Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ten Things To Know About Judge Sonia Sotomayor

1. Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the bench than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years. Over her three-decade career, she has served in a wide variety of legal roles, including as a prosecutor, litigator, and judge.

2. Judge Sotomayor is a trailblazer. She was the first Latina to serve on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was the youngest member of the court when appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed, she will be the first Hispanic to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

3. While on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has consistently protected the rights of working Americans, ruling in favor of health benefits and fair wages for workers in several cases.

4. Judge Sotomayor has shown strong support for First Amendment rights, including in cases of religious expression and the rights to assembly and free speech.

5. Judge Sotomayor has a strong record on civil rights cases, ruling for plaintiffs who had been discriminated against based on disability, sex and race.

6. Judge Sotomayor embodies the American dream. Born to Puerto Rican parents, she grew up in a South Bronx housing project and was raised from age nine by a single mother, excelling in school and working her way to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University and to become an editor of the Law Journal at Yale Law School.

7. In 1995, Judge Sotomayor "saved baseball" when she stopped the owners from illegally changing their bargaining agreement with the players, thereby ending the longest professional sports walk-out in history.

8. Judge Sotomayor ruled in favor of the environment in a case of protecting aquatic life in the vicinity of power plants in 2007, a decision that was overturned by the Roberts Supreme Court.

9. In 1992, Judge Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate without opposition after being appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush.

10. Judge Sotomayor is a widely respected legal figure, having been described as "...an outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind," "highly qualified for any position in which wisdom, intelligence, collegiality and good character would be assets," and "a role model of aspiration, discipline, commitment, intellectual prowess and integrity."

Sources for each of the 10 things:

1. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

2. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

3. Cases: Archie v. Grand Cent. Partnership, 997 F. Supp. 504 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) and Marcella v. Capital Dist. Physicians' Health Plan, Inc., 293 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 2002).

4. Cases: Flamer v. White Plains, 841 F. Supp. 1365 (S.D.N.Y. 1993), Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 382 (2d Cir. 2003), and Campos v. Coughlin, 854 F. Supp. 194 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).

5a. "Sotomayor's Notable Court Opinions and Articles," The New York Times, May 26, 2009.

5b. Cases: Bartlett v. N.Y. State Board, 970 F. Supp. 1094 (S.D.N.Y. 1997), Greenbaum v. Svenska Hendelsbanken, 67 F.Supp.2d 228 (S.D.N.Y. 1999), Raniola v. Bratton, 243 F.3d 610 (2d Cir. 2001), and Gant v. Wallingford Board of Education, 195 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 1999).

6. "Sonia Sotomayor: 10 Things You Should Know," The Huffington Post, May 26, 2009.

7. "How Sotomayor 'Saved' Baseball," Time, May 26, 2009.

8. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

9. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

10a. Judge Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee to the Second Circuit.

10b. "Sotomayor is Highly Qualified," The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2009.

10c. Honorary Degree Citation, Pace University School of Law, 2003 Commencement.


csm said...

I thought these were interesting things to know about the Judge Sotomayor... She seems to have impeccable qualifications, if that is what we care about... sorta like John Roberts had impeccable qualifications.

Still don't know her positions on many issues - will need to learn more before deciding if I like this pick... but right now, she looks like at least a reasonable candidate.

G said...

Please forgive me if I'm not comforted by the "talking points" that are fed to the press by the White House that nominated her and moveon.org.

It's going to take some time to get the full picture of her record, but there are some serious concerns:
1. The YouTube video where she says that the Court of Appeals is where policy is made (an unconstitutional position).
2. She believes that the 2nd Amendment doesn't apply to states, and that cities have the right to ban all guns if they want to. (an unconstitutional position)
3. She ruled in favor of the city in the Ricci (now before the Supreme Court) case with no legal explanation in the ruling. That ruling indicates a view that racial discrimination against whites is ok.
4. My understanding is that an unusually high percentage of her rulings have been overturned by the SCOTUS. That could indicate either an incorrect understanding of the Constitution, or an attitude that she is not bound by it.

There are concerns on the left as well as the right:
The Case Against Sotomayor

Lou said...

Ditto the point on the talking heads.

She is quoted as believing her role is to legislate from the bench. The fact she would admit this and laugh about it disqualifies in my opinion. That was Gs #1 point.

The case before the SCOTUS will probably be over-turned protecting the rights of White fireman. The fact she would discriminate against white fireman because their black counterparts did not score as high also disqualifies her. Gs #3 point.

Competency and understanding your role and your limits should be the determining factors. If experience was the number 1 factor Obama would be sitting in the Senate.

She probably has not paid her taxes which could be another issue:).

csm said...

As I've said, I'm still reserving judgement, but so far, so good. She has no record on Roe v. Wade, which concerns me a little, but not much.

The right wing talking point that she is not smart is stupid. And I understand how right wingers might be "up in arms" about G's #3, but her ruling may prevail. I don't know enough about the case to comment on it specifically, but I'd be surprised if it is as G says ("racial discrimination against whites is ok"). There are many factors that go into those sort of things (like bias in testing, etc.).

I'd be interested in seeing something about G's #4 (but given G's inclination to "understand" things without facts, I won't base anything on his "understanding."

Finally, barring any surprises (yes, such as Lou's ridiculous tax shit), I suspect she will be confirmed.

csm said...

Clueless "Matt" Huckabee doesn't like Sotomayor. Can't the fucking bastard even get her name right?

csm said...

Hey, G and Lou, looks like ranking Judiciary Committee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) doesn't agree with you guys! He said "This is the Supreme Court of the United States. It sets the law for America."



What makes anyone think Republicans are better versed on the Constitution than the average Joe? They certainly didn't prove it when they had the chance!

csm said...

Yes, Bawdy, a reboot would seem to be in order, wouldn't it?


How about just a boot....a boot to their fucking collective arses.

G said...

I said "my understanding" because I have read it in several sources, but have not actually confirmed it myself. What non-factual positions have I taken in the past? Or are you just following the liberal model: When one is without an argument, make a baseless accusation against the opponent.

Go ahead and look up the facts of the Ricci case. The city specifically had the test tailored so there wouldn't be any racial bias. When not enough blacks qualified for promotions, they threw out the results. Her decision didn't state any legal reasoning or factual arguments. She was even blasted by another judge (also Hispanic) for that decision.

G said...

Here you go:

Sotomayor reversed 60% by high court

Lou said...

Actually if she hasn't paid taxes that would qualify her even more. That seems to be a draw for Obama.

Bawdy you claim is Republicans cant do any better? Doesn't sound like a Libertarian. Libertarian are willing to take on any party that stomps on the constitution and imposes on states rights.

You know, actually pointing out the weaknesses in a politician is not NECESSARILY an endorsement of the other major party. I only bring that up since you seem to a fan of the biggest spending president in US history. And you like to being up Republicans a lot.

Typical socialist politics G. Lower the standard so more can pass. Yell racial bias if minorities do not do well. I wonder if they considered helping the poor performers improve?

csm said...

No G, I have actual reasons to doubt your "beliefs"... we've chatted about it before and I think you know what I mean.

At any rate, thanks for the link.

The more I think about her positions being reversed, the more I think that could be a good thing, given the conservative slant the high court has been taking lately... I understand, of course, that you (and other right wingers) would have a different opinion there.

csm said...

Bawdy is not a fan of George W. Bush, Lou.

G said...

Just as I suspected, baseless accusations.

Having that high of a percentage of one's decisions overturned is as clear an indicator as you can get that she either doesn't understand the meaning of the Constitution or chooses to ignore it whenever it conflicts with her desired outcome.

And we aren't just talking about the recent past with the Roberts court. She was being overturned when SCOTUS decisions were much more to the left.

I'm not surprised that liberals like her so much. After all, it must be frustrating to have that irritating little document interfere with their agenda on such a regular basis.

csm said...

Oh, G, there you go again. Right wingers are every bit as guilty of trying to tilt the constitution to their own way of thinking. But a closed-minded conservative, of course, will not admit that, it seems.

G said...

That might very well be true of some conservatives. However, the respectable ones follow the view (which I also hold) that the purpose of the SCOTUS is strictly to determine the original intent of the US Constitution and its application to a particular case. For the most part, that's how the members of the court who are considered "conservative" typically rule (or argue in minority opinions).

Lou said...

Does the constitution approve of president "Big Ticket" buying a worthless auto manufacturer?

Big Ticket just added to his impressive array of spending. Of course the only winner here is the UAW while the bond holder comes away virtually empty handed. Now why would the UAW be the big winner? How do you like this change you can believe in CSM?

This in no way endorses Republicans. Arguing about which party is best to lead is like arguing which mouse to leave in charge of the cheese. I do see more red mice getting some stake in the cheese in 2010 which will cut back on "Big Ticket" spending. He does realize this is not monopoly more yes?

Its the best we can hope for.



I do not prefer Democrats over Republicans and I do not prefer Republicans over Democrats. I wish we had neither to deal with and only had unaffiliated statesmen.

Why you think the Republicans are preferable I do not understand. GWB presided over the biggest federal government spending(non-security)since the Johnson administration and that is undeniable. And this with a Republican Congress. Granted Obama has gone even farther in his short stint, but this does not excuse Bush and the Republicans from the huge expenditures under his watch. All I have to fucking say is Medicare D, anyone?

We will not solve our budgetary problems until people realize how this country was originally set up and how it was supposed to run. The Republicans have problems following the Constitution and the Democrats do too. But it isn't all their fault, the rest lies in the citizenry looking in the mirror.

Lastly, though I find Bush II to be the worst President in our history; right above him is FDR. See, I am no Democrat lover.

You keep calling me unrealistic, and maybe I am, but I stick to my principles and I calls them as I sees them. I must ask, hows your system workin' baby? Not too fuckin' well I see.


BTW, I am on record many times that gridlock, an even 50-50 split of Congress, is the best we can hope for. I have said many times, if the federal government can't get anything done, we all fucking win!

Lou said...


If you Truly believe gridlock is the way to go, then why can't you understand we need more republicans in congress? You seem lost at the idea I believe republicans will pick up seats in 2010. Wouldn't that create gridlock? It sure isn't there know.

Could it be possible you have no problem with one party control of the Legislative and executive branches? Not to mention the banking and auto industry? You seem very inconsistent here.



I will try one more time.

I realize more Republicans in Congress would produce the desired gridlock, but if you don't know, I come from Arizona where both of our Senators are Republicans and the majority of our Representatives are Republicans including the district I live in. So my not voting for Republicans doesn't hurt your cause.

What I don't understand is why you think I should vote for Republicans. Reps have proven, just recently, they cannot stay with a budget, they shit on the Constitution as much as the Dems (but only a different color, a yellow runny babyshit kinda color, as opposed to green semi-soft turds Dems smear upon our Founding Documents), they are intent on getting God into government, they have a Neo-Con segment, they want to impose their views(gay marriage, drug usage, etc) on everyone else, they cannot be trusted with my money or my country, they go overboard on the law and order to the detriment of liberty and I cannot stand the sight of them.

I hold the same contempt for the Dems, and for many of the same reasons. They want a strong central government(and guess what the Reps do to, once they got it), they want to control healthcare, industry, markets, eating habits(Reps like controlling our sexual habits), what cars we drive, they believe in changing citizen's behviour through taxation, they want a return of the Fairness Doctrine and to generally be the nanny to all of us.

I believe in individual liberty; the kind envisioned by our Founding Fathers. Neither party believes the same, so why should I vote for them.

I will tell you I have voted for a Republican once and a Democrat once. I voted Republican when trying to keep Evan Mecham from becoming Governor of Arizona by voting for George Schultz(arcane local Arizona politics, I know) and I voted for Sen. Kerry against GW in '04. Alot of fucking good that did me huh? Both were losses.

A libertarian thinker, I think it was Brink Lindsay, said it best, and I paraphrase, liberals want to work in the 1950's and live today and conservatives want to live in the 1950's and work in today's time. I could give a shit, I want freedom, the freedom to live my life the way I want(without infringing on others rights, don'tcha know) and be personally responsible for whatever happens. Is that too much to ask?

And your blaming the current administration(as misdirected as it is)for the takeover of our banking and auto industries is a GIGANTIC HUNK OF BULLSHIT as this was all started by a Republican administration with a majority of Republican(and Democratic, of course)Congressmen in tow. They are all to blame. Obama is just flowing with the river of shit that has been flowing out of Washington since FDR!

csm said...

You paint a beautiful picture Bawdy. In my mind's eye I see Obama and Dodd and Pelosi and W and Cheney atop a tidal wave of shit on the Potomac... aaaaaahhh... it smells like freedom to me!

Lou said...

First, never claimed you should vote republican. Claiming you want gridlock while seeming confused why others think we need more republicans there is not consistent.

Second, because Bush started something so stupid IS NO REASON TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY WITH OBAMA WHEN HE ESCALATES THE BS.

Remember? Change we can believe in? I want my change back.

csm said...

Lou, you are just ridiculous. If your statements weren't so stupid they'd just be laughable.


OK, Lou, what do you want me to do, shill for the Republicans? After what I have said about this group of individuals. Why, that would be plain, unadulterated prostitution, Lou......

So what exactly do you want me to do?

csm said...

I am not a fan of government buying an automaker. That said, I think Obama did exactly the correct thing. Nuances and situational decisions need to be factored into our analysis. Would the USA be better off with no automaking capability? Should we just cede it all to China and Japan and Europe and then be fucked up the ass the next time we need big manufacturing during wartime?

And what of the man, many jobs that are being saved by saving GM? I think this is a good thing, too!

G said...

GM isn't being "saved". They're filing for bankruptcy... which is exactly what would have happened months ago if the fed hadn't intervened by throwing cash at them. The "bailout" did nothing more than briefly stave off the inevitable and give the govt leverage to push their wishes on helpless investors.

Bankruptcy doesn't necessarily mean a company disappears. It's often a reorganization process used to right the ship after years of stupid decisions. But even if they DID cease to exist, that doesn't mean that America doesn't manufacture cars any longer. Usually, the solvent manufacturers buy up the assets and put out a better product.

When we refuse to allow a bad company to fail and die, all we do is ensure mediocrity for the foreseeable future.


Good points, G.

One thing I have not heard is an interview from some auto worker in the South, whether Honda or Toyota, about his federal taxes being used for bailing out his company's competitor, a competitor who's shoulder blades are pinned to the mat.

Lou said...

Chavez applauded Obama and his take over of the auto industry. After the way bond holders got screwed and the unions made out like bandits, I don't see foreign or domestic money pouring in to invest. Obama has hurt this nation in 6 months more than any president in history.

Bawdy as far as Republicans and Democrats you do what you like my friend. I bet when Bush was in office you complained for a solid 8 years. I don't think you have grasped the damage Obama has caused during his tenure.

You just strike me as one who is now enamored with Obama while at the same time a Libertarian. I am heavily involved as a Libertarian and that is atypical. That was the only point.

BTW, LBJ was probably the worst president in history by a landslide followed by Johnson and Grant. Bush is but a top ten candidate.

G said...

Case in point:

Capitalism, And Roger Penske, To The Rescue

Incidentally, when it comes to "worst president", I'm only willing to discuss my lifetime. Anyone who doesn't have Jimmy Carter at the absolute bottom of their list must have been massively medicated during those four years.


The unions haven't made out like bandits; they are now part owners of this dying dinosaur. That doesn't look like making out like a bandit to me. They should have taken the union dues they amassed in the 50's and 60's and bought stock in GM when it was worth something and then they would have had some power to make executive decisions, maybe even a seat on the board. This would have given them valuable experience at running a company such as GM. But alas, they were enamored with their hard won confrontational stance and now it has come back to bite them.

And, Lou, I have a strong distaste with the direction Obama is taking this country. Apparently, the verbiage I use isn't strong enough for you, but just the same, Obama has taken our free market society and decided he knows best for the rest of us. He wants to do the same for the healthcare industry and he wants to choose which industries are going to be winners and losers, all without the experience needed to make market decisions. Hell, he is an academic(nothing wrong with being intellectual, but that doesn't mean you have the real-world answers for all questions)and lifelong public servant. He is used to the government and is comfortable in that setting. He believes the government can solve all of our problems and apparently our shell-shocked citizenry beaten down by government fear mongering is now willing to let him do it. I find this dichotomy an anathema to our Founding Documents. Now maybe I have been a little more clear about my stance towards the current administration and you can finally see I AM NO OBAMA LOVER!

Lastly, Lou, my friend, with your comment about GWB being on your top ten list, you sir are atypical when it comes to Libertarianism. I defy you to come up with one bona fide Libertarian who would agree with you. Would a George Will pick GWB over Obama, maybe, maybe not, but he would certainly not put him in his top ten category unless it is the top ten Constitutional abusers.

My point to you is that Obama is just extrapolating the policies of his predecessor(in your top ten no less)which leads me to one conclusion you are the biggest hypocrites on this site, my friend.

Lou said...

Bawdyscot if you look closer Bush is in my top ten worst presidents list. C'mon, did you really think he was a top ten in my best list. Geez!

It is still early but Obama is on his way to number one at this rate. He threaten to take us to the nation's first ever bankruptcy. I also never knew we were one of the world's largest muslim nations.

G, Carter is within my top five worst list. I have been a student of presidential history since my college years. Most who call for Bush as being the worst know nothing of our past presidents. Most don't realize how close Lincoln came to being the worst ever but alas he is typically considered a top three best.


Sorry, after reading your paragraph again, I can see your intent. My bad.

Most academics when asked about ranking the greatest Presidents have got soft spots for men who have taken unConstitutional power grabs. Presidents who have done the job Constitutionally, i.e. stayed within the realm of executing the law as prescribed by Congress, get low numbers. I guess playing policeman and staying out of the way of legal citizen exploits just isn't that exciting. And when a sitting President is worried about his legacy, damn, it is time to start a war!

Carter was bad, no doubt, but I rate Presidents by how they follow the Presidential Oath. Carter was as unlucky a President as Clinton was a lucky one. Though much of what Carter instituted was terrible, the timing of his Presidency, the playing out the string on Keynesian economics, the second wave of oil shocks and the doldrums we experienced after Vietnam and Watergate, surely put Carter behind the eight ball. I am not sure anybody could have done well with that hand.

Ceroill said...

I've always been of the thought that Carter had the bad luck to be an idealist out of his depth. His ideals may be at odds with yours, but I have always been convinced he tried to act on his conscience rather than playing the games that make things actually happen in Washington. Since he couldn't or wouldn't play their corrupt games he couldn't get anything done.

G said...

Bad luck is one thing. Add a large measure of incompetence, a few dashes of naively bad policy, and a pinch of malaise... and you have Jimmy Carter.


Jimmy Carter, as nice a guy as he seems to be, also had an expansionist view of Presidential power. One example, the Department of Education.


But to add, Carter wasn't nearly as destructive to the Constitution as FDR or Woodrow Wilson. Hell, Nixon too.

G said...

By the way, back to the issue of GM. If the last numbers I read are correct, they employ around 100,000 people. They have received around $50 billion in bailout money. So rather than bailing out the company (delaying the bankruptcy by less than a year), the govt could have just let the company fail. Even if GM completely disappeared, they could have used the same money to give a half million to each employee to soften the blow of their new unemployment situation. That's probably at least 4 years' salary while they look for a new job.

And that's the competent leadership that expects to turn the company around?

Ceroill said...

G- that's a lot of what I meant when I said he was out of his depth. Being a state governor is one thing. Being president is a different order of magnitude in the game of politics. He just wasn't cut out for the job, unfortunately for him.

Anonymous said...

Bawdyscot the president who best protected state rights and minimized the role of the Federal government was Jefferson. You don't typically see him in the top five or even top ten. He was actually criticized for taking steps to reduce the debt, by that I mean actually reducing debt not talking about it.

If carter was ill prepared then what does that say about a city activist for president? At least carter governed a state! I agree with Bawdyscot, Carter like Lincoln was dealt a terrible hand.


Jefferson has been and will always be my number one President. He had his warts like any President, but he embodies the intent of the Constitution more than just about any other, except maybe Washington.

Ceroill said...

From what little we've seen of him so far (less than six months), I'd say Obama is much better than Carter was at playing the Washington games.
Does this mean I think he's (going to be) a great pres? Or even a good one? I don't know yet. Too soon to tell for certain, though I am rather disturbed at some of what's come so far.
He's just more adept at being a national grade politician is all. For one thing he's a really good orator, and obviously has some darned good writers on staff. He does a good speech. That's a very very important skill in a national or international level politician, much more so than in a municipal or state politician (though it doesn't hurt them either)