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Thread: New Supreme Court Justice announced: Sonia Sotomayor

  1. #16
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    I'm not surprised Obama would pander to the hispanics. Even if another justice retires, I don't see Obama appointing a black nominee. Let's look at his picks thus far. Notice anything?
    I can actually see him nominating a black woman to SCOTUS. The chief justice of the Georgia supreme court is a black woman in her 50s and retiring some time this year. (Can't remember her name.) She could very well be the next pick next time around since Souter was the only one with state court experience on the court. Obama could very well pick her the next time around to ensure a variety of law experiences on the court.

    Tuesday May 26, 2009 08:27 EDT
    Obama's choice of Sotomayor deserves praise

    (updated below - Update II)

    Reports indicate that President Obama has selected Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court. The announcement will be made formally this morning at 10:15 a.m. EST. This nomination should be judged principally on two grounds: (1) her judicial opinions (which Scotusblog's Tom Goldstein comprehensively reviews here) and (2) her answers at her confirmation hearing. But based on everything that is known now, this seems to be a superb pick for Obama.

    It is very encouraging that Obama ignored the ugly, vindictive, and anonymous smear campaign led by The New Republic's Jeffrey Rosen and his secret cast of cowardly Eminent Liberal Legal Scholars of the Respectable Intellectual Center. People like that, engaging in tactics of that sort, have exerted far too much influence on our political culture for far too long, and Obama's selection of one of their most recent targets both reflects and advances the erosion of their odious influence. And Obama's choice is also a repudiation of the Jeffrey-Rosen/Ben-Wittes/Stuart-Taylor grievance on behalf of white males that, as Dahlia Lithwick put it, "a diverse bench must inevitably be a second-rate bench."

    Obama has also ignored the deeply dishonest right-wing attacks on Sotomayor, beginning with the inane objection to her perfectly benign and accurate comments on videotape that appellate judges, as distinct from district court judges, "make policy." Lawyer Anonymous Liberal thoroughly eviscerated that line of attack as the shallow and deceitful argument it is. A similar avenue of certain attack -- that Sotomayor said in a 2001 speech that a female Latina judge has experiences that can inform her view of cases -- is equally frivolous. There are a whole range of discretionary judgments which judges are required to make; does anyone actually doubt that familiarity with a wide range of cultural experiences is an asset?

    It's possible to take that view too far to the point where it becomes troubling, and Sotomayor should (and certainly will) be asked about it, but the comments themselves are entirely mainstream and uncontroversial. As reflected by my own somewhat limited experience with Judge Sotomayor -- in which, in one case, she upheld the dismissal at trial of a race discrimination claim in a case with a highly sympathetic African-American plaintiff (even after a different District Judge denied summary judgment dismissal of that claim) while reinstating the plaintiff's disability discrimination claim -- she's hardly some rabid ideologue who dispenses with legal considerations in favor of social sympathies. Sotomayor's opinions as compiled by Goldstein, as well as those who know her best, demonstrate the same thing. One progressive legal group, Constitutional Accountability Center, already issued a statement praising her nomination:
    Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) applauds President Obama’s historic nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court. While CAC’s review of Judge Sotomayor’s record is continuing, we already know that she is a brilliant lawyer who is committed to ruling based on the Constitution and the law, not on her own personal political views. As Judge Sotomayor herself stated in a recent dissenting opinion: “The duty of a judge is to follow the law, not to question its plain terms.”

    The next Supreme Court Justice will have a critical voice in important decisions involving the Constitution’s text, history and core principles. She will help decide cases regarding constitutional rights and liberties and constitutional challenges to laws that matter to the lives of everyday Americans -- including cases involving voting rights, pay equity, and health, safety, and the environment. In Judge Sotomayor, we believe President Obama has found a nominee who will help ensure that the Constitution and laws are faithfully applied and remain true to their intended purpose as guardians of our rights, liberties, and equality.
    There are many vital issues that Sotomayor should be asked about, obviously including her views on executive power limits, which -- as Charlie Savage noted this weekend -- are largely unknown. One's view of her selection should be shaped by things that are as yet unknown. But judging strictly from what is known, Obama deserves substantial credit for this choice. There were choices available to him that would have been safer among the Respectable Intellectual Center (Diane Wood) and among the Right (Elena Kagan). At his best, Obama ignores and is even willing to act contrary to the standard establishment Washington voices and mentality that have corrupted our political culture for so long. His choice of Sotomayor is a prime example of his doing exactly that, and for that reason alone, ought to be commended.

    * * * * *

    See also: this post, from earlier today, on the Brookings Institution and the false claims about the presidential oath.

    UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer is already snarling on Fox News, warning viewers of the possible danger that -- as he put it -- Sotomayor's "concern for certain ethnicities override justice." He said that although her confirmation is certain, conservatives should oppose her nomination on principle and highlight that the type of justice Sotomayor allegedly represents -- justice that is unfair to white people in favor of "certain ethnicities" -- is deeply pernicious. That is a such a baseless and ugly attack on her, but almost certainly what will be a focus of the right-wing strategy.

    Sotomayor's ascent from Bronx housing project to Princeton and Yale Law School to Supreme Court nominee -- driven by merit, intellect, talent and diligence -- is nothing short of inspiring. Ugly, baseless attacks of the kind Krauthammer recommends will resonate with nobody outside of the small rump that is now the Republican Party.

    UPDATE II: Here's the primary function of the life of The New Republic. From Red State today:
    Conservatives rejoice. Of all the picks Obama could have picked, he picked the most intellectually shallow.

    Even the New Republic has been rather scathing about her.
    And from National Review:

    If they had even a small amount of intellectual integrity, TNR Editors would be deeply ashamed of the central role they played in enabling this baseless, plainly false attack on Sotomayor as an intellectually deficient mediocrity. But for The New Republic, there is no greater source of pride than being approvingly cited by the Right with the "Even The New Republic . . . . " head-pat. That's their role in life, even if accomplished with patently reckless gossip masquerading as "journalism." That's one aspect of Obama's decision that is so commendable -- discarding the sleazy tactics from our corrupted establishment Beltway sources.

    -- Glenn Greenwald
    Obama's choice of Sotomayor deserves praise - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    No you did not go there!

    I'm not surprised Obama would pander to the hispanics. Even if another justice retires, I don't see Obama appointing a black nominee. Let's look at his picks thus far. Notice anything?
    Yup, I went there. He's the black white supremacist from the Chappelle Show.

    Well, picking a Hispanic was pretty much the only place Obama could go, since there are no Hispanic judges. And Hispanics are a huge part of the population. As long as she's qualified, then I don't have a problem with it.

    And Obama just picked a black guy to be the new NASA chief. His picks have been culturally diverse, which is a good thing.

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Yup, I went there. He's the black white supremacist from the Chappelle Show.

    Well, picking a Hispanic was pretty much the only place Obama could go, since there are no Hispanic judges. And Hispanics are a huge part of the population. As long as she's qualified, then I don't have a problem with it.

    And Obama just picked a black guy to be the new NASA chief. His picks have been culturally diverse, which is a good thing.
    Now I have to pull out my Chappelle DVD's!

    True. Hispanics are underepresented in the upper echelons of government, so this is a necessary, and strategically sound, move.

    Thanks for the reminder! Mae Jemison was my idol as an adolescent, so this pick may give others the motivation to look to the stars.



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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    Now I have to pull out my Chappelle DVD's!

    True. Hispanics are underepresented in the upper echelons of government, so this is a necessary, and strategically sound, move.

    Thanks for the reminder! Mae Jemison was my idol as an adolescent, so this pick may give others the motivation to look to the stars.
    I wish I had my Chappelle DVDs, but I sold them.

    I just interviewed a black guy who's an astronomer a while back, and he was trying to get more minorities into astronomy and the space program as a whole. He said since the story ran he's gotten a lot of positive feedback from people wanting to meet him and talk about astronomy. So, that's a good thing.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    I don't know much about her, but she seems like an excellent pick.

    She's a hard worker, and I like that.

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    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    But the Republicans will rip her and drive more Hispanic voters away from the GOP..
    Good

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    Now, if we could just get a black Supreme Court justice...and no Clarence Thomas doesn't count.
    LMAO!!!

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I despise Clarence Thomas.

    But to say he's not 'black' is wrong. Do all black people everywhere share one collective mind? Do they all think the same way? Do they not have a right to their own opinions, however wrong they may be?

    The premise of this statement requires black people and women to be liberals, white men to be conservatives, and hispanics are what? yet to be claimed? – and no deviation from that pattern. No philosophical conviction is allowed - to know how to think, look in the mirror.

    With this line of thinking, we are ideological slaves to our skin-tone. And that's a very special type of racism.

    Like Thomas, white people have our own share of douchebags- who may not think they way I do, or the way my neighbor does, but it doesn't make them 'not white'...it just makes them douchebags.
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; May 26th, 2009 at 06:46 PM. Reason: grammar



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    Elite Member cupcake's Avatar
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    Im curious what her record is, what she has done or not done, besides the baseball strike. Guess I will have to research it, not much on the news
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupcake View Post
    Im curious what her record is, what she has done or not done, besides the baseball strike. Guess I will have to research it, not much on the news
    Here are a few points:

    6. SOTOMAYOR SUPPORTED BY REPUBLICANS: In 1992, Republican President George H. W. Bush appointed Sotomayor to the District Court for the Southern District of New York.
    Later, in 1998, President Bill Clinton nominated her to the 2nd Circuit, and she was confirmed with bipartisan support in a 67-29 vote.
    All Democrats voted in favor of Sotomayor (although three did not vote), while Republicans opposed her by a 29-25 majority. Among those Senators who are still in the chamber today, however, Sotomayor's margin of confirmation was a bit more comfortable: 35-11.
    Indeed, five current Republican Senators voted in favor of her nomination then: Sens. Collins, Gregg, Hatch, Lugar, Snowe. Among the no votes were current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, current Minority Whip John Kyl and Sen. Jeff Sessions, currently the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

    Additionally, the White House points out, "Known as a moderate on the court, Sotomayor often forges consensus and agreeing with her more conservative nominees far more frequently than she disagrees with them. In cases where Sotomayor and at least one judge appointed by a Republican president were on the three-judge panel, Sotomayor and the Republican appointee(s) agreed on the outcome 95% of the time."

    7. SOTOMAYOR ON ABORTION, GAY MARRIAGE:
    Sotomayor's record on two key hot button cultural issues is thin. But, quite notably, her sole opinion regarding abortion was in line with the anti-abortion movement's position. Some details from the anti-abortion site LifeNews.com:
    "Despite 17 years on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has never directly decided whether a law regulating abortion was constitutional," the pro-life group Americans United for Life noted in a recent analysis of potential Supreme Court candidates.
    Sotomayor participated in a decision concerning the Mexico City Policy, which President Obama recently overturned and which prohibits sending taxpayer dollars to groups that promote and perform abortions in other nations.
    Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor upheld the Mexico City Policy, but AUL says the significance of the decision "may be minimal because the issue was largely controlled by the Second Circuit's earlier opinion in a similar challenge to the policy."
    AUL notes that Judge Sotomayor also upheld the pro-life policy by rejecting claims from a pro-abortion legal group that it violated the Equal Protection Clause.
    That said, pro-choice groups hailed her nomination, with Planned Parenthood declaring that she "understands the importance of ensuring that our Supreme Court justices respect precedent while also protecting our civil liberties."
    Sotomayor has also not ruled on any cases involving gay civil rights, but gay legal activists described her positively:
    Long-time gay legal activist Paula Ettelbrick said she met Sotomayor in about 1991 when they both served on then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo's advisory committee on fighting bias.
    "Nobody wanted to talk to the queer person at that time," said Ettelbrick, who represented Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. "She was the only one [on the advisory committee] who made a point to come over and introduce herself. She was totally interested [in gay civil rights issues] and supportive."
    "From everything I know, Judge Sotomayor is an outstanding choice - fair and aware, open and judicious," said Evan Wolfson, head of the national Freedom to Marry organization. "I believe she has the demonstrated commitment to principles of equal protection and inclusion that defines a good nominee to the Supreme Court. In choosing Judge Sotomayor, the first Latino candidate for the Supreme Court, President Obama has made a strong and appealing nomination that should and will receive the supportof those committed to equality for lesbians and gay men."


    10. SOTOMAYOR ON THE CONSTITUTION AND "JUDICIAL ACTIVISM": The ubiquitous conservative attack on Sotomayor stems from a 2005 statement she made describing the role appellate justices have in forming policy, which they claim is akin to an endorsement of "judicial activism."
    "All of the legal defense funds out there, they are looking for people with court of appeals experience because the court of appeals is where policy is made," she said, laughing a bit through the next part: "And I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law. I know. Okay, I know. I'm not promoting it. I'm not advocating it. I know."
    But as legal scholars have noted, Sotomayor's statement is entirely factual:
    "She's not wrong," said Jeffrey Segal, a professor of law at Stony Brook University. "Of course they make policy... You can, on one hand, say Congress makes the law and the court interprets it. But on the other hand the law is not always clear. And in clarifying those laws, the courts make policy."
    Eric Freedman, a law professor at Hofstra University, was equally dismissive of this emerging conservative talking point. "She was saying something which is the absolute judicial equivalent of saying the sun rises each morning. It is not a controversial proposition at all that the overwhelming quantity of law making work in the federal system is done by the court of appeals... It is thoroughly uncontroversial to anyone other than a determined demagogue."
    Indeed, during her 1997 confirmation hearing, Sotomayor spoke of her judicial philosophy, saying "I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it."
    Sonia Sotomayor: 10 Things You Should Know

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    I'm still undecided on her. I hope Obama did'nt just choose her to please Hispanics, they're got to be more to her than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RevellingInSane View Post
    No you did not go there!

    I'm not surprised Obama would pander to the hispanics. Even if another justice retires, I don't see Obama appointing a black nominee. Let's look at his picks thus far. Notice anything?
    It's not pandering. Sonia Sotomajor is extremely well qualified. She just happens to be Latina.

    Besides Obama will have other appointments to the Court, at least 2, possibly more.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I despise Clarence Thomas.

    But to say he's not 'black' is wrong. Do all black people everywhere share one collective mind? Do they all think the same way? Do they not have a right to their own opinions, however wrong they may be?

    The premise of this statement requires black people and women to be liberals, white men to be conservatives, and hispanics are what? yet to be claimed? – and no deviation from that pattern. No philosophical conviction is allowed - to know how to think, look in the mirror.

    With this line of thinking, we are ideological slaves to our skin-tone. And that's a very special type of racism.

    Like Thomas, white people have our own share of douchebags- who may not think they way I do, or the way my neighbor does, but it doesn't make them 'not white'...it just makes them douchebags.
    You're reading waaayyyy too much into the statement about Thomas not being 'black.' It has nothing to do with all black people having to think alike. You have liberal, moderate and conservative blacks, just like you have among whites, asians, hispanics, etc. Colin Powell is a conservative and more black people respect him than they do Thomas.

    Most black people despise Clarance Thomas, not because he's a conservative, but because he thinks he's somehow above every other black person. Or worse yet that he would've been happier had been born white. So, most black people don't like to think of him as black since he doesn't think of himself as black.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    You're reading waaayyyy too much into the statement about Thomas not being 'black.'
    You're probably right. There seems to having something in the air making GR an overly serious place yesterday.

    At least we all agree, he's a douchebag.



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    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Hey, even Antonin Scalia calls Clarence "crazy." That says a lot right there.

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    I despise Clarence Thomas.

    But to say he's not 'black' is wrong. Do all black people everywhere share one collective mind? Do they all think the same way? Do they not have a right to their own opinions, however wrong they may be?

    The premise of this statement requires black people and women to be liberals, white men to be conservatives, and hispanics are what? yet to be claimed? – and no deviation from that pattern. No philosophical conviction is allowed - to know how to think, look in the mirror.

    With this line of thinking, we are ideological slaves to our skin-tone. And that's a very special type of racism.

    Like Thomas, white people have our own share of douchebags- who may not think they way I do, or the way my neighbor does, but it doesn't make them 'not white'...it just makes them douchebags.
    Clarence Thomas is one of several people I can think of who have shown internal issues with being black. Thomas thinks he is better than what being black could ever be and has distanced himself as far as his skin will let him from the being black.

    He is a douchebag, the douchebaggery being his issue with what he is, what he seems to want to be, and what even the Michael Jackson route can not provide.

    Isn't there a post regarding closeted gay politicians who hate what they are so much, they work against the very people they are in no way different from? Different trait despised, same bullshit, having an issue with who you are.



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