Sunday, May 31, 2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor

If you are reading this and haven't reviewed the entire speech where Judge Sonia Sotomayor clearly suggested that a woman of Hispanic origin could often make decisions better than a white man, you're head has been in the sand for a lot longer than I have been away from previous position routine.   I won't belabor the points on that issue beyond saying the obvious: had a while male said a similar statement, well, we wouldn't be discussing that guy's nomination any further, now would we?

Be that as it may .... I applaud Judge Sotomayor's rise from a poor family to the threshold of the highest court in the land.  It reminds me of the story of Justice Clarence Thomas, whose own background would likely be comparable to Judge Sotomayor's own (not that either judge would ever want to compete in the can you top this contest regarding their family life - there are certain contests that ought not be run).  Her background, however, has little to do with her judicial experience.

As Deboarh O'Malley of The Heritage Foundation points out:

Judge Sotomayor has made several public statements denouncing -- and even lightly mocking -- the idea that courts should be impartial and shouldn't engage in policymaking. During a Duke University panel discussion in 2005, Sotomayor stated: "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."
She flippantly brushed off this statement, to laughter from the audience. "And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don't 'make law,' I know. Okay, I know. I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm, you know..." She did not go on to clarify what she apparently did mean, but the words speak for themselves.
So there is blatant reasons why the Republican minority in the Senate are obliged to question Judge Sotomayor on her judicial philosophy and her own words.  What did she mean when she said you know?

Where does she stand on the 2nd Amendment, for example.   What about the 1st Amendment?  These kinds of questions are not about filibustering, but about advice and consent.

Look, I would be a fool to suggest the Republicans could defeat her nomination.  That's not to say they should roll over and give her no review, but elections have consequences, and President Obama deserves to nominate his justices.  I defended President Bush's right to nominate justices and I will do the same for President Obama, despite the fact that I oppose his positions on nearly 100% of the issues.

How many left-wing critics had the intellectual honesty to say that during President Bush's administration?

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