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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

OBAMA PICKS SONIA SOTOMAYOR FOR SCOTUS

Barack Obama has made his selection to replace Justice David Souter at The Supreme Court. Obama has tapped Federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor. The pick is no great surprise as she was considered the top candidate by most after Souter announced his retirement several weeks ago.

Sotomayor would become the second woman on the Court joining Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the first Hispanic, which is likely one of the major reasons that Obama chose her. Being the first Hispanic on the Court will be a significant part of the Obama legacy just as choosing Sandra Day O'Connor as the first woman on the Court became a significant part of the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

Unlike Reagan whose choice of O'Connor was based on the excellent Judicial record of a Judge who also was a woman, Obama's selection of Sotomayor is based much more on her ethnicity and sex rather than Judicial accomplishments. Obama also stated that he was looking for a person who had, "empathy," toward single mothers and minorities.

On the appeals court Sotomayor has been involved in only a few significant decisions that will cause some controversy during her confirmation hearings. She ruled against an abortion rights group in 2002 that had challenged a government policy prohibiting foreign organizations receiving U.S. funds from performing or supporting abortions. She stated that the government had the right to favor an anti-abortion opinion since it was government money being used.

She also ruled with the city of New Haven, Conn. against white firefighters who had filed a discrimination case after taking a promotion exam in which the city threw out the results because there were not enough minorities represented in the testing.

Sotomayor has a liberal record throughout her 16 years on the bench. Her first appointment to the bench was by George H. W. Bush and the appointment to the Federal Appeals Court was by Bill Clinton. During that confirmation hearing she stated, "I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it."

Which would make one believe that she is a strict Constitutionalist when making her opinions on the court. But a more recent statement made in a video during a panel discussion Sotomayor asserted that she believed that the court was where, "policy is made," which enforces her record as a more activist Judge.

In fact many of her colleagues consider her somewhat of a judicial light weight who lectures from the bench rather than simply upholding the law and interpreting the letter of the law as expressed in the Constitution.

As far as her placement on the Supreme Court, she is replacing a Justice in Souter whose record at SCOTUS has been very liberal and as such her opinions will not change the make up of the Court from it present configuration.

I will state though that I do not believe that threats by some in the GOP of filibustering this nomination should be carried out for filibusters sake only. Elections have consequences and good or bad one of those consequences is that the sitting President Constitutionally has the authority to chose Federal Court nominees with the, "advice and consent, " only of the Senate.

Conservatives have complained justifiably when Presidential appointments to the Courts by Republican Presidents were held up, filibustered and even routed by Democrats in the Senate whose only reason for derailing an appointee was because it came from a GOP President. One of the most disgusting examples of this was the Ted Kennedy character destruction of Robert Bork who was appointed by President Reagan.

In fact the very reason that Souter was appointed by Bush 41 was to avoid the , "Borking," of another SCOTUS pick by the Democrat Congress so Bush chose someone with a minimal paper trail who turned into one of the most liberal Judges on the Court. Another example was the uncalled for attempt to destroy Clarence Thomas who was also appointed by Bush 41.

Throughout the entire eight year Presidency of Bush 43 several Judicial appointees never had the opportunity to be voted on because of Democrat filibusters of the nomination. This is not a time to, "get even," for the past by members of the GOP. Through the hearing process Sotomayor should be rightfully vetted but holding up the nomination for pure political purpose is a trick used by Democrats and the GOP should not stoup to that level.

With a near 60 vote majority of Democrats and if you include Independent Joe Lieberman in the mix 60 votes are available, Sotomayor's nomination should breeze through the full Senate vote. While I do not like her past decisions her confirmation hearings should reflect Judicial qualifications rather than political maneuvering and filibusters for political sake only. If she meets Judicial qualifications, then regardless of political persuasion she should be confirmed. If her Judicial qualifications are not up to par then she should face defeat. Her Judiciary qualifications as with any Judge especially on the Supreme Court should always be the qualification for confirmation and selection to the Court.

Ken Taylor

7 Comments:

Blogger Golfmanjeff said...

The career jurist nominated by "President Obama would be the first Hispanic justice -- and only the third woman justice -- in the history of the nation's highest court.

Those distinctions make Sotomayor's confirmation by the Democratic-majority Senate virtually certain, analysts say."

How about her qualifications as a judge?

1:15 PM, May 26, 2009  
Blogger Red said...

I guess minorities who get promoted based on ethnicity and gender rather than merit or skill will taker what they can get any way they can. I'd be proud of that accomplishment. NOT.

6:58 AM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Gayle said...

She's definitely a shoo-in, Ken, and thank God she's not replacing a conservative judge. Please pray for the remainder of the judges to stay healthy during the next four years!

9:36 AM, May 27, 2009  
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