Sotomayor: The Emerging Picture of Judicial Activism

bill_of_rights_pg1of1_ac

Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution

A disturbing picture of judicial activism is shaping up over President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick, Sonia Sotomayor.

By now many of us have heard the despicable statement Sotomayor made in which she made it clear that she expects the courts to “make policy,” usurping the role of the legislative and judicial branches (see video below).

She also provided a disturbing ruling in Didden v. Port Chester which was a property rights case involving the egregious use of eminent domain to take private property. According to Richard Epstein, her ruling in this case makes Justice Stevens and his infamous 2005 Kelo v. City of New London case “look like a paradigmatic defender of strong property rights.”

The Washington Times also reports that Sotomayor has a 60% reversal rate by the higher court. Tell me: if you had an employee who got it wrong 60% of the time, how long would you keep them around? If you were a teacher who had a student who got 40% of their work right, would you pass them on to the next higher grade?

And there is the discouraging Ricci Connecticut firefighters case where the city tested several firefighters for promotion, but when the results revealed that “too many” white firefighters would be promoted, they tossed the test results and wouldn’t promote them. Sotomayor sided with the city in this blatant example of willful institutional discrimination.

Then there is her 2001 speech in which she made comments that were racist, sexist, and betray a bias totally inappropriate for a judge:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life”…”Our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”

Contrary to President Obama’s delusions, it is not the job of a judge to “balance the books” or display “empathy” or “dispense social justice.”  The personal background of a judge is irrelevant when that judge is looking to the law and the Constitution as the measure of proper adjudication.

The very Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States recognized thousands of years ago the need for objective justice over “empathy” and human attempts to “balance the books” at another person’s expense:

Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit (Exodus 23:2-3)

Republicans already have a firm case upon which to stand in opposing this nomination (as do Democrats, if they are also interested in upholding their oath to protect and defend the Constitution). There has been and already is far, far, far too much judicial activism in our court system (at all levels), and we certainly do not need more of it.

What America needs is judges who will ignore their personal feelings, their biases, and their political and ideological agendas and stick with the law. Judges are sworn to uphold the Constitution, and that is the only measuring stick they should be concerned with when judging.

It has already become clear that Sotomayor is far too concerned with her personal opinions of exacting revenge and “balancing the books” and dispensing social justice over the fair and equal application of the law.

After these examples of bias and judicial activism, we cannot by any measure reasonably expect Sotomayor to suddenly put them aside and adjudicate correctly on the nation’s highest court.  She should be rejected and the Senate should demand from President Obama a nominee who who will follow the Constitution and shun judicial activism.

SOTOMAYOR ON “WHERE POLICY IS MADE”
(She jokes about it, but the implication even of the joking is clear: “We all know that this is where policy is really made.”)

6 Responses to “Sotomayor: The Emerging Picture of Judicial Activism”

  1. Conservatives on the supreme court have a much higher rate of overturning decisions made by congress. They are the real judicial activists. Your idea that white males are or can be impartial is in itself a bias that is truly blind. Everyone brings life experience to what they do. If you read Sotomayers decisions on religious liberty, that SHOULD give you a better opinion of her, but I believe that you are just too biased to acknowledge anything positive about this remarkable woman.

  2. Your statement that “conservatives” on the Supreme Court have a higher rate of overturning laws made by congress is not based on the standard of the Constitution, but on the assumption that those laws themselves are Constitutional.

    The sad reality is that most of the laws coming out of congress today–and for decades–are NOT Constitutional. Every law made by congress which is does not fall within the powers granted to that body by Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution are illegal and unconstitutional. Unfortunately that characterizes most of the laws coming out of congress.

    I'll say it again. The Constitution is the measure of all laws in the United States. It is the highest law of our land, and any law which is contradictory to what it says or that assumes powers not specifically granted to congress (i.e. Article 1 Section 8, 10th Amendment) are not constitutional and Supreme Court justices have a duty to overturn them.

    Skin color, economic background, etc. are irrelevant in the law and before the law.

  3. “The Washington Times also reports that Sotomayor has a 60% reversal rate by the higher court. Tell me: if you had an employee who got it wrong 60% of the time, how long would you keep them around? If you were a teacher who had a student who got 40% of their work right, would you pass them on to the next higher grade?”

    Note that that's 60% *of her cases that went to the Supreme Court* – which is far, far *lower* than the 75% average of cases overturned by the Supreme Court. Also, Judge Sotomayor has been a part of well over 350 majority opinions, of which three have been overturned. Tell me, if you have an employee who gets it right over 99% of the time…you know the rest…

  4. Michael, where will your beloved judicial activist be working if her nomination is confirmed? At the same place that overturned 60% of her cases that came there.

    Translation (for the reasonable, that is): she isn't ready to run with the big dogs…or to adjudicate in accordance with the Constitution.

  5. Michael, where will your beloved judicial activist be working if her nomination is confirmed? At the same place that overturned 60% of her cases that came there.

    Translation (for the reasonable, that is): she isn't ready to run with the big dogs…or to adjudicate in accordance with the Constitution.