Voting against the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor will take a wealth of political courage. Giving Sotomayor a rough time with regard to the plethora of reasons why she should not sit on the United States Supreme Court will take even more.
It would be relatively easy for a senator to explain to his or her constituents that he or she look forward to a day when they could vote in favor of confirming a nominee who is both Hispanic and qualified. Explaining why they relentlessly pointed out overt, repeated acts of racism and judicial activism on her part—not to mention the several occasions where her decisions, rooted in a stark dearth of intelligence, were overturned by the Supreme Court—would be slightly more difficult.
This morning, I heard South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham say, in his opening statement, that he was greatly troubled by the overtly racist statements made on several occasions by Sotomayor – but I also heard him say that elections have consequences, and that he would likely vote to confirm her absent some sort of “meltdown.”
If that truly is the case, I never, ever, ever want to hear Senator Graham ever advocate adherence to the United States Constitution again. If he is willing to overlook a woman who is equally willing—if not more so—to shred the Constitution in the name of social justice, Graham has lost the ability to evoke our founders, their values, or the documents in which they were enshrined for the remainder of his political career – which, if he intends to turn his back on the Constitution because “elections have consequences,” I hope will be extremely short.
And that goes for any Republican.
The Democrats have never, ever shown any sort of respect or restraint when questioning conservative nominees, regardless of their ethnicity or of the “quality” of their life story. Never. Instead, they have carried on as they usually do – with the politics of personal destruction.
Now, we see that tactic in place again, this time not against one of their own—Sotomayor—but against those who wish to point out that she cares more about the color of a party’s skin than of the rule of law. This time, we’re seeing supporters of Sonia Sotomayor looking to ruin New Haven, Connecticut firefighter Frank Ricci in the same way they looked to ruin Joe Wurzelbacher, that plumber who dared to point out presidential candidate Barack Obama’s aspirations of destroying small business and the American economy. In the case of Ricci, however, the very same people who claim to “stand up for the little guy” and “work tirelessly on behalf of the disabled” are instead looking for any way possible to disparage a man who just wanted to be treated the same regardless of his debilitating dyslexia.
Lindsay Graham was correct in saying that elections have consequences. As we see by rising unemployment, a disenfranchised intelligence community and emboldening terrorists worldwide, they most certainly do. In this case, however, Sonia Sotomayor is looking to shape America for generations to come. For life. Unfortunately for our nation, for the rule of law, and for the fading memory of our founding fathers, she will likely be confirmed – in the meantime, however, it should be the mission of each and every Republican to ensure that every American knows the difference between original thinking and judicial activism, and knows exactly the kind of damage that Barack Obama and the Democrats are bringing down upon our country.
I will work tirelessly to campaign against any Republican who votes in favor of Sotomayor’s confirmation, and for any Democrat who votes against it. And it is my only hope that politicians on both sides of the aisle will drop the gloves and treat Sonia Sotomayor with the exact same deference and respect—read: disdain—with which Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts, and others like Miguel Estrada have been treated.
Here are my questions for the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor:
- Is a Hispanic female party more or less likely to bring a bona fide grievance before the Court than a white male party?
- If you were in my shoes, and Chief Justice John Roberts were to have said, on several occasions, that he has been able to come to a better decision because of his life experiences and his being a white male judge than, say, a Hispanic or black or Native American female judge could, how fit would you consider him to be objectively adjudicating matters where the legal and constitutional issue, rather than the parties, are of the utmost importance?
- Most of your decisions which have reached the Court at which you aspire to sit have been overturned or otherwise scrutinized for your failure to properly interpret the law. With no court to review the Supreme Court, should the American people be confident you’ll get it right?
- Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution lays out the 17 enumerated powers vested in Congress. Are there any limits to the power of Congress pursuant to that clause? What is your opinion as to the role of the “Necessary and Proper Clause?”
- When it comes to interpreting the Constitution, what role if any should foreign and international jurisprudence play?
- When it comes to interpreting the Constitution, what is the role of the original intent of our founders?
- Which carries more weight, in terms of being more persuasive or even binding, the contemporaneous writings of our nation’s founders at the time the Constitution was adopted, or the various facets of international and foreign law?
- What extrinsic factors and considerations, outside the law, should have an effect on your decisions, and to what extent?
- Absent a “case” or “controversy,” what is the power of a federal court to interpret the law?
- In terms of statutory interpretation, what role does the actual text of the statutes play?
- In your various speeches, you’ve spoken of the rapidly changing social policy here in the United States. Is it the role of a judge to update and adapt the law in order to reflect and account for those societal changes?
- Should the Constitution be interpreted so as to allow capital punishment?
- For more than a decade, you counseled the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund on many issues of law and policy. You served on the group’s board, you served as an executive. That group, while an admirable one, touted capital punishment as a manifestation of racism – what role did you have in assisting the PRLDEF in taking such a position on capital punishment?
- Do you personally believe that capital punishment is a manifestation of continuing racial underpinnings in our society?
- What relationship, if any, did the PRLDEF have with ACORN, the community organization group under investigation in more than a dozen states for voter fraud and intimidation?
- Why does Lady Justice wear a blindfold? Is the Constitution color-blind?
- Do you believe that the City of New Haven, Connecticut should have been permitted to do away with all of the firefighter examinations because of race alone?
- With regard to the claims of Frank Ricci and the other firefighters, did constitutional concerns take a back seat to the nature of the case and ethnicity of those involved? What of the dissent by your Court of Appeals colleague and mentor?
- How did your life experiences and insight as a wise Latina judge affect your disposition on the Ricci matter?
- What role does empathy have in adjudicated cases and controversies before the Court?
- How can a judge fairly and objectively adjudicate a certain matter and apply the law if he or she is of the opinion that different standards and differing versions of the truth apply to different people based upon race, national origin, or financial status?
- What role does the First Amendment play in campaign finance?
- Are there any provisions in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act worthy of consideration as possibly unconstitutional?
- The Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, noted that “[u]nder any standards of scrutiny that we have applied to enumerated constitutional rights, banning from the home ‘the most preferred firearm in the nation to ‘keep’ and use for protection of one’s home and family’ . . . would fail constitutional muster.” Given the Court’s decision in Heller, how do you reconcile your decision in Maloney v. Cuomo—nearly two years later—that a state or city not under federal purview could ban the possession of weapons for self-defense?
- Should the Second Amendment be incorporated against the states?
- What did you mean when you held, in United States v. Sanchez-Villar, that the Second Amendment does not protect a fundamental right?
- At what point, under our Constitution, does an unborn child have constitutional rights, equal protection of the laws?
- Do you consider Roe v. Wade to be good law? Is it the role of the federal government to weigh in on abortion in America?
- Speaking of possible government overreach, what role should a judge have in defining the nature of a marriage or family?
- Again, speaking of the role of the federal government and judges, does the Takings Clause provide for any restriction in the power of government to take private property?
- In Kelo v. City of New London, the Court supported eminent domain by arguing that the plan by the city to take public property—in that case, houses—and give them to a private entity for the development of a shopping mall fell under the Fifth Amendment’s “public use” requirement. In her dissent, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor warned of the slippery slope. What is your perspective on “public use” and eminent domain?
- In the name of “social justice,” can the federal government rewrite contracts such as residential mortgages and leases?
- What role does the government have, if any, in the regulation of activity that does not cross state lines? What is your feeling as to the nature of “commerce?”
- What is the role of the Court with regard to national security? What measure of deference, if any, should the court have to the judgment of Congress and the White House?
- How should the Court reconcile the duty of the federal government to protect America and Americans against terrorism from sources overseas and stateside?
- What rights should captured foreign terrorists enjoy under the United States Constitution?
- Where in the Constitution is the right to privacy?
- In the history of the Court, which Justices do you most admire? With which do you find yourself most continually at odds?
- What has been the Court’s biggest triumph? Greatest mistake?
- Why do you want to serve on the United States Supreme Court?