Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Confronted with her disturbing racially oriented past statements, Judge Sonia Sotomayor had an excuse that only a liberal activist jurist could make: She meant the opposite of what she said. Sotomayor's oft-repeated rhetorical riff on race is clear as a bell: '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.' She would sometimes leave out the 'white male' part, but the remark was always a pointed disagreement with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's maxim: that a wise old man and wise old woman would agree on a judicial case's outcome.
Yet when the Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, quoted Sotomayor's own words to her, the response was basically: 'I didn't mean what I said.' Kind of like how the Constitution doesn't mean what it says, as so many judges believe? 'What I was talking about was the obligation of judges to examine what they're feeling as they're adjudicating a case and to ensure that that's not influencing the outcome,' Sotomayor told Sessions. 'We have to recognize those feelings and put them aside.'
Put it all together and it comes out something like this: The richness of a Latina's experiences will help her reach a better conclusion than non-Latinos because she will 'recognize those feelings and put them aside.'
That's tough to swallow. ... By claiming her 'wise Latina' comment meant the reverse of the plain meaning of her words, Judge Sotomayor has blemished herself on the first day of questions. If she dances around that, why should we believe her when she says 'the task of a judge is not to make the law; it is to apply the law’? Why would we the people have any reason to believe she will interpret the constitution any better than she did Sandra Day O’Conner?
There are certain qualifications to being a Supreme Court Justice. The chief qualifications are impartiality between parties and deference to the Constitution as written. And while judges like Sotomayor can lie and mouth slogans, their legal positions betray their true judicial philosophies.
With the Sotomayor nomination, Obama is introducing the threat that justice will be administered differently for politically favored groups than for politically unfavored groups. The rule of law will be replaced by the rule of a judge's emotional empathy -- or antipathy -- as determined by what subjective 'perspective' the judge chooses to see. That's what is at stake in the Sotomayor nomination, and it has huge consequences for our lives and prosperity.
Look at what she is saying here. It sounds like perjury: “In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law -- it is to apply the law." --Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor in direct contradiction to statements she has made in the past
For example, "[The] court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know -- 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'm -- you know." --Sotomayor in 2005