Who is Sonia Sotomayor, and what does her record say about her?

President Obama has settled on his Supreme Court Nominee after considering his short list of half a dozen or more candidates.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, out of New York, to which she was appointed by President Clinton. She would be the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court if her nomination is approved.

There is a great deal of controversy about this woman who has been a judge since 1992.  It took me several days to cull through dozens of internet sources to find the details behind the “one-liners” about Ms. Sotomayor that have been thrown around.  I was frustrated to see that very few sources talked about the substance of the issues or the context of the quotes that have come down over the years.

I decided to create a table with the pros and cons of her positions and career decisions to see if I could make sense of all the material.  From many of the columns I read, Judge Sotomayor comes across with liberal tendencies that seem much to the left of the majority of the US citizens, but there were some scenarios in which I appreciated her stand.

Currently, her nomination is before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which needs to vote on her before she can be interviewed in the Senate Confirmation Hearings.  She has also been given a 10-page document for her to provide in-depth information on numerous aspects of her personal and professional life.  You can view the blank questionnaire, along with the completed forms and hearing transcripts from her other two appointments.  When the current questionnaire has been returned, it will be posted on the same site.

Regarding the confirmation process, there appears to be four parts:  The Judiciary Committee review of the judge’s questionnaire, Judiciary Committee vote on continuing the confirmation process, the confirmation hearings in the full Senate, and the vote by the full Senate.  In order for the matter to pass through the Judiciary Committee to the Senate, a Procedural Rule must be followed:

Rule IV of the Rules of Procedure United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary states: “The Chairman shall entertain a non-debatable motion to bring a matter before the Committee to a vote. If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate, a roll call vote of the Committee shall be taken, and debate shall be terminated if the motion to bring the matter to a vote without further debate passes with ten votes in the affirmative, one of which must be cast by the minority.”

Therefore, if all seven of the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee were to vote “No” on the  on the motion to bring the matter to a vote, the nomination could die in the committee.

 

Here is a list of the members of the Judiciary Committee. Now is the time to contact them and urge them to look at the facts of the case. If Sonia Sotomayor turns out to be a ultra-liberal as many fear that she will, there is great cause for alarm, as she will have opportunity to “legislate from the bench” perhaps for 30-40 years.  Perhaps the the most persuasive argument that Judge Sotomayor is too liberal even for the Supreme Court is the record of her appellate court decisions which were appealed to the Supreme Court.  Five cases have gone to the highest court, three have already been overturned, one is likely to be overturned this month, and another one is just now being filed.  If this liberal leaning court does not stand with her, there is a grave question of whether she is the right person to be a justice for this court. 
 
Interpreting the Constitution in the spirit in which it was written should be one of the foundational requirements of a Supreme Court Justice.


 

One Response

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