Proof She Doesn’t Get It
Does having 80% of your rulings overturned by the Supreme Court suggest a nominee lacks the sensibilities to hold a position on that court? I believe it does. Upon appeal, four out of five of Sotomayor’s decisions have been reversed. This clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Constitution. If the nominee in question was overruled on a single issue (even repeatedly) it would mean nothing because courts can and in the past have been in error and it took later courts to correct them. Dred Scott and Brown v. Board of Education come to mind. However, when nearly every decision, spanning several issues, is found in error by the Supreme Court, this is a very damning indictment against the nominee. I must conclude this nominee is unfit to sit on the court and in fact a danger to the freedoms we have fought so hard to secure.
When I first read about Sonia Sotomayor I approached her with a completely open mind. Prima Facie my only reservation was her contention that the Second Amendment to the Constitution did not apply to state law. This was a serious concern which outside the ranks of gun enthusiasts received nearly no attention. One must understand that the Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. It trumps all federal, state, and local laws. So for a federal judge being considered for a position on the Supreme Court – the court that interprets the Constitution and how it will be applied to all our lives – to express the opinion that a portion of the Constitution does not apply to state law demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of the Constitution. Reading and listening to Judge Sotomayor speak I did not get the impression she is an idiot – perhaps not the most intellectual judge, but hardly stupid. Therefore, I conclude she used this line of reasoning as her only recourse to allow a state laws to stand that clearly violated the Constitution because she personally opposes weapons. (For the record, I too abhor violence and would love to live in a weapons free peaceful planet, but we don’t and the U.S. Constitution is quite clear in granting civilians the right to bear arms.)
When one reads the complete text of Judge Sotomayor’s 2001 Berkley speech (aka “Wise Latina” speech) you understand that Judge Sotomayor is acutely, perhaps uncomfortably aware of race. In this speech it is clear she is a strong advocate of affirmative action and sees minorities as a underrepresented and in need of unfair advantages to succeed in society. This speech strongly urges affirmative action in the appointments of federal judges and Supreme Court Justices. Merit does not seem to cross her mind as a qualifying attribute.
This brings us to Sotomayor’s most recent Supreme Court rebuke. In 1983 the city of New Haven, CN needed to fill some leadership positions within the fire department. The union required an exam be taken to qualify. Presumably to keep the buddy system from promoting people and ensure positions were filled by qualified applicants. The rules require that the position must be filled by one of the top three scoring candidates. Those scores were achieved by two white and one Hispanic applicants. Because blacks scored half what the top three had scored the city feared being sued under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, even though the test results had not shown disparity in the past. The city decided to ignore the test results and promote a black firefighter with a lower score. Eighteen discriminated against firefighters sued in the case now known as Ricci, et al. v. DeStefano, et al.
Skipping the lengthy details the Second Court of Appeals (Judge Sonia Sotomayor) held that the city made the right choice and that favoring minorities even if it resulted in discriminating against whites (don’t forget one of the plaintiffs was Hispanic), was justified. Judge Sotomayor is not a champion against discrimination but rather a champion for affirmative action. Fairness, justice, and merit are inconsequential to achieving idealistic goals.
White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, commented that today’s ruling, was “a fairly definitive opinion that she follows judicial precedent and that she doesn’t legislate from the bench.” She doesn’t? I do follow what he’s getting at, after all she voted in the minority. Also he might be alluding as some have suggested to Grutter v. Bollinger, the University of Michigan case where SCOTUS ruled that a university could use race to promote diversity. I disagreed in that case and I will concede that the Court is inconsistent when it comes to issues of fairness. However, I do see a difference between the two. In Grutter, the court was looking at the goal of educating more minorities and better preparing them for the world. A laudable goal and one where I sympathize and agree minorities are best served when given help achieving higher education. If the court were to err here is where I’d like it to err.
In Ricci, however, we were talking about a job, one where lives will be on the line. Do we want minorities holding a job because we pity them or because we feel they deserve it based solely on their skin color? This is racism. Then we have the safety of the public and the firefighters to worry about. A bad decision could kill someone. I agree with the court on fairness too. Promotions should be earned and if the African-Americans in New Haven had the highest scores no one would have wasted a minute wondering if they should be promoted. I see racism all over this decision since African-Americans were given preference even over the Hispanic. If they were simply worried about Title VII they would have promoted the Hispanic and one white. But clearly they wanted to promote a black. I had a client a few years ago who fired most of his white staff, (one at a time), and replaced them with African-Americans. He was white, (and from New Haven), he was wealthy, and he felt guilty. He told me once that he felt he owed it to blacks to make up for past discrimination. He was a racist doing penitence. If anyone had said that there would have been a fight. He believed he didn’t have a racist bone in his body but by treating African-Americans like children and condescending to them he was a racist. Affirmative Action treats minorities like dumb helpless inferiors who cannot help themselves. The policy assumes their lack of mental acuity requires that powerful whites help them out. I disagree and oppose any decision based on race.
Sotomayor’s judgments seemed firmly based in her idealism. She is fervently pro-affirmative action and do we really want anyone on the court with a narrow race-based agenda? However, I believe this is what has made her President Obama’s ideal candidate. As he too is pursuing his goal of transforming this nation into his ideal at all cost. Appointing Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States is part of the plan. Damn the Constitution because ultimately the Justices on the high court determine law since they can make up or ignore any facet of that august document and no one can challenge them.
If the court is stacked with social engineers and you can kiss your freedom goodbye. It will take another revolution to fix the damage that will be done. I’m afraid with this generation of cattle it wont happen in my lifetime.