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FACT CHECK: Sotomayor tied abortion ban, slavery?

By MATT APUZZO, Associated Press Writer Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 15, 6:04 am ET

WASHINGTON – Abortion opponents saw their issue take center stage when Sen. Lindsey Graham questioned Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor about her 12-year tenure with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

In particular, the South Carolina Republican asked Tuesday about legal briefs the group filed arguing for an expansion of abortion rights. In one of those cases, Graham said, the group claimed that denying a woman access to an abortion was a form of slavery. Sotomayor said she never read those briefs, an assertion that abortion opponents say is hard to believe.

A look at the facts of the case:

     The wise Latina woman appeared on Capitol Hill, and Sen. Leahy began the “dog and pony” show that is being choreographed for the benefit of the American public. But if this process is to be truly sincere, truly honest to the Constitution, then Sen. Lindsey Graham’s statement that “elections have consequences” is false. The young Sen. from Illinois, now the President, didn’t see it that way when he voted against the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts, not on his record or his qualifications, but because he did not think that Roberts would have the empathy that would be needed to affect social justice.

        From “America’s Right”:

                Voting against the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor will take a wealth of political courage. Giving Sotomayor a rough time with regard to the plethora of reasons why she should not sit on the United States Supreme Court will take even more.

It would be relatively easy for a senator to explain to his or her constituents that he or she look forward to a day when they could vote in favor of confirming a nominee who is both Hispanic and qualified. Explaining why they relentlessly pointed out overt, repeated acts of racism and judicial activism on her part—not to mention the several occasions where her decisions, rooted in a stark dearth of intelligence, were overturned by the Supreme Court—would be slightly more difficult.

Here are my questions for the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor:

  1. Is a Hispanic female party more or less likely to bring a bona fide grievance before the Court than a white male party?
  2. If you were in my shoes, and Chief Justice John Roberts were to have said, on several occasions, that he has been able to come to a better decision because of his life experiences and his being a white male judge than, say, a Hispanic or black or Native American female judge could, how fit would you consider him to be objectively adjudicating matters where the legal and constitutional issue, rather than the parties, are of the utmost importance?
  3. Most of your decisions which have reached the Court at which you aspire to sit have been overturned or otherwise scrutinized for your failure to properly interpret the law. With no court to review the Supreme Court, should the American people be confident you’ll get it right?

For the full list and article:

Cartoonist Chip Bok: Which Republican dares to take the first swing?

Few Quotable Quotes in Sotomayor Opinions; Was Ambition the Reason?

Posted May 27, 2009, 08:42 am CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is known for elaborately detailed opinions—with a couple curious exceptions.

In two hot-button cases involving gun rights and firefighters charging reverse discrimination, the New York-based appeals judge joined in short unsigned opinions, Politico reports.

In one of the cases now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, a three-judge panel of the New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that included Sotomayor issued a “remarkably cursory” unsigned opinion, the New York Times reports in a story highlighting one of the two opinions. Only one paragraph was devoted to reasoning.

In another unsigned opinion, Sotomayor joined with a panel that rejected a Second Amendment challenge to a New York law prohibiting the possession of a martial arts weapon, nunchuks, Politico says. The panel said the U.S. Supreme Court had not made clear in District of Columbia v. Heller whether the individual right to bear arms applied to the states.

Sotomayor’s other opinions, on the other hand, are more detailed, the Times says. They are “marked by diligence, depth and unflashy competence. If they are not always a pleasure to read, they are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship, which prizes careful attention to the facts in the record and a methodical application of layers of legal principles,” according to the newspaper.

“But they reveal no larger vision, seldom appeal to history and consistently avoid quotable language. Judge Sotomayor’s decisions are, instead, almost always technical, incremental and exhaustive, considering all of the relevant precedents and supporting even completely uncontroversial propositions with elaborate footnotes.”

The Rev. Barry Lynn told Politico he has had trouble learning about Sotomayor’s stance on church-state issues by reading her opinions. He questioned whether the elusiveness is intentional.

“You have to think about your public record and the public trail if you’re going to move up in the judiciary,” he told Politico. “And I think she’s savvy enough to have done so. It is a self-preservation pattern.” He added: “In this contentious era of every nomination becoming a political campaign I can understand why someone would choose to do that.”

The Associated Press has published excerpts from rulings and dissents by Sotomayor, including a ruling that says the government can withhold public funds as a way to favor the anti-abortion position. In a dissent, Sotomayor took a First Amendment position in a police firing case, the Times adds. Sotomayor argued a police officer’s alleged anonymous racist comments were hateful and insulting, but he should be allowed to pursue a suit claiming his firing was unconstitutional.

From Jeff Schreiber at :

Note the Blindfold, Mr. President
By Jeff Schreiber
America’s Right

Mr. President, Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason.

She is not to know of strife. She is not to know of circumstance. She is not to know of wealth or poverty, strength or weakness, education or illiteracy, gifted oratory or bumbling foolishness.

Obviously, Mr. President, you know not the role of the judiciary.

Your remarks today showed complete ignorance as to the designated function of two of the three branches of the very government you lead. You say that “justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook,” but it is. That “abstract legal theory,” Mr. President, is the United States Constitution, a document you have in the past derided as being fundamentally flawed. You say that justice is “about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives,” but you’re wrong. Making law is the role of legislators; a judge’s role is to interpret it and nothing more. You would know this, sir, if you had spent more time in the U.S. Senate actually legislating rather than preening and campaigning and planning your next move.

For Jeff’s full post:

     If a white man had addressed a conference in 2001 and stated that he as a white man was more qualified or better able to make judicial decisions, all things being equal, he would be labelled as a racist and mysoginist. But Pres. Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor said that her life experiences as a Latina woman qualified her to make better decisions than a white male. Shall we call this a double standard, there being no outcry over that?

       Add that to her YouTube comments, acknowledging her belief that judges DO MAKE POLICY, not simly interpret the law.

      In a recent decision, Judge Sotomayor sided with the City of New Haven in not promoting several firefighters because there were no minorities in the group that had passed the exam for the promotion. The Supreme Court that she may sit on has just heard the case at their level, but has not ruled.

     Sonia Sotomayor is being touted as the first Hispanic Justice, when in fact, she, like the great Justice Benjamin Cardozo, are both Hispanic– a term that began to be used in the Nixon era, replacing Latino. Because the media wants to tout her as a historic appointment, they have stated her to be the first Hispanic or first Latina, and the “second” Ibero-American…… FYI- they are basically the same! It might also be worth noting that it took over a year for the Senate to confirm her when Clinton appointed her to the Court of Appeals.