Sotomayor and Lady Justice’s Blindfold

Obama’s nomination of New York appellate judge shows blatant disregard for designed role of the judiciary

Over the past few days, my statistics are showing that we seem to have a sudden influx of first-time readers here at America’s Right. For that reason, I wanted to do something I’ve never done before and re-run a piece that was first posted here at the beginning of this month, as I was preparing for final exams. Considering the nomination and pending confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, I figured that doing so was appropriate.

As soon as I have the time, I’ll be including a list of selected America’s Right pieces to read on the right-hand side of the page. This one will be up there, and I’d appreciate input as to what other pieces you’d like to see featured as well. In the meantime, I felt as though this piece was especially pertinent, and wanted to permit new readers here with the opportunity to see it.

Maintaining Lady Justice’s blindfold is especially important at the U.S. Supreme Court, as the Court looks to adjudicate issues rather than cases, and the parties are there more as fixtures presenting two sides of a contested legal question. For that reason, the Sotomayor pick provides the GOP with a unique opportunity to distinguish itself philosophically from the political left, and in the process align itself with a majority of Americans, on issues concerning the role of the judiciary. This piece, I feel, captures that approach as well as anything I’ve written here, and that’s why I wanted to again bring it to the forefront.

– Jeff

Note the Blindfold, Mr. President
May 1, 2009

By Jeff Schreiber
America’s Right

Mr. President, Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason.

She is not to know of strife. She is not to know of circumstance. She is not to know of wealth or poverty, strength or weakness, education or illiteracy, gifted oratory or bumbling foolishness.

Obviously, Mr. President, you know not the role of the judiciary.

Your remarks today showed complete ignorance as to the designated function of two of the three branches of the very government you lead. You say that “justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook,” but it is. That “abstract legal theory,” Mr. President, is the United States Constitution, a document you have in the past derided as being fundamentally flawed. You say that justice is “about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives,” but you’re wrong. Making law is the role of legislators; a judge’s role is to interpret it and nothing more. You would know this, sir, if you had spent more time in the U.S. Senate actually legislating rather than preening and campaigning and planning your next move.

Mr. President, I have absolutely no problem with you personally. You seem to have a decent sense of humor, and by all appearances care deeply for your family. I appreciate that. And, Mr. President, I can also appreciate our political differences as just that — political differences, cultivated by vastly different backgrounds and experiences, all leading up to great divergence in ideology. But, Mr. President, your idea of the role of the judiciary is downright dangerous, and immeasurably ignorant.

On page 79 of your book, The Audacity of Hope (a title, by the way, which seems more and more pertinent with each passing day), you wrote the following:

With conservative republicans making gains in the congressional and presidential elections, many liberals viewed the courts as the only thing standing in the way of a radical effort to roll back civil rights, women’s rights, civil liberties, environmental regulation, church/state separation, and the entire legacy of the New Deal.

From this, Mr. President, it seems extremely obvious–and particularly telling–that you look upon the judicial branch as being on even ground with the legislative branch with regard to enacting legislation that would expand civil rights, women’s rights, environmental regulation, and sweeping economic and social change. Add today’s statement that your ideal Supreme Court Justice would take into account for their decisions whether people “can make a living and care for their families” and whether they “feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation,” and I’d say that my assessment is fair.

And I’d likewise say that your perspective is dead wrong. On the Court, and on the Constitution.

As a student, you studied our founding documents at Harvard Law School. As a professor, you taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. And, as president of the United States, you will nominate anywhere between one and four Justices–if not more–to the Supreme Court. On all accounts, you should know better.

In 2001, you gave a public radio interview as a state senator and law professor in which you lamented that the Supreme Court “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society” and that the Court had not facilitated the ability for America to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution.” On the Constitution itself, you remarked that, because it never forced the redistribution of wealth to African Americans, it was a document with a “fundamental flaw” that “reflected the enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day.”

That view, Mr. President, seems to lend itself to your idea that it is the job of the Supreme Court to assume the role of the legislature, essential constraints of the Constitution be damned. Hence your mission to nominate a Justice which considers hopes and dreams and struggles as much, if not more, than the law itself — and that says nothing of your politically correct focus on gender and national origin rather than pure qualification.

Mr. President, you are absolutely, unequivocally, 100 percent wrong on the role of the judiciary, and your blindness as to what should be the blindness of justice could very well haunt this nation for generations to come. The role of a Supreme Court Justice, Mr. President, is not to evaluate the matter at hand based upon the feeling in their “hearts.” Decisions and outcomes are to be based upon interpretation of the law and of the Constitution alone — not “empathy,” and surely not the ability to understand and identify with “people’s hopes and struggles,” as you said today. The role of a Supreme Court Justice, Mr. President, is not to make a decision based upon the interests of a single mother, a welfare addict or anyone else for that matter, just as the role of the judiciary is neither to favor the weak against the strong, nor the strong against the weak. When weighing a particular controversy, Mr. President, the role of a Supreme Court Justice is to instead look at the United States Constitution as written by this nation’s founders and interpret that document–preferably in as narrow a fashion as possible–as needed to adjudicate the controversy in question. At most, contemporaneous writings shedding light on the framers’ intentions and aspirations may be persuasive, but certainly not binding. Foreign law should never enter into the equation.

Mr. President, contrary to what you said in 2001, the United States of America does not need to “break free” from the principles put forth by our framers. As far as I can tell, the abandonment of those ideas and ideals is what got us here in the first place. Breaking free from the principles and values of those imperfect men is precisely why we stare a bloated government in the mouth and watch helplessly as our sovereignty and our freedoms erode by the minute.

Every single word, phrase and paragraph in our founding documents are there for a reason, placed there by people who fought, bled and died to make this country the antithesis of the tyrannical rule from which they escaped. This is a nation which, because of its founding principles, is a beacon of hope for those around the world who strive for freedom, opportunity and fairness. And now, Mr. President, a man who laments that the Supreme Court hasn’t simply tossed asunder the principles and aspirations of our founding fathers in the name of “economic justice” and “social engineering” has the opportunity to nominate a Justice to that Court.

That man is you. And as an American, Mr. President, I hope you abandon everything you’ve learned and everything you know, and that you choose wisely. Note the blindfold, Mr. President. Like every word in our founding documents, it’s there for a reason.

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Comments

  1. Diane2789 says:

    I liked it the first time I read it and it seems even better this time after Obama’s nomination of Sotomayor. Thanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    Awesome article, Jeff. Thank you!

    I’m sending it to all of my friends (again).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,

    I’m one of those new readers. I found this excellent site while looking for information on Nancy Pelosi’s lies, and now it’s one of my first places to look every day.

    I haven’t worked my way back to this column yet so thank you for putting it back up.

    Keep up the good work!

    ~Josh

  4. Anonymous says:

    what? no mention of being hispanic?

  5. MARCO, POLO (with eyes open) says:

    Lady Justice plays a LOT of PEEK-A-BOO lately, especially if she can determine in your voice some blackness, hispanic or even a dab of poverty.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bret Bair on Fox News this afternoon finally ran a story about the supposed birth certificate of Obama, apparently asking why is he spending over a million dollars to hide his original birth certificate if there’s nothing there to hide??!
    They also mentioned the WND petition now signed by over half a million people. About time!
    Guess all these E mails and calls and letters from everyone may finally have had some effect.
    Thank God!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m out of the subject, but please, go to, canadafreepress.com and read this article: TEA PARTY PROTESTER VISITED BY JOIN TERRORISM TASK FORCE OF THE FBI.(article posted by, Tea Party Patriots, Official House of the American Tea Party Movement, on May 27,2009

  8. Gail B says:

    From the website of the Supreme Court of the United States:

    (Quote) “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW”—These words, written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court is
    the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law and, thereby, also functions as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution. (End quote)

    I read “equal justice under the law,” not “what an appointee feels is the radical thing to do, in order to strip citizens of the rights.”

    The second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence states:

    (Quote) We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (End quote)

    Is it asking too much for someone to be nominated who at least ACKNOWLEDGES that we have a Constitution to uphold?

  9. Gail B says:

    Anonymous at 1:41 p.m.–

    You said that you are one of those new readers who stumbled upon Jeff’s site while looking for information on San Fran Nan’s lies.

    Welcome aboard! Come back several times a day and ENJOY! You will learn a great deal! Jeff has a “stable,” as he calls it, of writers who are both really keen and entertaining. And, as a bonus, the readers leave information they have found in the comment sections.

    Send the website to your friends who are looking for a good opinion of current events.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m beginning to see the “racist” word showing up more often since folks have voiced their opposition to Obama and his policies.

    First, let’s deal with the “racist” thing; everyone is a racist. It’s a part of the fallen human nature. Do you think for a minute that Obama didn’t consider the pressure from the Hispanic community when he was selecting a nominee? Why do you think that 94% of the Blacks voted for Obama, even though they normally support traditional values, like the sanctity of life? Did you ever listen to one of Jeramiah Wright’s “sermons”?

    It’s all racism, of course, but, as Thomas Sowell points out, due to “white guilt” there seems to be “positive” (read “acceptable”) racism and “negative” (read “unacceptable”) racism.

    The bottom line is that white, European, males, are the worst (most hated) on the hierarchy of racists. Get used to it and don’t expect to see any liberal take issue with Soto-Mayor’s obviously racist viewpoint on the superiority of a “female Latina” judge over a “white male” judge, or her ruling in the white firefighter’s lawsuit.

    Keep remembering “Demography is Destiny” and there’s no political strategy that will trump that. Obama will find that out in his attempt to sweet-talk the Muslim world into living in “harmony and peace” with the non-Muslim world. What a shock that’s going to be to “The One”.

    Old Bob

  11. Gail B says:

    Oh! I forgot! This afternoon on Hannity’s radio program, Sean said either Limbaugh or Cheney (can’t recall which; I was driving) “dropped a depth charge” into the liberals’ defense of Sotomayor!

    And, Obama/Soetoro better NEVER ever ask Jeff Schreiber’s opinion of how he feels about the legislation of the 111th Congress that is eating away and eroding our protections under the Constitution! When Jeff gets started on the U.S. Constitution, I get a mental picture of him in his military uniform against the British! Don’t you wish they would give him just five minutes at a joint session? There would be some red cheeks partially hidden by shredded pants!

  12. cher-pa says:

    Anonymous 8:33
    I read the article at canadafreepress.com.I was so mad I e-mailed Senator Whitehouse and gave him a piece of my mind. Guess I can expect the FBI to show up at my door anyday now.It’s time that these Washington thugs realize Americans will no longer tolerate their actions.

  13. Gail B says:

    Cher-pa–
    Thanks for your comment. I went to the CFP site and read the story. Am still seething.

    Oh, yes–I surely will write that terrorist a letter! He tried to terrorize gentleman who exercised his freedom of speech regarding his total dissatisfaction with what is going on in government.

    I was relieved when the FBI agent very kindly told the man to keep writing! (It was not a threat.)

  14. cal says:

    Jeff,
    In your list of selected American Right pieces, I would include your piece from May 18th – The Exponentially Increasing Cost of a Manufactured Environmental Crisis. This article lays out so many great facts about the cost of the cap and trade legislation to society. It is a great reference tool and is eye opening about how damaging bad legislation in the name of a so called noble cause can be.

  15. Energy says:

    This is a thought-provoking read.

    As for Sotomayor she is too left for my taste. I commend her rise from humble beginnings to a Supreme Court nomination but not her interpretation of the Constitution.

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