Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sotomayor: Appeals court where "policy is made"

Questions about a statement the high court nominee made at a Duke forum may be the first test she needs to overcome before getting confirmed.

Thanks to our friends at the News & Observer for this tip.

Critics say this statement she made at 2005 forum while explaining the difference between district and appeals court justices shows she'll be a judge who legislates from the bench.

“All of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people with Court of Appeals experience. Because it is – Court of Appeals is where policy is made,” she said. “And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don't ‘make law,' I know.”

The audience laughed.

“OK, I know. I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm, you know,” she said to more laughter.

“Having said that, the Court of Appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating. It's interpretation, it's application.”

She is not without her defenders. The former Duke University law professor, who moderated the forum, has already dismissed criticisms over the remark.

“Judge Sotomayor's comment was innocuous and true,” Erwin Chemerinsky, now dean of the University of California-Irvine law school, wrote in an e-mail to The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

“Appellate judges and Supreme Court justices must make choices about the law that include consideration of policy issues. Every first-year law student knows this. I am amazed that anyone is making anything of this comment.”

In a blog post for the New Republic, Chemerinsky writes Sotomayor would be “terrific for the Supreme Court and the future of constitutional law.”
“As a woman, a Latina, a person who has faced a lifelong serious illness (diabetes), and a person who grew up in modest circumstances, Sotomayor brings experiences that are unrepresented or largely absent from the current court. These certainly will influence her rulings and they also may help in the most important task for a Democratic appointee on the current court: persuading Justice Anthony Kennedy, the key swing justice on almost every closely divided issue. Sotomayor's background, as well as her intellect and experience, make her ideally suited for this role.”

Karl Rove on the Sotomayor pick


Anonymous said...

Latina Catholic women tend to be very conservative. This should make the Republicans happy that a Democratic president is nominating such a conversative.

Anonymous said...

The Founding Fathers don't want you to use your experiences to interpret law. They want you to use what is written: that's it.

Anonymous said...

Water tends to be wet too! What difference does that make???

Charles said...

Why is that liberals always want to institute their 'own personal form' of law, even to the point of throwing out the Constitution? It wasn't that long ago (just after W beat Gore) that Hilary Clinton was ready to get rid of the Electoral College. And even though the first rule of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is the guarantee of life, they've found a way to deny even that simple fundamental convenience - life itself - to those that are politically expedient (i.e. the unborn). Little wonder then that they are apparently ready to rewrite the rule book as they go. I wonder who that favors?

Anonymous said...


I thought it was REagan, as gov. of CA., that signed into law one of the most liberal abortion policies of the time.

Anonymous said...

In picking Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has confirmed that identity politics matter to him more than merit. While Judge Sotomayor exemplifies the American Dream, she would not have even been on the short list if she were not Hispanic.

She is not one of the leading lights of the federal judiciary, and far less qualified for a seat on the Supreme Court than Judges Diane Wood and Merrick Garland or Solicitor General Elena Kagan.

Obama is dooming the USA.

Anonymous said...

I read that she is not the first hispanic.

Cardoza in the 1930's was portuguese.

It's all about making ground breaking picks...not getting the best person for the job...that's how we ended up with barak hussein anyways so only fair he picked someone using the same logic i suppose

Anonymous said...

In response to the first anonymous comment, I don't care if she's conservative or liberal, I don't want a racist, activist judge on the Supreme Court.

Anonymous said...

wow, if CNN has a story on you like that, you know you're a commie.


Anonymous said...

In response to the first anonymous comment, I don't care if she's conservative or liberal, I don't want a racist, activist judge on the Supreme Court.

AGREE !!!!!!!!!

I like how the first anon commenter tells others how they should feel and appreciate what "they" are doing for us as well. textbook liberal, "helping out us folks that don't know nuthin".

Anonymous said...

The real legacy of failed Reublican policies and ideologies, coupled with an inept administration for the last 8 years are bearing the fruits you see today. Republicans have only themselves to blame.

Lance said...


Thank you for one of the more even handed treatments of the comments Judge Sotomayor made at Duke. Providing the full context is critical, because the attack machine wants to remove the context and use this comment to make it appear she is (insert activist label here).

She happens to be right. The court of appeals is where legal precedents get interpreted and their implications considered.

Comparing Judge Sotomayor to Harriet Myers should be rejected on face. Those two aren't in the same class in terms of experience or intellect.

Anonymous said...

I've got diabetes....even though I am not qualified for the job does that help get me in the door?

Merit please....don't make choices based on background, color, who your parents were, what kinda car you drive, diseases you have, if someone like me has or has not done it before. Pick the best person for the job, this isn't high school.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of ignorant racist you people are. Most of your parents and grand parents came from non-Hispanic countries yet, you'all call yourself Americans, right? I haven't seen an Italian, German Irish or Jewish been flagged as non-American. But when someone with Hispanic heritage, and listen to this, "BORN in USA" is not considered American. The main problem you'all have against Hispanics is the fact the they are truly bilingual, while most of you don't even speak your ancestors language which is a total lack of respect to your heritage.

It strikes home and make you'all feel less seen a smart Hispanic, Bilingual woman reach one of the highest positions in the nation.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:23 said "The main problem you'all have against Hispanics is the fact the they are truly bilingual"

Yes, they are so bilingual that we have to provide translators at taxpayers' dime.
You are missing big point here. Majority of those people do not feel Americans, they feel citizens of their respective countries living in the US. If they would be able to get same jobs and have same benefits, they would have moved back in a second. One more point. Germans, Jewish, Irish, even though they are proud of their heritage, do not demand special treatment in hiring, school admissions and so on.

Anonymous said...

Meant to say "they feel being citizens"

Anonymous said...

I heard that Sotomayor has links to MS 13 in the CLT area......

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:23 is a perfect example of a failed education.


Obama is doing what presidents do,
nominating those who will most likely support their agenda, on what ever level, and on what ever agenda.

Anonymous said...

bunch of scared white supremacists :)

you'all are slacking skills and guts and that's why foreigners are taking over!

English is not the only language on the world!! THE SPANGLISH IS HERE!!!!

So, learn to speak it or stop going to Hispanic countries and demand their residents to speak in English because your sorry @$$es don't understand.

Anonymous said...

Did some ignorant racist call someone a racist...?

Sotomayor is a white European Latino you moron exactly like Franco who owns this blog...

This is the ruling class of any Latino nation and Latinos are of the white European caucasoid race...

Although there is mixation between red and white it is discouraged. 99.9% of the illegals in America are of the peasant red mongoloid race of Asia...

And we know any liberal pc idiot knows that only whites can be racist, right? What a laugh. The biggest alltime worst racists on the planet are non-whites...

We do know Obama wont have to worry about the legal Mexican American vote now as this will be a gimme even though he had no worries anyway. Ask McCain...

Anonymous said...

Republicans are being told that if they appose Sonia Sotomayor they will alienate Hispanics and Women. So does this mean that Democrats alienated Blacks when they tried to destroy Clarence Thomas?? The double standard that is in play and backed up by the media in this country makes me sick. They will try to shove a left wing extremist down our throats and then play the race/gender card if he/she is opposed by conservatives. GWB had one of the most diverse administrations in the history of the Country and does he get any credit for that ??

chupacabra said...

Is THIS seriously all they have?

keep digging kids
I'm sure she once ran a stop sign or something.

Anonymous said...

Anon said..."GWB had one of the most diverse administrations in the history of the Country and does he get any credit for that ??"

Never. Becuase they didn't come from media approved "race-industry" groups and organizations.

Anonymous said...

Anon..."GWB had one of the most diverse administrations in the history of the Country and does he get any credit for that ??"

The answer was no but because the guy at the top of the Administration was an so stupid he made Dan Quayle look like a PHD.

Anonymous said...

Anon said: "The answer was no but because the guy at the top of the Administration was an so stupid he made Dan Quayle look like a PHD."

Ahhhh.... the ultimate liberal comeback. Nothing substative, nothing ideological , just call someone names....very adult.

Anonymous said...

True progressive Democrat spirit.
When President Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, Sen. Joe Biden had this to say:

I think that the only reason Clarence Thomas is on the Court is because he is black. I don't believe he could have won had he been white. And the reason is, I think it was a cynical ploy by President Bush.

Ahh, those racist Republicans

Anonymous said...

First of all she graduated #2 from Princeton. She was elected to Law Review at Yale (which is done blind) so she is smart.

Second, hate to shatter everyone's dreams, but "judges" are suppose to apply their "judgement." Judges also bring different levels of knowledge and experience to that judgement. Appreciating that this happens - human nature - our system is set up so that, as one ascended up the judicial ladder, the law of the land (Constitution) remains front and center - hence when you are first on trial - one judge, appeal - 3 judges, etc. If not, why not just have one Supreme Court Justice?

Anonymous said...

She is to be seated for legal decisions - not making LAWS. That's the job of the Congress - the people that ARE ELECTED BY CITIZENS!

Anonymous said...

Anon said: "She is to be seated for legal decisions - not making LAWS. That's the job of the Congress - the people that ARE ELECTED BY CITIZENS!"

Unfortunatly this is how liberals get their laws passed now. If a law is passed or voted in that they don't like, they just find a court with liberal judges and get them to make it a law.

Trenchard Gordon said...

The thing that really gets me is that everything so far about her is biography. Yes, she faced and overcame challenges in her life. So have many others. What I want to hear is she is a great legal mind! No one seems to be saying that so far.

I question the "empathy" card Obama played when describing what was then a future Justice. Is justice blind? Is there a third scale for empathy? What if someone comes before her court she can't empathize with? Was she empathetic to those New Haven firefighters?

Catholic101 said...

She doesn't have THIS Catholic Conservative's vote. Filabuster her Congressional approval until Obama's hair turns white.

Anonymous said...

I fully intend to send her a box of chocolates to congratulate her on being sworn in.

Rob, Concord said...

She is to apply her judgement of how an action by a person or group measures up to a written law or how a written law measures up to the Constitution. A judge is not supposed to judge what a law should be or not be.

This woman has a wonderful life story and I respect her for that. She fits fully in what I expected from an Obama nominee; (liberal, supports greater gov't power, and beleives in identity politics). i'm not upset that she'll be on the court because elections have conequences. This is not to say that I will not argue against her nomination. I think she'll be a bad justice for the very reason she was nominiated (liberal, supports greater gov't power, and beleives in identity politics). The only people I see mentioning her race are her liberal supporters. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

These people posting sound like a bunch of children in a freaking oplay ground arguing about whether the ball was out or in. Will the real grown up please stand up.

Anonymous said...

This really gets ridiculous. Anyone who opposes or disagrees with Obama is a racist and only doesn't like him because he's black. Anyone who opposes Sotomayor will only do so because she's Latino. While I admit that there are SOME people who make decisions based on those things - the majority of the people DO NOT. We should be able to discuss what we like and dislike about a candidate or political figure without being called a racist. I don't care if Obama is green - he is a liberal and I am a conservative so I did not and would not vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Too bad there are not enough Republicans in congress to give Obama's nomination the same treatment the democracts in congress always give the Republican nominations to the Supreme Court and other federal courts.

The SCOTUS has 6 Catholics, 2 Jews and 1 Protestant.

Vicente Duque said...

Sonia Sotomayor is a Great Heroine of Law against New York Toughs, but she paid a price in Caffeine and too many cigarettes - Washington Post

Gritty First Job Shaped Nominee
Years as N.Y. Prosecutor Gave Sotomayor Firsthand Look at Crime and Punishment

Sonia Sotomayor had the Life of a Television Heroine Lawyer prosecuting bad guys. But showing compassion when necessary.

This Lady showed courage and even risked her life !!

Washington Post : "Gritty First Job Shaped Nominee"

What a wonderful article --- This is like a Detective Novel in the dark allies of New York City at Night. This is even better than the "Law and Order" TV series even if I love Olivia and Elliot , I also love Beautiful District Attorney Assistant "Alex" Alexandra, and the wonderful detectives Tutuola and Munch. What a bunch of Heroes !!

This lady Sonia Sotomayor is fearless against Brutal Criminals !! What a heroine !!

This is the best article that I have found on Sonia Sotomayor, because it shows the Human Being, and also the suffering of Sonia Prosecutor, her effort, her dedication, her respect for Law and Human Beings.

I am gathering all possible information on Judge Sonia Sotomayor, hundreds of pages here :

Vicente Duque

Vicente Duque said...

On Sonia Sotomayor :

We can accept, admire, like and love Moderate Republicans, unfortunately they are hidden lately.

This is from the "Colorado Independent" :

"Only eight percent of Americans agree with Tom Tancredo that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor “is a racist,” according to a non-partisan poll released Friday. A majority ranks “empathy” as important for a Supreme Court justice and an even bigger majority says Sotomayor is qualified for the high court."

"The results, The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent writes, “strongly suggests that the two main right-wing talking points about Sonia Sotomayor are a bust.”

"Despite a barrage of attacks by Tancredo, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and others characterizing Sotomayor as a racist, voters aren’t buying it, according to a telephone poll of 2,400 adults conducted by Research 2000 for Daily Kos."

So there is a divorce between the Extremist Republicans that appear in Fox News ( Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanam, Tom Tancredo, etc ... ) and the Public.

Moderates are right in wishing for a better Republican Party, not Fox News or Rush Limbaugh !!

Hundreds of Articles on Sonia Sotomayor :

Vicente Duque