TO: JCN Members and Interested Parties
FROM: Wendy Long, Counsel to JCN
DATE: May 26, 2009
RE: Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor
• President Obama has threatened to nominate liberal judicialactivists who will indulge their left-wing policy preferences insteadof neutrally applying the law. In selecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his
Supreme Court nominee, President Obama has carried out his threat.
• Judge Sotomayor will allow her feelings and personal politics tostand in the way of basic fairness. In a recent case, Ricci v.DeStefano, Sotomayor sided with a city that used raciallydiscriminatory practices to deny promotions to firefighters. The percuriam opinion Sotomayor joined went so far out of its way to bury thefirefighters’ important claims of unfair treatment that her colleague,Judge Jose Cabranes, a Clinton appointee, chastised her.
o According to Judge Cabranes, Sotomayor’s opinion “contains noreference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at he core of thiscase” and its “perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weightyissues presented by this appeal.” Even the liberal Washington Postcolumnist Richard Cohen expressed disappointment with the case,stating, “Ricci is not just a legal case but a man who has been deprived of the pursuit of happiness on account of race.”
o Sotomayor’s terrible decision in Ricci is under review by the Supreme Court and an opinion is expected by the end of June.
• Sotomayor readily admits that she applies her feelings andpersonal politics when deciding cases. In a 2002 speech at Berkeley,she stated that she believes it is appropriate for a judge to consider their “experiences as women and people of color,” which she believesshould “affect our decisions.” She went on to say in that same speech“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than awhite male who hasn’t lived that life.”
She reiterated her commitmentto that lawless judicial philosophy at Duke Law School in 2005 when shestated that the “Court of Appeals is where policy is made.”
• The poor quality of Sotomayor’s decisions is reflected in her terrible record of reversals by the Supreme Court.
• Sotomayor is a favorite of far left special interest groups. Inaddition to her record as a hard left judicial activist, Sotomayor hasbeen recommended for the Supreme Court by Nan Aron of the very liberalAlliance for Justice, who stated in a 2004 memo to the Senate JudiciaryCommittee that Sotomayor had “been through an initial vetting and fitinto the criteria that we believe should be the standard for any Supreme Court justice.”
• The White House is sure to argue that Sotomayor is a “bipartisanpick” because Bush 41 appointed her to the district court: PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush nominated Sotomayor in 1991 only because the New Yorksenators had forced on the White House a deal that enabled SenatorMoynihan to name one of every four district court nominees in New York.In 1998, 29 Republican senators voted against President Clinton’snomination of Sotomayor to the Second Circuit.