Let the Games Begin

Obama nominates known judicial activist Hon. Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court

Activist.

I admire Justice Antonin Scalia, but I could not tell you where he was born, or under what circumstances he grew up. I don’t know his mother’s name. I don’t know his ancestry. I just know that, in weighing any particular controversy, he looks first to the United States Constitution, and extrinsic issues such as background, experiences or real-world consequences do not enter into it.

Enter the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor.

Now, I have no doubt that she is intelligent. I have no problem saying that her story is absolutely extraordinary. But her story has no place on the bench of the highest court in the land.

A few issues are going to be at the forefront of her confirmation. First will be her remarks during a 2001 speech to law students in Berkeley, California, where she said that “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.” Second will be her decision to uphold a lower court’s ruling in Ricci v. Destefano and dismiss outright a white firefighter’s race discrimination case.

Ricci was a dyslexic New England firefighter who was among 77 colleagues to take an exam for a promotion within the New Haven Fire Department. Because of his dyslexia, Ricci was forced to put in even more effort, including the need to hire someone to read his textbooks onto audiotape and leave a second job to free up extra time. At the end of the day, Ricci was No. 6 out of the 77.

He and 17 other firefighters never received a further shot at the promotion, however, as the city disregarded the test results because, out of those 18 top-performing firefighters, 17 were white, and one was Hispanic — none of the more than two dozen black firefighters who were among the original 77 to take the exam were represented, and rather than risk being dragged into court for not promoting a single black firefighter, the city of New Haven scrubbed all results.

Ricci was among the 18 firefighters who filed suit, claiming race discrimination. Sotomayor was on the three-judge panel which dismissed the case summarily, and was the subject of a rabid dissent by a fellow judge and Yale Law alum who excoriate her for dismissing the case without substance. Among other issues, the law requires that the court consider whether or not the city’s decision passes “strict scrutiny,” essentially a consideration of whether the decision to tank the test results in full was narrowly-tailored to the advancement of a compelling state interest. Nothing of the sort was considered — the court denied rehearing en banc, and did so in an unpublished opinion. Her decision will be considered by the Supreme Court next month and, much like almost every other time one of her decisions has reached the high court, it will likely be overturned.

So, here’s a woman who may be extremely accomplished and who may have an intensely compelling personal story, but who also engages in the sort of identity politics adored by the left but to which justice is supposed to be blind. Contrast her statement that wise Latina judges could reach a better decision than their white male counterparts with her decision to dismiss Ricci. Consider the focus being placed on race in what was billed as the post-racial age of Barack Obama.

In short, what we are going to see during the upcoming confirmation process is the quintessential difference between the political left and right when it comes to the Constitution, the law, and the difference between logic and emotion. The media will do its level best to shape the way this process unfolds — they will tell Republicans to take it easy on Sotomayor so as to build credibility and political capital for the fight over the next, undoubtedly more important vacancy; they will tell the American people that experience trumps impartiality, that story trumps substance, that making this woman the second Hispanic Justice and the third female Justice somehow exceeds the need to confirm a qualified Justice.

Republicans must not back down here, must refuse to pull punches, and must take the debate to their constituents as well. The people must understand that empathy, that Sotomayor’s “sense of compassion” touted by Barack Obama has no place in the decision-making process on the Supreme Court bench. The people must understand what’s at stake, and must respond accordingly, as the result of Sotomayor’s confirmation will have an effect upon this nation for a generation — not only because the disposition of this current process will affect Sotomayor’s own presence on the bench, but because it will further shape the process with regard to Barack Obama’s next nominations for inevitable vacancies provided by the aging Justice John Paul Stevens and the ailing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

This is judicial activism versus strict constructionism, a living Constitution versus a static blueprint for freedom put forth by our nation’s founders. This, by and large, is the fate of America, is tremendously important, and should be treated as such.

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Comments

  1. Gail B says:

    From what I was able to discern from what I read prior to your posting this, my opinion was that her nomination should be fought tooth and toenail!

    It all sounds good, until you get to where she stands and the direction she leans.

    Am so happy to report that I agree with you 100 percent!

  2. Anonymous says:

    As I recall, touting Sotomayor as a “centrist” because Geo. H.W. Bush nominated her to a lower court dosent’ cut much ice with me. After all, how well did G.W.’s appointment so the SCOTUS work out (think Souter).

    This nomination just plays well into Obama’s pursuit of the “Demography is Destiny” theory. If you examine history, it’s easy to see where all of this is heading. Obama’s role is simply to hasten the reversal of roles between the white, European-descent) and “people of color”.

    From a Chirstian point of view (that would be me), “Custer had it coming”, but Obama will find that it’s not that easy because it’s not really a racial issue. The “People of Color” will coalesce in oposition against the Whites, but when that is not the predominant issue, it quickly becomes Black vis Hispanic. You see that in the recent raid in LA in which 147 Hispanic gang members were rounded up, primarily because of their violent acts against Black gang members.

    How I ramble on, but I’m just trying to say that it’s a losing battle because it’s a human nature issue, not race. Only replacing that with the Divine nature, available to mankind through Jesus Christ, will human-to-human relationships change.

    Old Bob

    Old Bob

  3. Tilli says:

    Thanks Jeff….I was hoping you could answer questions about her for us non-legal masses.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Obama has appointed a radical anti-Constitionalist to be his hack and do his dirty work via SCOTUS – to get his agenda passed while he appears to just stand on the sidelines. It really has nothing to do with “empathy”. It has to do with demolishing the Constitution and “making” new policy.

    Get ready for the “racist” calling … once again … for anyone who brings up real substance in fact to show that she is the antithesis of just who a justice should be.

  5. Linda says:

    Gail – you’re right . . . but you see, they cannot fight it tooth and nail. If the rightful opposition does put up a fight – as they should but I doubt they will – they will be called racists and we’ll have to face that R accusation all over again just to promote their agenda when, in fact, it’s this woman who is the racist. So much for the SCOTUS upholding the Constitution. You’ll now only see “feel good” decisions. Further, it couldn’t be more obvious that this is strictly a political nomination to promote his political ideals and attempt to get all the Hispanic vote. BHO just can’t seem to stop campaigning, as that’s all he can do well. This nomination is a disgrace to the justice system. And is it just me, or does anyo0ne else find it sickening to see him give her a kiss on the cheek at the announcement this morning? Or maybe it’s because this is merely a total lovefest after all. Why should he care about the country that allowed him to illegal hold this office anyway? Frustrating – yes; annoying – yes; aggravating – yes; depressing – oh yes.

  6. RIDDLE ME THIS OLD BOB says:

    Old Bob,

    since when is preventing the demise of your country, murder? Was it murder by the North to end the secession of the South? Was it murder by George Washington to gain the independence of the 13 colonies from England? Was it murder by the French underground to give Hitler a rough go? Read your Bible again, OLD and NEW testament. Governments have always had to be dealt with since time immortal. Sure it would be nice if the ballot box still worked, but with ACORN, illegal immigration, and the dumbing down of the electorate those days are quite possibly gone.

  7. Rix says:

    A single politician will someday stand up and proudly say something along the following lines:

    “If you use this word to describe people who hate those of different skin hue, I am not a racist. But if you mean people who hate those who demand bonuses, entitlements, and personal gains based upon color of his or her skin, then yes, I am proud to call myself a racist. Racism is not illegal or unconstitutional but racial inequality is, and that exactly what ‘diversity’, ‘quotas’ and ‘affirmative action’ are all about.”

    Such statement, uttered once and supported by the Republican establishment, would immediately release the public discourse from the oppressive choke of P.C. nazis in the MSM. It will go far in ruffing, once and for good, one of the highest trump cards Democrats hold and use daily. Until then, we’ll keep fighting the verbal battles on their terms – and at their questionable mercy.

  8. Linda says:

    Well said, Rix.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “Riddle Me This Old Bob” asked if certain situations constituted murder. I assume that this is because I said that I would have no part in violence, other than in the case of self-defence.

    In response, I would say that most of the conflicts that you mention were declared by legally empowered governments and those who fought in them wore uniforms; armies, not individuals. If you want a good look at what happens when individuals take up arms against their government, study the French Revolution, which, by the way, Thomas Jefferson idolilzed and romanticized. It was a blood bath, of mostly innocent persons, and all it accomplished was to It remove a monarchy and replace it with a dictator.

    I’m not interested in destroying people who disagree with me in order to feel “safe”. I’m interested in preserving a form of government which, in my opinion is the best attempt ever made by man to recognize and mitigate the destructive effects of human nature.

    And, of course, in the event of social/civil chaos, I’m very interested in surviving, protecting, and providing for my family. I’m doing all I can to prepare for eventuality because I beleive that it is a “clear and present danger”.

    As for the Scripture, I’m quite familiar with that book, but you need to keep in mind that the Old Testament is a history of God’s special relationship with Israel – not the Gentiles – and hence has nothing to say to us (other than about the nature of God in that relationship). On the other hand, the New Testament, which speaks directly to the Gentiles and anyone else who chooses to accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah, absolutely forbids individual violence as a means of redress. If there is ever a “call to arms” by a legally empowered government for the sake of preserving our Constitutionally-based way of life, I’ll be there, just as I was when called upon to serve during the Korean “police action”.

    So, I’m doing my best to understand the present within the context of the words of Jesus and what they say about the times that we live in. Sometimes, it’s not easy.

    Old Bob

  10. PHILOSOPHY 101 says:

    Most colonists in the Continental ‘army’ had no uniforms, many had NO clothes whatsoever. George Washington was a Gentile, so please answer the question – was he a murderer? Does empowering by a rag tag set of ‘states’ under a minimal Articles Of Confederation determine that murder is not murder? What would a Creator have one do when their INALIENABLE rights are being taken away? AS FOR ME GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH.

  11. Anonymous says:

    “Philosophy 101 Said”:

    Somewhere I remember reading something about a Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congress, and a Continental Army led by George Washington. I beleive that this represented a legally empowered government – nacent as it might be – at the outset of the Revolutionary War.

    As for the Civil War, preceded by Nullification, you could argue that both ways. Did the Confederacy have the right to seceed from the union? Probably so, as long as that decision was voted on by the residents of those states. Was Lincoln right to respond to So. Carolina’s attack on Ft. Sumpter? Of course – that was Union property and the Union military occupying it, so, as Commander-in-Chief, he had no choice.

    I say that the Confederacy was responsible for the deaths of 600,000 American citizens so that they could maintain their “rights”, which basically meant “the right to own other human beings as slaves”, upon which their economy depended.

    I certainy don’t expect everyone to believe as I do, but I do try to be consistent.

    Murder? I don’t recall ever using that word in reference to anarchy, but it certainly would result in that. The only on-going, nationally sanctioned, “murder” going on, in my opinion, is abortion on demand.

    Old Bob

  12. PSYDOG says:

    The Honorable?? Sotomayor is dangerous. She did not make a slip of the tongue when she said the judicary makes policy, she believes it! Just listen to her whole rambling speech and you can see it plain as day. This lady believes judges make policy, not our elected officials. Judges that make statements like hers should be immediately removed from the bench, they are overstepping their authority, period!

  13. goddessdivine says:

    That firefighter story makes me want to spit nails. Affirmative action is one of the WORST things to come to fruition in this country. We suffer greatly when we hire/appoint people in the name of ‘diversity’. We don’t get diversity; we get less qualified individuals who do mediocre work. Unreal.

  14. goddessdivine says:

    Imagine what would happen if we switched the words “Latina woman” and “white male” around. Massive pandemonium.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting that the GOP decided the best person to represent them was a black man.

    Yep, since there’s no racism by the GOP, this appointment clearly says Michael Steele must be more qualified than the GOP’s best whites.

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