Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alaska Senators Murkowski And Begich Welcome Hearings On Obama's Affirmative Action Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

Update May 28th: WorldNetDaily has now confirmed that Sonia Sotomayor is an official member of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino supremacist group. Source of confirmation HERE.

Neither Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski nor Mark Begich sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee which will hold confirmation hearings for Barack Obama's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, but both are interested in the outcome nonetheless. Sotomayor, who was chosen over Federal appellate judge Diane Wood, Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, is slated to replace Justice David Souter, who's resigning later this year. It was well known that Obama wanted a Latina and a female, and he got both in a single package. Rumours that Sotomayor is a lesbian were being spread on Free Republic, but have not been substantiated; they probably grew out of the fact that Sotomayor is divorced with no children.

Senator Murkowski congratulated Sotomayor on her nomination, although she added that she looks forward to a full debate before deciding whether to vote to confirm the appellate court judge as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. "As the Senate moves forward with her nomination, I will examine and review very closely Judge Sotomayor's qualifications and background for a court appointment," Murkowski said in a statement. "As a member of the Senate, I take my advice and consent role very seriously, and I look forward to a fair and full debate on this nomination."

Although Senator Begich has been in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he is aware of the selection. In a conference call from Pakistan, he did say he was glad to hear of the nomination and is "looking forward to the hearing process." Democrats hold 59 votes in the Senate, more than enough to confirm Sotomayor but not quite enough to stop a vote-blocking filibuster if Republicans should attempt one.

Even though Judge Sotomayor wasn't exactly born in a manger in Bethlehem as some of the media would have us believe, she did come from a humble background. Born in the South Bronx, Sotomayor lost her father at a young age and watched her mother work two jobs to provide for her and her brother. Her path has soared ever since: Princeton University and Yale Law School, then positions as a commercial litigator, federal district judge and appellate judge. In 1998, both of Alaska's then-senators Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski supported Sotomayor in a 67-29 vote to confirm her appointment to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Already, Sotomayor's nomination is drawing considerable fire, primarily from the right. Some feedback from those who've worked with her has been posted by The New Republic. According to them, Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue." (During one argument, an elderly judicial colleague is said to have leaned over and said, "Will you please stop talking and let them talk?")

Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees. It's customary, for example, for Second Circuit judges to circulate their draft opinions to invite a robust exchange of views. Sotomayor, several former clerks complained, rankled her colleagues by sending long memos that didn't distinguish between substantive and trivial points, with petty editing suggestions--fixing typos and the like--rather than focusing on the core analytical issues.

Some former clerks and prosecutors expressed concerns about her command of technical legal details: In 2001, for example, a conservative colleague, Ralph Winter, included an unusual footnote in a case suggesting that an earlier opinion by Sotomayor might have inadvertently misstated the law in a way that misled litigants. And this inattention and imprecision is reflected in the fact that five of six appellate decisions she was involved in were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In one of her most notable decisions as an appellate judge, she sided with the city of New Haven, Conn., in a discrimination case (Ricci v. DeStefano) brought by white firefighters in 2008. The city threw out results of a promotion exam because too few minorities scored high enough. But in that case, Judge Sotomayor was chastised by fellow Clinton-appointee Jose Cabranes for going to extraordinary lengths to dispense with claims of unfair treatment raised by firefighters. Judge Sotomayor’s panel heard a case raising important questions under Title VII and equal protection law, but attempted to dispose of the firefighter’s arguments in a summary order, until called out by Judge Cabranes. Coincidentally, that case is now before the Supreme Court.

Many others have spread the rumour that Sotomayor is a member of the National Council of La Raza. This has now been substantiated through this source. She gave a speech at the Judge Mario G. Olmos Memorial Lecture in 2001, delivered at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. The speech was then published in the Spring 2002 issue of Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, a symposium issue entitled "Raising the Bar: Latino and Latina Presence in the Judiciary and the Struggle for Representation", and can be found in the New York Times or all on one page on Stormfront. Among the more controversial remarks was her assertion that "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”. Sotomayor also referred to the cardinal duty of judges to be impartial as a mere “aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others.” And she suggested that “inherent physiological or cultural differences” may help explain why “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

Outright racism and sexism. This nomination is clearly a bust, and if it goes throught, it will have shown that diversity trumps competency in America.

1 comment:

  1. how dare you defile the KKK by dressing her in robes with the KKK emblem on the front. that is sacrilegious and criminal.
    she is a racist beaner spic and is not worthy of such a uniform.
    she is a member of the racist anti white hate group La raza (the race)all for the race or nothing is their motto.