Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Alaska U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski Stands On Principle, Courageously Opposes The Supreme Court Nomination Of Racist Latina Sonia Sotomayor

Update August 6th: Sotomayor officially confirmed, 68-31-1. Ted Kennedy did not show up to vote. Roll call vote posted on

On August 5th, 2009, Alaska U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski came down squarely on the side of American patriotism and against race hustling and judicial activism and announced her intention to vote against the confirmation of Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Senator Murkowski's full press release explaining her decision can be viewed HERE.

Media stories published by the Anchorage Daily News Alaska Politics blog, KTUU Channel 2, and KTVA Channel 11.

Although Senator Murkowski considers Sotomayor mechanically qualified for the position because of her education and experience, she questions Sotomayor's philosophical qualifications, and is uncomfortable with certain aspects of Judge Sotomayor’s record. Senator Murkowski has heard similar concerns from about 1,400 Alaskan constituents as well. This discomfort arises from Judge Sotomayor’s speeches as well as her decisions in key cases involving the Second Amendment and property rights.

Without specifically mentioning it, Senator Murkowski remains troubled by Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark, and in Sotomayor's efforts to explain it away rather than correct the record. In addition, Senator Murkowski is concerned about Sotomayor's equivocal attitude towards the Second Amendment. Here's how Murkowski expressed it:

Let me focus on the 2009 Maloney decision. Maloney presented the question whether the Second Amendment protects citizens from state interference with their right to keep and bear arms. It was heard by a three judge panel in the Second Circuit. Judge Sotomayor served on that panel. Maloney was one of first cases to construe the Second Amendment following the Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 decision in Heller.

Judge Sotomayor’s panel held that the Second Amendment did not protect citizens from state interference. It reasoned that it was constrained by the United States Supreme Court’s 1866 decision in Presser vs. Illinois.

But as the Supreme Court explained in Heller, the Presser case said nothing about the Second Amendment’s meaning or scope, beyond the fact that it does not prevent the prohibition of private paramilitary organizations. Maloney had nothing to do with private paramilitary organizations. The sole question in Maloney was whether the State of New York could ban the possession of a particular kind of weapon.

A three judge panel in the Ninth Circuit, a circuit which is often regarded as one of the more “liberal” circuits, reached quite the opposite conclusion from Judge Sotomayor’s panel. The case was Nordyke vs. King. It concluded that Heller left little doubt that the Second Amendment is a fundamental right. Accordingly the Second Amendment is incorporated into the 14th Amendment and applies with equal vigor to the states. To the Ninth Circuit panel this was not a question of ideology or judicial activism. It was the undeniable outcome of Heller’s reasoning.

But if Judge Sotomayor and her colleagues really believed that Courts of Appeals must await additional guidance from the Supreme Court before determining whether the Second Amendment constrains state action they could have stopped there. Instead, the Sotomayor panel went on to conclude that the rights secured under the Second Amendment are not fundamental rights. It was not necessary to reach any conclusion on this issue because the panel had already decided that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to the states. So why did Judge Sotomayor’s panel go out of its way to make this point?

Senator Murkowski also expressed some passing concern about Sotomayor's decision in the New Haven firefighters case, but also held forth at length about the Didden case, which involved property rights and constitutional limits on the scope of eminent domain. The reasoning of Didden is particularly perplexing. The panel on which Judge Sotomayor sat concluded that Didden’s constitutional challenge to the taking of his property was time barred. If a suit is time barred there is no reason for judges to reach the merits of the case.

In the final analysis, Senator Murkowski asserted that her decision to oppose Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is not based upon partisanship, ideology or the recommendations of any outside interest group. It is the product of reservations I have about the positions that Judge Sotomayor has taken in speeches on multiple occasions over a period of years. It is based on the brief and superficial treatment she has given to important constitutional questions. Most troubling is the fact that about 1,400 Alaskans have arrived at the same conclusion.

Senator Murkowski has joined 30 other Republican patriots in publicly committing to oppose Sotomayor's nomination. Here's the latest scorecard, published in the Washington Post (since this post, George Voinovich has declared his support for Sotomayor).

GOP: 40
Out For: 9
Out Against: 31

RINO Traitors Supporting Sotomayor
• Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)*
• Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
• Sen. Christopher Bond (Mo.)
• Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)
• Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine)
• Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.)
• Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.)
• Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.)
• Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio)

Republican Patriots Opposing Sotomayor
• Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.)*
• Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah)*
• Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa)*
• Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.)*
• Sen. John Cornyn (Texas)*
• Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.)*
• Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.)
• Sen. Robert Bennett (Utah)
• Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.)
• Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.)
• Sen. Jim Bunning (Ky.)
• Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.)
• Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.)
• Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.)
• Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho)
• Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.)
• Sen. John Ensign (Nev.)
• Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.)
• Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Tex.)
• Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.)
• Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.)
• Sen. Mike Johanns (Neb.)
• Sen. John McCain (Ariz.)
• Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
• Sen. James Risch (Idaho)
• Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.)
• Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.)
• Sen. John Thune (S.D.)
• Sen. David Vitter (La.)
• Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.)
• Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

Alaska's Democratic Senator Mark Begich is unlikely to reveal his vote until the expected full Senate vote on August 6th, but says he has made it clear to Sotomayor how important Second Amendment freedoms are to the people they represent in Alaska. Update: Senator Begich announced on August 6th, before the vote, that he will support Sotomayor.


  1. I have about the positions that Judge Sotomayor has taken in speeches on multiple occasions over a period of years.

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  2. Carl Loerbs calling Sotomayor a racist....

    Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black, wouldn't you say ?

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