May 28, 2009

We can now expect the full-throttle return of affirmative action and less opportunities for the majority of Americans.  This thanks to Barack Obama's nomination (and all too certain confirmation) of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.  We can expect her to be further to the left than the man she will be replacing, Justice David Souter.

Obama's pick clearly points to how far to the left he wants to take the court - and the country.  Granted, she will be replacing a liberal, but if she is any indication of his future appointments, all we conservatives can do is pray.  Pray to God that Justices Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Chief Justice Roberts stay healthy - at least until Mr. Obama leaves the Oval Office.

Judge Sotomayor currently sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. More will be learned about her as the weeks go on, but what we already know paints a picture of a liberal activist and someone willing to "make policy" from the bench. This is not the type of person who belongs on the highest court in the land.

First some general background on Sotomayor. As noted in the gushing Associated Press news story:

Sonia Sotomayor's path to the pinnacle of the legal profession began in the 1960s at a Bronx housing project just a couple of blocks from Yankee Stadium, where she and her family dealt with one struggle after another.

She suffered juvenile diabetes that forced her to start insulin injections at age 8. Her father died the next year, leaving her to be raised by her mother -- a nurse at a methadone clinic who always kept a pot of rice and beans on the stove. The parents had moved from Puerto Rico.

Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, then became an editor of the Yale Law Journal at Yale Law School. She then joined the Manhattan district attorney's office and the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

She spent five years as a prosecutor before joining the midtown law firm of Pavia & Harcourt, where she worked eight years before her appointment to the federal bench.

Sotomayor is less affluent than many of the typical high court prospects. Though drawing a six-figure income, she lives in expensive Manhattan. Sotomayor earned $179,500 as a federal appellate judge in New York last year, plus $14,780 teaching at New York University's law school and $10,000 as a lecturer at Columbia University's law school, according to her most recent financial disclosure report.

We can clearly see where the media is going to side on this one. Her "compelling" story is already being characterized as a "triumph over adversity." And leave it to the left wing media (who hates the so-called "rich") to label someone making over $200,000 per year as "less affluent." If she were "affluent" that would clearly make her out of touch with the common man or woman, right?

She is being hailed for being the first Hispanic nominee to the court and a person with an incredible story to tell. Katie Couric bounced up and down, saying, "[T]he fact that her father was a factory worker who died when she was nine years old, raised by a single mother who raised her brother to be a doctor and, obviously, her daughter to be an extremely accomplished lawyer and now judge. So it is a very, as you say, very, very compelling life story."

Whenever I hear commentary like that, I can't help but think of Miguel Estrada, the judicial nominee who also had a "very compelling life story" but who was filibustered by the Democrats. Did the media come to his aid? No, because he was a conservative. But you can certainly put money on the fact that Sotomayor's background will be praised, while Estrada's was attacked.

As far as a judicial record, this video pretty much sums up what Sotomayor thinks of following the letter of the law:

In addition to her statement that judges "make policy," Sotomayor is also at the heart of the racial discrimination case involving white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut:

Matthew Marcarelli and a group of firefighters took and passed a promotion exam. However, "the city threw out the test because no blacks would have been promoted, saying the exam had a 'disparate impact' on minorities."

Marcarelli actually finished #1 on the test, but was not granted a promotion. What kind of message does this send? Work hard, study, finish #1, and.... get skipped over. This is not "reverse" discrimination. It is just discrimination.

The case found its way to Sotomayor's court where, as the Associated Press reports, "Sotomayor and two other judges issued an unusually brief decision that went against white firefighters."

According to the AP, "The judges' conservative colleagues on the court strongly criticized their terse decision. Today the Supreme Court appears to have serious questions about the ruling as well."

So there we have it. This is the nominee being brought forward by Barack Obama. Whenever something like this happens, I can't help but think back to the comments by Fox News commentators such as Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol who actually thought Obama would be a "pragmatic" leader. Hey guys... given the takeover of banks, the auto industry, energy taxes, health care takeover plans, and left-wing judicial nominees, do you think you might have a different opinion now?

Rich Galen, who writes Mullings, did point out in his recent e-mail update that the "nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court will not change the Court because she has been nominated to replace Justice David Souter. Justice Souter, according to the NY Times, 'came to vote reliably with the Court's liberal members.' Judge Sotomayor, assumedly also a Liberal, would not change the 5-4 Conservative slant."

Galen went on to note, "Unless she completely bombs during her confirmation hearings - or, unless she didn't pay the taxes on her house keeper or the plant lady - she will be confirmed." Galen used the points above to conclude, "Therefore, the only reason for all the heavy breathing and projectile sweat from the wingers on both the Right and the Left is because nothing presents as sure a path to a great fundraising month than a fight over a Supreme Court nominee."

This is where I disagree. Standing up for conservative principles and taking a stand is much more than just rhetoric for fundraising. It is a duty and an obligation from our senators to ensure that judicial nominees understand their role in interpreting the law as written and not "legislating from the bench." Regardless of the odds or the outlook or the votes that are stacked against us, conservative values are always worth the fight.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.