What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 26, 2009

Obama's Pick of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court

President Barak Obama announced his nomination of the first ever Latina for the Supreme Court today: Sonia Sotomayor.

Wingnuts started smearing her even before the official announcement.

They've labeled the summa cum laude graduate of Princeton and J.D. grad of Yale Law School (where she was also an editor of the Yale Law Journal) as stupid.

They're saying that Obama had to pick an Hispanic and a woman to further diminish her accomplishments (because it doesn't count that for the first couple of hundred years presidents had to nominate white males).

And, they're saying that as a person of color she can't be trusted to make rulings on race (apparently only white people can be trusted to make those types of rulings).

It would be extremely depressing to listen to if it were not for the fact that she'll likely prevail and sit on the court.


UPDATE: Mike Huckabee objects to Obama's pick of 'Maria' Sotomayor. (Maria, Rosa, whatever...you know, the Spanish chick...probably an illegal too.)


Sherry said...

i took my mom to lunch at kings in the waterworks mall after her doc visit today. all of the tv's had FOX on and the coverage of this was so shameful i didn't want to eat. then they started on prop 8 and it was all i could do to keep smiling and talking with my mom to keep her spirits up before her dental surgery tomorrow.

i could just scream.

Maria said...


Check out my update: Huckabee referred to her as "Maria."

Everything he knows about Latinos was apparently learned from West Side Story.

EvilPoet said...

They were for Sonia Sotomayer before they were against her...

New Justice nominee was originally a Bush appointee.

Laurie Mann said...

Hey, look at the great rulings on racial justice Clarence Thomas has made! ;->

Sotomayor looks like a good candiate and I hope everything goes well for her.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Sotomayor: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life."

Let's re-word this: "I would hope that a wise white male with the richness of his experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina female who hasn’t lived that life."

Question: Which one is racist?

Answer: The first one... because the second was never spoken... and probably would never be.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Not going well for Sotomayor: "But the coup de grĂ¢ce may have come last night when Sotomayor bashing traveled outside the beltway, and on to the Late Show, where David Letterman portrayed Sotomayor as a Spanish-speaking version of Judge Judy.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Judge Sotomayor’s personal views may cloud her jurisprudence. As Judge Sotomayor explained in a 2002 speech at Berkeley, she believes it is appropriate for a judge to consider their “experiences as women and people of color” in their decisionmaking, which she believes should “affect our decisions.”

Hmmmm... nothing about the Constitution. Figures... typical liberal activist... especially a practitioner of Reverse Discrimination (see Ricci v. DeStefano, involving a group of 19 white firefighters and one Hispanic firefighter who filed suit in 2003 claiming that the city of New Haven, Conn., engaged in racial discrimination when it threw out the results of two promotion tests because none of the city’s black applicants had passed the tests).

SCOTUS will reverse Sotomayor's decision. Would be poetic justice to have that decision reversed shortly.. just in the middle of the process. Sweet.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Let's see...

Liberals praising a liberal activist Latina female as a historic choice. Liberals lambasting a Conservative Hispanic male (Estrada).

Liberals praising Sotomayor's hard upbringing. Liberals poo-pooing a Conservative black man's upbringing (Clarence Thomas).

No agendas there. No hypocrisy. None. Right.

Joshua said...

OK, now we know for certain: CM is indeed, beyond any doubt at all, our old Hussein John K.

Maria said...

Oh right, because a Scalia never brings his religion to the table ("The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible.") and Roberts has no bent towards authoritarianism (In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff.) and, of course Bush v. Gore was in no way a political ruling even though the Supremes said it could only applied to that case.

Yes, right-wing, white males come to the table absolutely free of any biases because they are the norm and anything or anyone else is the scary other.

ryanbiddulph said...

She has a very inspirational story. Maybe a little left for my taste but I commend her nonetheless.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Joshua... Buzzzzt. Wrong. I am NOT John K.

Thanks for playing. Please pick a prize from the bottom shelf.

Sherry said...

everyone sees life thru their own experiences. but she is far more conservative than liberal. as to the firefighter's she and republican judges went by the letter of the law as it was written even tho they all disagreed with that law!

therefore, she isn't one of those "activist " judges that the right wing rails agianst and says that they make laws instead of ruling on them. she and the others made their decion based ON the law on the books.

watch something other than FOX, read some of her decisions, especially THAT one before you parrot Ffox and limbaugh.

Ol' Froth said...

If a Democratic president nominated John Roberts or Sam Alito, Republicans would oppose the nomination.

Andrew said...

Uh, Sherry, Sotomayor herself said that judges make law rather than interpret it. The right wing didn't even have to make that one up.

Maria said...

Uh, Andrew, Sotomayor did NOT herself say that judges make law rather than interpret it. You made that one up.

Here's what she actually said -- all of it -- not one line:

SOTOMAYOR: The saw is that if you're going into academia, you're going to teach, or as Judge Lucero just said, public interest law, 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. And I know -- and I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law, I know. OK, I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it, I'm -- you know. OK. Having said that, the court of appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating -- its interpretation, its application. And Judge Lucero is right. I often explain to people, when you're on the district court, you're looking to do justice in the individual case. So you are looking much more to the facts of the case than you are to the application of the law because the application of the law is non-precedential, so the facts control. On the court of appeals, you are looking to how the law is developing, so that it will then be applied to a broad class of cases. And so you're always thinking about the ramifications of this ruling on the next step in the development of the law. You can make a choice and say, "I don't care about the next step," and sometimes we do. Or sometimes we say, "We'll worry about that when we get to it" -- look at what the Supreme Court just did. But the point is that that's the differences -- the practical differences in the two experiences are the district court is controlled chaos and not so controlled most of the time.

Then, there's this from Media Matters:

Moreover, according to NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams' report from the previous day, "[E]ven some conservatives and followers of strict constructionism have said that [Sotomayor] was only stating the obvious: that trial judges, district court judges, decide only the cases before them, and that appeals courts, because they are the, you know, above the other courts, do set policy; they do make precedent that governs the other courts."

Dave said...

After referring to Judge Sotomayor as "Maria", Huckabee then went on to express his sympathies to her because her brother Bernardo was stabbed to death during a rumble between The Sharks and The Jets.

Maria said...


Andrew said...

I am familiar with the entire quote, not just the one sentence, and what remains is that Sotomayor's statement is vastly overreaching. The court of appeals establishes precedent, not policy. As we will see shortly in the Ricci case, the court of appeals is always subject to a final decision by SCOTUS. So how exactly, is Sotomayor making policy? The court of appeals, like any court, is simply interpreting the law, and that interpretation is always subject to revision or even reversal by itself or higher courts. I appreciate her attempts to attempts to justify her statement after realizing her tremendous gaffe (particularly enjoyable when accompanied by her nervous laughter on the video clip) but the fact remains that she has apparent notions of grandeur and glaring misconceptions concerning her own role (and the role of the judiciary in general) in the political process. It seems to indicate that Sonia feels that the law is subject to her personal discretion (because, after all, she "makes" policy), rather than intended Constitutional or Congressional application.

Maria said...


Is it "vastly overreaching" when someone else says the exact same thing? If someone else said it would they have "apparent notions of grandeur and glaring misconceptions"?

How about if that someone is ANTONIN SCALIA?

He said the following:

"Not only do state-court judges possess the power to "make" common law, but they have the immense power to shape the States' constitutions as well."


"Even if the policy making capacity of judges were limited to courts of last resort, that would only prove that the announce clause fails strict scrutiny."


"In fact, however, the judges of inferior courts often "make law," since the precedent of the highest court does not cover every situation, and not every case is reviewed."

Will you now condemn Scalia as you have Sotomayor? I mean after all Scalia actually said "make law" and Sotomayor said "make policy."

Maria said...

So for those keeping score, the following justices must immediately leave office:

1) Clarence Thomas for his EMPATHY.

2) Alito for his reliance on IDENITY POLITICS.

3) Scalia for claiming that judges MAKE LAW.

Do you guys need any help making your protest signs against them?

Joy said...

A Texan speaking to Texans will praise a Texas upbringing as an integral part of their moral compass. You can substitute pretty much any group for "Texan/Texas" in that statement, and no one gives a hoot.

Absent any evidence at all that Sotomayor favors latinas in her judicial decisions--and we all know there's no such evidence--this is a lot of lip-flapping, with little behind it. (That firefighter's ruling? Anyone remember that she ruled against a group made up of white and latino firefighters?)

Besides, consider how often the rights of latinas come before the supreme court. Even if Sotomayor were biased in favor of hispanic women--which she isn't-- that would come into play incredibly rarely. Most of the time, she'll be hearing cases brought by a couple of non-latina lawyers, representing the interests of non-latina individuals, and non-latina-run corporations, vs. the interests of the mostly non-latina US population.

I'm not sure how she's supposed to inject bias under those circumstances. "I find that the defendant's property rights against undue seizure were violated--except if the seizure was done by a latina agent"? "It's legal to search a 13 year-old's underwear for tylenol--unless she's latina"? Sorry, I don't see the relevance.