of our system.

    17. Ireland says:

      I would like any of the Senator's to ask, do you believe in the separation of church and state? If she answers yes, then question her where is that clause in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Where in the United States Constitution gives the President to take control over a privately held corporation, banks, insurance company, medical facilities health insurance company’s and create Czar’s that bypass Congress and report directly to the President? If you can find the Amendment please tell us where by quoting the passenger.

      Listen, Obama has an agenda and what Sotomayor is part of the equation. He wants to hit the 2nd Amendment and hard and he will use her so that he will get his way and then blame the Court for going against the 2nd Amendment. I’ve been researching her on how she’s ruled on decisions and in a lot of the Constitution 2nd Amendment cases she’s ruled against the rights given to us by our Founding Father. She’s and Obama will challenge the individual state laws so when they rule it will be against individual’s rights on the state level. I think they believe the same thing that as long as you are a minority guns are fine. As an Illinois state senator he voted to remove gun from anyone BUT minority gang bangers. Luckily the law was turned down.

      Obama was very calculating in choosing her, so if the committee republicans both conservative and moderate will look like racist in the liberal eyes should they challenge her previous ruling. Just knowing that most of her circuit court rulings have come before the Supreme Court have been overturned. How does that make her a great candidate? She been wrong most times and went against the Constitution. You need to decision why Obama put her up. What would be the end result? The Supreme Court will have a number of cases coming up in the Fall that Obama wants to have the Court rule for him and against a states decision. Read between the lines, the answer is there.

    18. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Medicare

      Cost = $100 a month

      Co-Pay = $10.00

      Perscriptions = 3 months supply for $7.00

      Paid for by ALL employeers in the United States. Its not a free lunch for you Ken. You pay for it in the end by higher costs for goods and services. I own a small business and I simply raise my prices when my expenses go up. When taxes go up I pass this along to consumers. I hate doing it but for me to stay in business I have no choice. Ken, do you understand – THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH!

    19. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      A government of the people, for the people, and by the people. I think I remember this is what the Constitution states, but along the way the courts have forgotten that the Constitution is the law of the land. The justices tend to throw it out with the trash, and then state it is out dated. The dems do not believe in the Constitution unless they stand to benefit from it.

      It is high time that we the people held all judges, federal,city, county and state, senators, and representatives in congress, and the states, accountable for their actions. Their actions affect all of us in one way or the other. This nominee will be slanted toward who ever when she makes a decision, it will not be to interpert the law and then rule, but how she feels the laws should be. We can already see this in her past ruleings. WAKE UP PEOPLE AND SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS COUNTRY.

    20. whicket williams Kin says:

      The answer is obvious, but nobody wants to face facts

      Until we replace over 50% of these elected officials in one election, they will continue to see us as just slaves, and do what they want, and ignore what we want. Wake up and take action.or lose everything.

    21. Michael M., Texas says:

      The Sotomayor nomination is not a surprise from Mr. Obama; however the continued lack of ANY kind of move to stop this fiasco of a Supreme Court judge by our Republican members of the Senate is a disgrace. Why do we continue to support these people; give them money; and work for them during elections? Where has the Republican party gone? Where are the conservative leaders of the past, the statesmen like Dirksen who didn't measure his moves by the numbers but by what was right. Where is the leadership this country so desperately needs? It certainly isn't in the fiasco of one Michael Steel who might as well be a Democratic party fundraiser! And where are the Conservative senators who in past years stood up for their convictions AFTER being elected as well as in their campaigns? It certainly isn't coming from the likes of Cornyn and Hutchinson; or from the sad comments of McCain and Kyl. Roberts, McConnell, Alexander, Bond – we can go on and on and on. The Democrats are doing what Democrats do – driving this country into a hole from which we may never recover. The Republicans? Their lack of defense of this country in the face of this marxist onslaught is a disaster that we will all pay for in the VERY new future.

    22. Angel, Ohio says:

      Come on Republican Senators where is your backbone? You need to ask the right pointed questions and stop tiptoeing around the political correct arena. This is a lifetime appointment and your vote should important. Stand up for all American's and stop this appointment – she can not even take the oath of office based on her past performance and statements. It would be a lie if you stands up and states the oath. Make her state the oath and explain how her past record contradicts it.

    23. Steven Preston says:

      The woman appears not to understand the job description

    24. ella quinn n.c. says:

      I am fed up with the whole mess,obama, sotomayor and all the democrats.

    25. Linda, Pinehurst, te says:

      As much as I don't believe Sotomayer can be impartial with regard to race, I also don't believe that anyone nominated by Obama would be better. He obviously intends to change this country by making the Federal government bigger and bigger, and will make sure anyone he nominates for the Supreme Court will share his vision.

    26. Andy Cress, South Ca says:

      I think another key summary point against Sotomayor is the Constitution. We have had a running fight with liberals over how Supreme Court justices should handle the constitution. There have been strict-constitutionalists (founders intent), and liberal-constitutionalists (individual interpretation), but for the very first time we now have an 'anti-constitutionalist' (individual preference trumps the constitution). This clearly disqualifies Sotomayor. Yes, she has a large body of work, but the issues that relate to the Supreme Court are constitutional issues, and on those she is disqualified.

    27. Roger S., MA. says:

      All Senators, of all factions, ought to vote "down" on this one. Why? Because the nomination of somebody so eminently subqualified is an insult to their intelligence. To summarize:

      1. Her idea that the "law… must be not nicely calculable" (Suffolk U L Review, 1996) is a package deal dripping with intellectual dishonesty. It attempts to generate enthusiasm for that scourge of civilized mankind which is non-objective law. How would you like never to be sure whether you weren't to be indicted for some unintended crime or to be sued over some apparently perfectly normal transaction? Life in a perennial ex-post-facto situation likely to go against you would be good?

      2. She's a self-admitted "product of affirmative action." Meaning? She achieved her advancements not for being the best of all contenders, but with some racial/ socioeconomic bias. Not much of a problem for a dog-catcher's post. How about a firefighter's? How about a judicial firefighter's? Would you call on such a firefighter if your house is aflame, if you had a choice? You still have a choice? How much longer?

      3. What about her pervasive record of appellate reversals? Inept, lazy, emotionally driven, agenda driven? Who can tell? Luckily, the SC didn't have to tell, only to overrule her. What happens when she becomes a member of that august body? Will she forever issue minority opinions? Will she create a majority in close opinions. Which way will they be turned? Upholding individual rights? Collective rights? Any rights?

      4. What about her highly questionable opinions on 2cnd and 14th Amendment rights? And if she gets away with that, what about the other rights? Which whim will drive her which way? What if she's "in business" for a while and you find the constitution has really, finally, become an ageing piece of parchment in a museum, that you have NO rights? Think you'll be an exception? Think again!

      5. Her remarks of record on the subject of judicial activism, amounting to "everybody sort of does it anyway, so it might as well be me too." How's your next piece of legislation coming along? Care to consult with her? Might be a good idea, if you want to make it stick. Only, how can you be sure she won't change her mind? What if your constituents want something else?

      6. Her remarks of record on the subject of the pervasive influence of ethnic/ socioeconomic bias in legal rulings, amounting to "everybody has them, so I just hope mine will be better than others, and I think they could be because I'm Latina." How about when she couples them with the notion of obtaining inspiration from foreign laws, "because it gets your creative juices flowing"? Want those "flowing" all over you and your constituents? When someday Chinese or Korean law might "inform" her that individual rights are just balderdash?

      The list could get longer, but I think even one of these points should be enough to want to make every senator vote "No" on Sodomayor. This person is about as desireable and appropriate on the SC as sandals worn to formal attire.

    28. Barb -mn says:

      By her words, actions and record, she admits she is racist, bias and discriminates. Hmm, something this country and it's foundings ARE AGAINST!

      Sonia Sotomayor is not suited or qualified or dignified for this position. American people deserve better!

      She compromises the safety of all because of a case of fire-fighters who couldn't pass the test? Lowering safety standards? In the area of SAFETY all deserve the most qualified without compromise! NO RACE QUOTA NECESSARY!

    29. Harry, Illinois says:

      To all of my fellow Americans; the only way we are going to stop all of this MADNESS, is to unify together and start imposing VOTER MANDATED TERM LIMITS. Regardless of the Representative, 2 terms or less and out they go. I've already notified my congressman that he will not recieve my vote. Elections are next year. Good or Bad, if they have already served their 2 terms, vote them out. This strategy may just limit or get rid of all the special interest groups and lobbyist that corrupt our government. If you concur, please pass this suggestion along to all of your friends and relatives. Maybe then these guys will understand that they work for us. We don't work for them.

    30. Chris D, Livonia MI says:

      Some people want to just skip the hearings – mainly out of frustration that this is a done deal with the dems have the majority in the Senate.

      I say, make this as painful as possible for the dems and for those voters who voted for "Change" without regard to all the warnings that were raised about Obama.

      Elections have consequences… and the type of judge Obama would appoint to the bench was clealry stated by him during the election. But people chose to believe that Obama would move to the middle – even though everything from his past and his record indicated that we would get EXACTLY what we have… a president hell-bent on forcing European Socialism down the throat of the American people.

      No… I hope these hearings are long and painful. Only then will the electorate possible understand the task at hand in the 2010 elections.

    31. Bullfighter, Chicago says:

      Ask Sotomayor her views on "sanctuary" cities that prevent federal agents from following federal laws meant to protect US citizens from foreign criminals that hide under the "immigration" banner.

    32. Pingback: The Judicial Oath vs Sonia Sotomayor « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

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    35. Bill Z. Bubba (9th C says:

      Let's just get the Apocalypse over and done with, as soon as possible. Other countries are embracing world destruction (starting with their own citizens), and Rome may (or may not) have burned in a day. So … as Americans with a "can do attitude and exceptional history," let us burn in 18 hours or less so no one can say we were out-done.

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