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Showing posts with label Sonia Sotomayor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sonia Sotomayor. Show all posts

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Justice Sotomayor Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Justice Sonia Sotomayor has temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other Roman Catholic nonprofit groups, to provide health insurance coverage for birth control.  They and other Catholic organizations use a health-plan known as the Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust. 

The Obama regime mandate was to go into effect on New Year's Day  The administration now has until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court.

We'd like to think that some stirring of right reason, a Catholic conscience formed by family or the Sisters of Charity at Spellman High School, may have played a role in Madam Justice Sotomayor's deliberations.  It is encouraging to see one of Obama's own appointees standing up for the "one eternal and unchangeable law."  We hope, too, that this intervention will encourage massive civil disobedience to the regime's unprecedented assault on freedom of conscience.

The groups’ lawsuit is one of many challenging the federal requirement for contraceptive coverage, but a decision on the merits of the case by the full Supreme Court could have broader implications.  We hope that the Court will ultimately uphold the rights of conscience and religious liberty for all Americans and not merely those Church-affiliated groups bringing these lawsuits.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lindsey Graham Paved the Way for Supreme Court Ruling

Richard Cash says Graham Should be held Accountable for Supreme Court ruling on Marriage

Elena Kagan with Lindsey Graham, her only Republican supporter on the Judiciary Committee.

Anderson, SC - Once again, activist judges on the Supreme Court have undermined our political process by striking down part of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted in 1996. By a 5-4 decision the justices ruled that benefits for married federal employees must be extended to same-sex couples in states that allow same-sex marriage, invalidating the section of DOMA which defined marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman for federal purposes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Senate Confirms Sotomayor for Supreme Court - 68-31

From LifeSiteNews
By Kathleen Gilbert

The Senate this afternoon voted 68-31 to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the next Supreme Court justice.

Sotomayor, a 55-year-old first Hispanic judge, replaces Judge David Souter, who retired this year. Both Souter and Sotomayor are pro-abortion.

The swearing-in ceremony is tentatively expected to take place Saturday, although no official announcement has been made. Sotomayor will then take her place on the court in early September.

Sotomayor won confirmation after about 18 hours of Senate discussions over the past week, which found many Republican lawmakers lining up against the nominee in stated opposition to her activist judicial philosophy and narrow interpretation of the Second Amendment.

Little attention was paid to Sotomayor's commitment to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America through all nine months of pregnancy. In confirmation hearings last month, Sotomayor once referred to abortion as a "right" and consistently deferred to the Roe v. Wade decision as "settled law," but expressed a lesser degree of loyalty to the Supreme Court's ban on partial-birth abortion.

Only weeks prior to the vote, NARAL joined Planned Parenthood in throwing its support behind Sotomayor.

"As evidenced from the declining levels of support for President Obama and Judge Sotomayor, even among Hispanics, it was for good reason no doubt that Senate Democrat leadership rushed hearings and hid the Sotomayor confirmation with a negligible amount of scheduled floor time not befitting a Supreme Court nomination," commented Manuel Miranda, the former Republican counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Himself a Latino, Miranda now chairs the Third Branch Conference, a coalition of 150 conservative leaders. The conference had issued a letter to senators in June urging them not to rush the confirmation process.

Despite the success of the nomination, Miranda said conservatives could take pride in the 31 Republicans who voted against the nomination.

He called the show of GOP resolve "a far departure from the overwhelming support that Republicans gave to President Clinton's two, arguably, far-more-objectionable nominees, Judges Ginsburg and Breyer, just one decade ago."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hatch and Cornyn Will Oppose Sotomayor Confirmation

Amidst Lindsey Graham's support for and "celebration" of the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to a seat on the U. S. Supreme Court, two prominent Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have announced they will vote against her confirmation. Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah) and John Cornyn (Texas) both indicated today that they will oppose confirmation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

156 Leading Conservatives to Senate: Obama's Supreme Court Nominee Disqualified

From Christian Newswire

156 conservative and constitutional cause leaders and citizens have signed a letter to members of the U.S. Senate expressing opposition to the confirmation of President Obama's nominee to be an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

One of the letter's signers, Richard A. Viguerie, said, "The media and Republicans aren't defining President Obama as an extremist politically and constitutionally; therefore, it is up to us conservatives. It is also important that a message be sent that, while Republicans may not be unified in opposing Obama's dangerous and unconstitutional agenda, conservatives and other constitutionalists are united."

"President Obama has nominated a radical judicial activist who apparently feels the need to mask her outrageous statements, rulings and writings over the years with the soothing words of a constitutionalist," said Kay Daly, president of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary. "Perhaps the Left has discovered that the American people most certainly do not want the Constitution to be radically altered on the whims of empathy. Sotomayor's extremist actions throughout the years speak far more loudly than the pretty words she spoke at her confirmation hearing. A 'no' vote for Sotomayor is a 'yes' vote for the Constitution," Daly said.

The letter notes it may be historic that a nominee to the Supreme Court has gone on record at her confirmation hearing to reject the underlying judicial philosophy of the President who made the nomination. The letter also states in part:

"Given that an appointment to the Supreme Court is for life, the statements by the President and his advisors, and Judge Sotomayor's pre-confirmation statements that conflicted with her confirmation testimony, we believe her judicial philosophy is indeed one that should disqualify her from appointment to the Supreme Court.

"This is a matter of whether the nominee has demonstrated that she will abide by the role of the judiciary consistent with, and as constrained by, the Constitution.

"Judge Sotomayor's rulings, whether dealing with the 1st Amendment, 2nd Amendment, private property rights, criminal law, use of foreign law, race, equal protection and other areas of law, demonstrate that, if she is consistently 'empathetic' at all, it is in favor of government power, even beyond constitutional constraints."

Among the 156 who signed the letter are: Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice and Manny Miranda of Third Branch; plus: Gary Aldrich, Bob Barr, Morton Blackwell, Brent Bozell, Floyd Brown, KellyAnne Conway, Janice Shaw Crouse, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Elaine Donnelly, Joseph Farah, Alan Gottlieb, Colin Hanna, Andrea Lafferty, Jeffrey Mazzella, Chuck Muth, Tony Perkins, Larry Pratt, William Redpath, Al Regnery, David Ridenour, Ron Robinson, Ilya Shapiro, Rev. Lou Sheldon, Matt Staver, Herb Titus and Wendy Wright.

The complete letter and list of all signers is posted at

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NARAL Officially Backs Sotomayor

From LifeSiteNews
By Kathleen Gilbert

After several weeks of uncertainty about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's commitment to abortion, NARAL announced today it was convinced from Sotomayor's statements during the confirmation process that the judge is adequately in favor of abortion.

"President Obama made a sound choice in nominating Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court," reads the joint statement from two NARAL leaders.

The group says that the nomination "reflects the president's commitment to ensuring that justices have strong legal credentials and understand how the law affects everyday people's lives, including the need to keep politicians from interfering in our personal, private medical decisions."

"In addition," say the leaders, "we took into consideration the significant and strong support her nomination has garnered from some of our most committed pro-choice allies in the Senate as well as President Obama's consistent record of support for Roe v. Wade and his established record of nominating to key posts individuals who share his principles."

While some abortion groups were wary of the candidate due to her lack of any abortion-related decisions, Planned Parenthood expressed confidence early on that Sotomayor would uphold the interests of the abortion lobby and President Obama.

"This historic nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court sends a strong signal that President Obama understands the importance of ensuring that our Supreme Court justices respect precedent while also protecting our civil liberties," stated Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards in May.

In confirmation hearings this month, Sotomayor repeatedly assured Judiciary Committee senators that she would uphold Roe v. Wade, a point she also made clear in private meetings with senators. But while she repeatedly referred to Roe v. Wade as the Supreme Court's "settled law," she admitted that she did not perceive the court's decision to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban as equally sacred precedent.

"The health and welfare of a woman must be a compelling consideration," Sotomayor admitted, indicating that she would not necessarily uphold the unequivocal nature of the ban.

Another pro-choice group, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, also expressed support for Sotomayor today.

"NLIRH stands in solidarity with Judge Sotomayor as she moves one step closer to becoming the first Hispanic judge on the Supreme Court," said executive director Silvia Henriquez in a statement.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From Our Mail: Sotomayor Takes Axe to Second Amendment -- Won't Answer Whether She Believes There's a Right to Self-Defense

From: Gun Owners of America

Re: U.S. Senate must vote NO on Judge Sonia Sotomayor!

In defending her decision that the states could enact any form of gun control they wished -- with absolutely no regard to the Second Amendment -- Judge Sonya Sotomayor has developed a new love for Nineteenth Century court opinions.

Demonstrating that she was programmed in her responses, Sotomayor defended one of her earlier legal opinions by citing "footnote 23" of Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion in the DC v. Heller case last year.

But, when pressed by questioner Orrin Hatch yesterday, Sotomayor could not recite the contents of that footnote or the holdings of the cases which it cited. As it turns out, the footnote on which Sotomayor claims to rely, cited -- without approval -- two Nineteenth Century cases which rejected the notion that the Second Amendment was 'incorporated' to apply to the states.

But those were also the days when the Supreme Court held that the rights protected in the First Amendment did not apply to the states. Apparently, Sotomayor wants to base her anti-gun philosophy on antiquated decisions from an era when the U.S. Supreme Court was spitting out racist decisions.

Her answers got even worse today when Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma asked her, point blank, "Is there a constitutional right to self-defense?" Sotomayor said that was an "abstract question" and that she couldn't think of a Supreme Court case that addressed that issue.

Coburn said he didn't want a legal treatise on what Supreme Court holdings have said, rather, he wanted her own personal opinion. Sotomayor would not answer the question, although when pressed, she equated self-defense with vigilantism!

Folks, do you see how important it is to stop this nomination? GOA mailed its members postcards opposing Sotomayor not too long ago. Please make sure you have mailed those in. We need a multi-pronged offensive right now where our Senators are receiving snail mail, email and phone calls.

And, we need ALL PRO-GUN ORGANIZATIONS to take a stance AGAINST this nominee.

Organizational spokesmen can talk a good game and say they have serious "concerns" about Sotomayor. That's all well and good. But unless those organizations (big and small) rate each Senator's vote on Sotomayor -- when she's clearly anti-gun -- then those supposed "concerns" are just meaningless.

Senators have to hear from ALL the pro-gun organizations -- big and small -- that they are going to rate this vote during the 2010 election. Otherwise, those organizations are just Paper Tigers.

We can't let this anti-gun judge infiltrate U.S. Supreme Court! She is dangerous on so many levels -- but, especially, on Second Amendment rights.

GOA considers her nomination to be of the most important gun votes in the HISTORY of the US Senate. We can't think of any other nominee in recent history who has taken such a horrid stand on the basic right of self-defense.

She says that she will follow the precedent in the DC v. Heller (2008) case. But even if she does, that only means that she will vote to apply the Second Amendment in Washington, DC. She has already ruled this year in Maloney v. Cuomo that the amendment doesn't apply to where you live.

Tim Macy, Vice-Chairman of Gun Owners of America

ACTION: We need to "pull out the stops" to defeat this nominee. Please contact your two U.S. Senators today and urge them to VOTE NO on Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Please use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at to send your Senators the pre-written e-mail message below.
----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Senator:

Even though President Obama is extremely anti-gun, I still started with an open mind regarding his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. But after her testimony these past two days, there is no way that she should be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

When asked by Senator Tom Coburn if there was a right to self-defense, Sotomayor said that was an "abstract question." Sotomayor would not answer directly, although when pressed, she equated self-defense with vigilantism!

How can the Senate confirm a judge to the U.S. Supreme Court who does not believe in the rights that are EXPLICITLY stated in the Bill of Rights?

I also want you to know that Gun Owners of America will heavily score any vote related to the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor -- whether it's a vote on cloture or final passage -- for its rating in 2010.

Moreover, GOA is going to publish its rating so that millions of Americans can see how their Senators voted on this most important vote.

GOA has told me that it considers the Sotomayor nomination to be one of the most significant gun votes in the HISTORY of the US Senate, as there has been no other nominee in recent history who has taken such a horrid stand on the basic right of self-defense.


Monday, July 13, 2009

"Roe" of Roe v. Wade Arrested for Protesting Hearing of Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Nominee

From LifeSiteNews
By Kathleen Gilbert

Norma McCorvey, the "Roe" of Roe v. Wade who now is a leading opponent of abortion, was arrested for disrupting the hearing of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor today along with several other pro-life protesters.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Police said McCorvey and one other protester were charged with unlawful conduct for disrupting Congress, making a total of four arrests related to abortion protests during the hearing, reports the Washington Post.

McCorvey had at first stayed outside the Hart Senate Office building with a small group of pro-life activists protesting Sotomayor's confirmation. She then gained admittance to the building as one among the crowd of citizens regularly admitted in brief intervals to listen in on the hearing.

"You're wrong Sotomayor, you're wrong about abortion," McCorvey declared to the Supreme Court hopeful before being quickly escorted out.

While Sotomayor has had little direct contact with the abortion debate, her pro-abortion beliefs have been established by interviews with senators on Capitol Hill in addition to a long list of extreme pro-abortion legal briefs authored under her purview.

The hearing was interrupted several times by other pro-life protesters. Shortly before the proceedings commenced, the Washington Times reports one man shouted: "What about the rights of the unborn?" A second protester, who repeatedly shouted "Abortion is murder," was escorted out by police about an hour later.

McCorvey, whose Supreme Court victory in 1973 unleashed legalized abortion in America, became an active opponent of the procedure following a conversion experience in 1994. Her 2005 petition to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade was rejected.

Monday, June 29, 2009

High Court Overrules Sotomayor Decision Against White Firefighters

Today's decision affirming that yes, racism directed at white people is in fact racism, and is wrong in a society that is supposed to be colorblind, is even more reason to delay hearings on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.
From OneNewsNow
By Mark Sherman

The Supreme Court has ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide, potentially limiting the circumstances in which employers can be held liable for decisions when there is no evidence of intentional discrimination against minorities.

"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters "understandably attract this court's sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them."

Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens signed onto Ginsburg's dissent, which she read aloud in court Monday.

Kennedy's opinion made only passing reference to the work of Sotomayor and the other two judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld a lower court ruling in favor of New Haven.

But the appellate judges have been criticized for producing a cursory opinion that failed to deal with "indisputably complex and far from well-settled" questions, in the words of another appeals court judge, Sotomayor mentor Jose Cabranes.

"This perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal," Cabranes said, in a dissent from the full 2nd Circuit's decision not to hear the case.

Monday's decision has its origins in New Haven's need to fill vacancies for lieutenants and captains in its fire department. It hired an outside firm to design a test, which was given to 77 candidates for lieutenant and 41 candidates for captain.

Fifty six firefighters passed the exams, including 41 whites, 22 blacks and 18 Hispanics. But of those, only 17 whites and two Hispanics could expect promotion.

The city eventually decided not to use the exam to determine promotions. It said it acted because it might have been vulnerable to claims that the exam had a "disparate impact" on minorities in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The white firefighters said the decision violated the same law's prohibition on intentional discrimination.

Kennedy said an employer needs a "strong basis in evidence" to believe it will be held liable in a disparate impact lawsuit. New Haven had no such evidence, he said.

The city declined to validate the test after it was given, a step that could have identified flaws or determined that there were no serious problems with it. In addition, city officials could not say what was wrong with the test, other than the racially skewed results.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Guess Who's Supporting Sotomayor?

. . . Communist Party backs confirmation for Supreme Court

Fellow Travelers

No surprise here! Just as they were giddy over the election of Barack Hussein Obama, the Communist Party USA is enthusiastically backing Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for a seat on the United States Supreme Court.

From WorldNetDaily

The way to end "right-wing" terrorism in the U.S. is to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court justice, boycott Fox News and support Barack Obama's plan for nationalizing health care, the Communist Party USA said in an editorial in its newspaper, the People's Weekly World today.

The organization blamed the murders of late-term abortionist George Tiller in Kansas and Holocaust Museum security guard Stephen T. Johns on the "extreme right," explaining that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's much-criticized report warning about the threat of violence by "right-wing extremists" was in fact prophetic.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Senator DeMint: Sotomayor Says She "Never Thought About" Rights of Unborn

From LifeSiteNews
By Kathleen Gilbert

Republican Senator Jim DeMint says that he is troubled by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor after she told him she had "never thought about" the rights of the unborn child.

"When I asked if an unborn child has any rights whatsoever, I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it," said DeMint in a statement. "This is not just a question about abortion, but about the respect due to human life at all stages, and I hope this is cleared up in her hearings."

The South Carolina senator also expressed concern that Sotomayor "was unwilling to say the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right that applies to all Americans," which he says "raises serious questions about her view of the Bill of Rights."

“Those who serve on the highest court in America must have an unwavering commitment to the Constitution and equal justice for all Americans," DeMint concluded. "I will continue to review Judge Sotomayor’s decisions and public statements and will watch her hearings closely.”

Although lacking in abortion-related opinions in her 17 years as a judge, senators probing Sotomayor's thoughts in recent weeks have said that the liberal judge is solidly in favor of upholding Roe v. Wade.

Pro-abortion senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) say that Sotomayor assured them she would not tamper with the precedent set by Roe.

Also, a recently-unearthed amicus curiae brief signed by an interest group where Sotomayor served on the board of directors urged the Supreme Court in 1989 to uphold the "fundamental right" to abortion.

Capitol Hill Republicans, who have expressed a desire to slow the confirmation process to examine Sotomayor's record more closely, expressed anger after Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy announced confirmation hearings would start July 13.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sotomayor's Double Standard

Membership in exclusionary clubs has been an issue in federal nominations for decades, and in New York City liberal feminists succeeded in banning venerable, old "gentlemen only" clubs a half century ago. But apparently political correctness and laws don't apply to the feminists themselves. The Washington Times editorializes about the double standard that permits Sonia Sotomayor to belong to an elite club for women only.

EDITORIAL: Sotomayor's Club for Women Only

The Democrats' double standard on gender

It was revealed Friday that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor belongs to the Belizean Grove, a highly selective club for women only. Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont announced Tuesday that her confirmation hearings will begin on July 13. If this judge were a man, the nomination would never make it to the Senate for hearings.

The Belizean Grove, founded in 1999, is modeled on the Bohemian Grove, a secretive, elite club for men only. The 125 members of the Belizean Grove include Army generals, Wall Street executives and former ambassadors. Ms. Sotomayor joined after becoming a circuit court judge.

We don't care if nominees belong to all-male or all-female clubs, but a double standard is in play. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s supposed membership in an all-male eating club while an undergraduate at Princeton became an issue during his 2006 Supreme Court confirmation hearing. When Judge D. Brooks Smith was nominated to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 2001, his confirmation was held up for almost a year in part because he belonged to an all-male fishing and gun club.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Could Sotomayor Turn Out to be Obama's Souter?

Glenn Beck raised an interesting question about the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor. Given her lack a qualifications for the nation's highest court, and the lack of enthusiasm for her among the hardcore leftists of the Democrat Party, could it be Obama's intention to throw her under the bus? Were Republicans to block her appointment, the Hispanic vote would be even more securely Democrat. Then, once conservative Republicans had spent their firepower on Sotomayor, Obama could appoint an even more radical ideologue more to the liking of his base. When one considers that The One has thrown both his pastor of twenty years and the grandmother who raised him under that bus, it seems plausible.

And here's a story from The Washington Times that should really send chills down the spines of the radical left -- Bill Donohue of the Catholic League says "it looks like she'll be at least a wash with Souter, and maybe we'll even see improvement." Donohue says he will "quietly root for her."

We've had plenty of Republican President's surprised and disappointed by their nominees to the Supreme Court. Could Sonia Sotomayor turn out to be Obama's Souter?

Pro-Life Catholic Leader Roots for Sotomayor
From The Washington Times
By Victor Morton

A prominent pro-life Catholic says he will be quietly rooting for Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be confirmed to the Supreme Court and said she may even be an improvement over retiring Justice David H. Souter - as both sides of the abortion issue try to discern her position.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said Judge Sotomayor's record has more bright spots than conservative Catholics can reasonably expect to get from an appointee of President Obama.

"If the Republicans are smart, they would not fight this one," he told The Washington Times in an interview Thursday.

"I wish I knew more about her. But from what we know, it looks like she'll be at least a wash with Souter, and maybe we'll even see improvement."

Judge Sotomayor's record on abortion-related cases is thin and tangential. She ruled on the right of pro-life protesters to sue on charges of police brutality and on a challenge to the "Mexico City policy," which prevented U.S. government funds from going to aid organizations that counsel for or provide abortions.

The White House said that Mr. Obama did not specifically ask her about her views on the issue but that the president is confident she agrees with him on the fundamental constitutional issues.

But pro-choice groups are uncertain about Judge Sotomayor, and this week they called on senators to ask her directly how she would rule on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.

"We encourage the Senate Judiciary Committee to engage Judge Sotomayor and any future nominees to the Court on their commitment to the principles of Roe v. Wade," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. "Anything less threatens not only a woman's constitutional rights, but her life and health."

Pro-life groups also said senators should press for answers.

"We believe it is critical that senators thoroughly explore whether Judge Sotomayor believes that Supreme Court justices have the right to override the decisions of elected lawmakers on such issues as partial-birth abortion, tax funding of abortion and parental notification for abortion," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.

In the protester case, she said the pro-lifers had a right to have their police-brutality claims adjudicated by a jury rather than be summarily dismissed.

In the 2002 Mexico City policy case, Judge Sotomayor rejected claims from the Center for Reproductive Rights and its attorneys, based on both appeals court and Supreme Court precedent.

Although the decision didn't deal with the fundamental constitutional issue of abortion rights, she said in the Mexico City case that the "Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds."

Mr. Obama ended the Mexico City policy soon after taking office this year.

At the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs said Mr. Obama did not ask Judge Sotomayor about her views on the legality of abortion but asked her enough to be comfortable that she sees the constitutional issues the same way he does. Mr. Obama is pro-choice.

"I think he feels comfortable in asking her to describe the way she interprets, to describe her views on that. He felt comfortable that they shared a philosophy on that interpretation," Mr. Gibbs said.

He said Mr. Obama and Judge Sotomayor discussed both unenumerated rights and what constitutes settled law.

In 2005, President George W. Bush found himself having to defend his own Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, against complaints from conservatives and pro-life activists who said she lacked a paper trail to prove her conservative credentials.

Miss Miers eventually withdrew her nomination.

Mr. Donohue was not alone among conservative Catholics in calling for pro-lifers to hold their fire.

"My concern is that the people in Obama's on-deck circle are much worse," said Steve Dillard, an adviser to the 2008 presidential campaign of Mike Huckabee and founder of the site Catholics Against Rudy. He called Judge Sotomayor "the best of the worst."

"Do you really want to win this battle only to get Diane Wood?" said Mr. Dillard, a lawyer and former clerk at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where Judge Wood, whom he called a brilliant radical, sits.

Beyond abortion, Mr. Donohue said, he saw in Judge Sotomayor's record a history of backing religious liberty claims.

"She said it was wrong to prohibit a menorah on public ground; I like that. She talks about the religious rights of prisoners; I like that too," he said.

Mr. Donohue also mentioned a more personal angle: his identification with New York's Puerto Rican community, from which Judge Sotomayor comes. He mentioned leading the Puerto Rican Day Parade at St. Lucy's Catholic Church in Spanish Harlem and taking "groups of 15, 16 kids to Yankee Stadium."

"All these things put together, I'm gonna quietly root for her," said Mr. Donohue, who has never met the nominee.

Mr. Donohue also suggested that opposing Judge Sotomayor's confirmation would not be wise in the short term, in terms of who the alternative nominee might be.

"I am looking at this pool of likely competitors, and, far and away, Sotomayor is the best candidate," he said, adding that making too big a political fight over the Sotomayor pick "might look like we have an agenda that will not look good to many in the Latino community."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The New Republic on Sonia Sotomayor

The New Republic published a series of reports on the prospective candidates for the open seat on the United States Supreme Court. The following is their profile of Sonia Sotomayor, nominated today by President Obama.

The Case Against Sotomayor

By Jeffrey Rosen

A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Sonia Sotomayor's biography is so compelling that many view her as the presumptive front-runner for Obama's first Supreme Court appointment. She grew up in the South Bronx, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. Her father, a manual laborer who never attended high school, died a year after she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of eight. She was raised by her mother, a nurse, and went to Princeton and then Yale Law School. She worked as a New York assistant district attorney and commercial litigator before Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan recommended her as a district court nominee to the first President Bush. She would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, if you don't count Benjamin Cardozo. (She went to Catholic schools and would also be the sixth Catholic justice on the current Supreme Court if she is, in fact, Catholic, which isn't clear from her official biography.) And she has powerful supporters: Last month, the two senators from New York wrote to President Obama in a burst of demographic enthusiasm, urging him to appoint Sotomayor or Ken Salazar.

Sotomayor's former clerks sing her praises as a demanding but thoughtful boss whose personal experiences have given her a commitment to legal fairness. "She is a rule-bound pragmatist--very geared toward determining what the right answer is and what the law dictates, but her general approach is, unsurprisingly, influenced by her unique background," says one former clerk. "She grew up in a situation of disadvantage, and was able, by virtue of the system operating in such a fair way, to accomplish what she did. I think she sees the law as an instrument that can accomplish the same thing for other people, a system that, if administered fairly, can give everyone the fair break they deserve, regardless of who they are."

Her former clerks report that because Sotomayor is divorced and has no children, her clerks become like her extended family--working late with her, visiting her apartment once a month for card games (where she remembers their favorite drinks), and taking a field trip together to the premier of a Harry Potter movie.

But despite the praise from some of her former clerks, and warm words from some of her Second Circuit colleagues, there are also many reservations about Sotomayor. Over the past few weeks, I've been talking to a range of people who have worked with her, nearly all of them former law clerks for other judges on the Second Circuit or former federal prosecutors in New York. Most are Democrats and all of them want President Obama to appoint a judicial star of the highest intellectual caliber who has the potential to change the direction of the court. Nearly all of them acknowledged that Sotomayor is a presumptive front-runner, but nearly none of them raved about her. They expressed questions about her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices, as well as a clear liberal alternative.

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