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Thread: Sonya Sotomayor

  1. #1

    Default Sonya Sotomayor

    What are everyone's thoughts? Do you think she's a good choice? Why or why not? Is she qualified? What are the issues you think are particularly important? More broadly, what should the role of Justices be?

  2. #2
    Peachy

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    Who is she? What does she do? Care to explain?

  3. #3

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    Sonia Sotomayor is Obama's nominee for Justice David Souter's seat on the Supreme Court. She is currently circuit judge of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

  4. #4
    Peachy

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    Ah...fair enough. I don't follow American politics that closely, so the name didn't ring a bell. And I couldn't find a connection to Scotland either, for that matter.
    For future reference, since there are many people from all over the world, it may help to explain in greater detail what you're talking about rather than just throwing out a name that may not be known in 90% of the world.

  5. #5

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    By bad, Peachy. I actually hold dual UK/US citizenship, and go to uni in Scotland. Hence why I follow American politics. It was parochial of me, however, to assume that other people here know who Sotomayor is.

  6. #6
    soren456

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    She seems fine to me, so far.

    It will be interesting to watch the Republicans make asses of themselves over nothing.

    And more important, I'm still waiting for the morning Clarence Thomas sticks a fork into his toaster, and Scalia chokes on his own bile.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by soren456 View Post
    She seems fine to me, so far.

    It will be interesting to watch the Republicans make asses of themselves over nothing.

    And more important, I'm still waiting for the morning Clarence Thomas sticks a fork into his toaster, and Scalia chokes on his own bile.
    What's wrong with Scalia and Thomas? Is it because they're Republicans?Besides Sonia Sotomayor is a racist. She thinks that she'd make better decisions than a white male of her same age because she's Hispanic. Not only that, but they found a quote from a major communist in her yearbook.

    Here's also a quote from her on race. "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," Here's another from the same sound-byte.

    "Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging."

    That's ridiculous!!! When you're a supreme court justice you're not supposed to be partisan like that! I don't care where your from or who you are. When you're judging a case, you CANNOT let your race define you. Barack Obama's nominee for supreme court branded racist | World news | The Guardian

    "I am not a champion of lost causes but of causes not yet won." - Norman Thomas the leading American Socialist politician of the 20th This quote was found in her yearbook at Princeton unversity. Just goes to show who her main heroes are imo.

    Sotomayor's Socialist Yearbook Quote

    She's not even a good judge. Look how she's already handled the race issue. Will Race Discrimination Ruling Burn Sonia Sotomayor? - ABC News We should edit the title lul. It's spelled wrong

  8. #8
    soren456

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    I'll stick with my second sentence.

    Thank you.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paxaman0 View Post
    Besides Sonia Sotomayor is a racist. She thinks that she'd make better decisions than a white male of her same age because she's Hispanic. Not only that, but they found a quote from a major communist in her yearbook.
    I'm troubled by the race thing, in part because it shows she doesn't always think about the implications of what she says. There were mitigating statements to the effect that white judges could reach good decisions, too, but it's still unsettling.

    The quote was from a socialist, not a communist. There is a difference. The fact that she quoted something he said does not mean she agrees with his entire body of work. I quote Rousseau in my signature, but by no means should that be understood to mean that I agree with his entire ouevre.




    Quote Originally Posted by Paxaman0 View Post
    "Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging."

    That's ridiculous!!! When you're a supreme court justice you're not supposed to be partisan like that! I don't care where your from or who you are. When you're judging a case, you CANNOT let your race define you. Barack Obama's nominee for supreme court branded racist | World news | The Guardian
    I agree that people cannot let their race define them as a jurist, yet that is not what she said. It is inevitable that our life experiences influence the perspective we bear on the law. It is arguable that those influences should be minimal. Nevertheless, law is not made in a vacuum. From a set of words jurists must determine how best to apply the law within the existing body of precedent and statute. They also, of necessity, consider social values and evolving change. There is nothing black and white about the law, and cases would not reach the Supreme Court if they were straightforward.

    Straightforward cases comprise the majority of trials, but the trials that the Supreme Court hears are issues in which reasonable, honest, intelligent people can disagree. Our background experience will naturally influence how we view issues of morality, consideration, justice, what is 'cruel and unusual', and so on. Supreme Court justices all have their own views. Those who claim to interpret the Constitution as its writers intended simply slip an (apparently) neutral viewpoint in. Theirs views, however, are not neutral. Every act of jurisprudence is interpretive.

    I think in some ways we would be better off with justices who were open about their interpretive theories and particular beliefs, than with the present situation where judges who are up for the bench pretend to have no views beyond 'stare decisis.' It would certainly be more honest. For that, however, people would have to recognise that impartiality is a goal, an aspiration, not something we can achieve. Moreover, people would need to realise that impartiality comes from having no vested interest with either party, not from having a tabula rasa and no personal beliefs. No one reaches the Supreme Court without strong personal views, and those views usually have a legitimate basis of one kind or another. Souter and Scalia disagree(d) on many things, but both could support their arguments with reason ad precedent. These issues are complex.



    Quote Originally Posted by Paxaman0 View Post
    "I am not a champion of lost causes but of causes not yet won." - Norman Thomas the leading American Socialist politician of the 20th This quote was found in her yearbook at Princeton unversity. Just goes to show who her main heroes are imo.
    Thomas was not necessarily her hero then, and he is certainly not necessarily her now.



    Quote Originally Posted by Paxaman0 View Post
    She's not even a good judge. Look how she's already handled the race issue. Will Race Discrimination Ruling Burn Sonia Sotomayor? - ABC News We should edit the title lul. It's spelled wrong
    Apologies for the misspelling, although I did spell it correctly subsequently.

    That decision is far more complex than that story makes out. I refer you to the judgement in question:

    Decision

    The issue is whether the council acted rightly in invalidating the results. Clearly, the council did obey existing law. Invalidating the result was not racially discriminatory, in that there was no preference shown to candidates on the basis of their race. Take your complaint up with Title VII, not with the judges who acted within existing law to uphold the city's actions. Of course, the dissent questions this interpretation, and argues that invalidating the test raises important constitutional questions. Even this dissent, however, refrains from speculating about whether it was racially discriminatory and violated the 14th Amendment equal protection clause. I'm not sure how I feel about this case, and it goes against our gut instincts in favour of meritocracy. Using this as an example of how she's handled 'the race issue' and calling her 'not even a good judge', however, on the basis of a single decision, seems markedly far-fetched.

  10. #10
    angelabauer

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    The Honorable Sonya Sotomayor did her under graduate per-law studies at Princeton. There she was top of her class. She then attended Yale Law, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

    It was considered unusual for a Yale Law grad to start as a prosecutor. She did that, with the Manhattan, NY District Attorney's office. After a few years she joined a well-know law firm and was elected a partner. Taking a significant cut in pay she accepted appointment to be a US District Court judge in New York City by President Clinton. President Bush nominated her to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Although she is a registered Republican, it was the Republicans in the USA Senate that held up her elevation to the Court of Appeals over a year. By this time her background has been extensively investigated.

    One of my law partners was her classmate at Yale and also one of her co-editors. Because I am based in Los Angeles, California when I appear before a Federal Court of Appeals it normally is the 9th Circuit which covers most of the Western USA. Justice Sotomayor was not yet on the 2nd Circuit the last time I presented an appeal there.

    When I was attending Yale's main rival law school the incident in which Sonya Sotomayer successfully complained about a recruiting harrassment incident by a partner in a major firm was still considered a sensation. She had guts, but by the time younger (by 9 years) people like me were being interviewed by law firms attitudes were less sexist.

    Over the next many weeks those who care to read will learn a lot about Justice Sonya Sotomayor. Only time will tell if she is confirmed and a lot more time will be needed to find out the kind of mind she has.

    Meanwhile all the popular legal search services are working over-time providing trial transcripts and opinions written by her.

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