When what’s left is right.
How does one ask questions of an Untouchable?
A host of Democrats, from U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer to U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, have warned that critics should be very careful about how to talk about or question Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, considering her Latina heritage. Nevertheless, her record is so replete with hugely controversial speeches and rulings, especially involving her strongly and oft-expressed views about the superior judging abilities of Latina women and the extra benefits due to certain ethnicities, that some senators rightly feel a duty to probe those controversies for the public’s benefit.
Fortunately, we already know what sorts of public statements about and questions for Judge Sotomayor, particularly for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, are presumptively valid. And we know that being somewhat repetitive is perfectly acceptable in order to really make the points and leave no room for error. Here are some of those presumptively valid comments:
1) This has no bearing on our view of her as a person. This is how we do it here, because many of us believe the views are more important or just as important or certainly very important… and we have to elicit those views. My worries about Judge Sotomayor’s record are based on statements she made, not based on that of any group…. In a way, unfortunately, her views seem to be an unfortunate stitching together of the worst parts of the most troubling judges we have seen thus far. I would say this, the one nominee she does not seem to resemble is Miguel Estrada….
We respect her candor. Candor is necessary, but not sufficient, at least in my view, in terms of approving a nominee. And I know that, and I have an expectation, that you will answer our questions about those views.
But I will say this, and I would caution my colleagues, it is just not enough to say, “I will follow the law.” Every nominee says that. And then we find when they get to the bench they have many different ways of following the law. And what I worry about, I do not like nominees too far left or too far right, because ideologues tend to want to make law, not do what the Founding Fathers said judges should do, interpret the law.
And in Judge Sotomayor’s case her beliefs are so well known, so deeply held, that it is very hard to believe, very hard to believe that they are not going to deeply influence the way she comes about saying, “I will follow the law,” and that would be true of anybody who had very, very deeply held views.
So a person’s views matter. There is a degree of subjectivity, especially in close cases and controversies on hot-button issues, and it is hard to believe that the incredibly strong ideology of this nominee will not impact how she rules if confirmed.
We will get into much of this when we have an opportunity to question the nominee, but I do want to take a moment to review some of the remarks that seem more disturbing that Judge Sotomayor has made and some of the more worrisome positions she has taken.
For a judge to set aside his or her personal views, the commitment to the rule of law must clearly supersede his or her personal agenda. That is something some can pull off, but not everybody can.
Based on the comments Judge Sotomayor has made on this subject, I have got some real concerns that she cannot, because she feels these views so deeply and so passionately.
I am deeply concerned that any man who comes before you, seeking to vindicate his rights, his constitutional rights as defined by the Supreme Court, will have a tough time finding objectivity with Sonia Sotomayor.
Judge Sotomayor has been one of the staunchest advocates of … efforts to roll back the clock, not just to the 1930s, but even to the 1880s, to an anti-gun decision in that decade.
She is an ardent supporter of an activist Supreme Court agenda…. It appears that only when the judge likes the outcome, she is on the States’ rights side….
She was the driving force behind the Norville case in which a nurse contracted a disability, took time off to deal with her illness, and when she returned found that in [alleged] violation of the ADA she had been demoted. Judge Sotomayor believed the State university hospital where she worked had every right to demote Ms. Norville [on at least two of her three claims]… and managed to convince two fellow judges to agree with her.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online