Posts Tagged ‘empathy’

Sotomayor: ‘Let’s Put a Judge Who Has Been Constantly Overruled By SCOTUS Where She Can’t Possibly Be Overruled’

July 14, 2009

Empathy.  Who doesn’t want some?

I mean, I suppose that some part of me, as a conservative, would love for some judge to come along and say, “There, there, I’ll make sure those mean Democrats don’t do stuff you don’t want.  I’ll overturn the election.”

Only that isn’t the direction the “empathy” crap flows.  It only seems to flow from the far left.  It is a river of molten manure that springs and flows from the radical left and routinely runs its banks over conservatives and ordinary Americans.

In the case of Sonia Sotomayor, that crap river flowed right over New Haven, Connecticut firefighters who made the mistake of playing by the rules against a system increasingly geared toward running all over them as white males.  But it is a river that would have ran over every single American to the tune of billions of dollars had the Supreme Court not reversed her decision.

Here’s that story:

Sotomayor Ruling Could Have Cost Consumers Billions

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 10:56 PM

By: Phil Brennan

A decision rendered by Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, fortunately reversed by the Supreme Court on April 1, 2009, could have been extravagantly costly to American consumers, according to the Steve Milloy’s authoritative Junkscience.Com.

Charging that her nomination represents a potential threat to U.S. Consumers and to the economy in terms of energy and the environment, Milloy reported on her 2007 Second Circuit decision in Riverkeeper, Inc. V. EPA 475 F. 3d 83′

Milloy wrote that in her ruling Judge Sotomayor sided with “extreme green groups” who had sued the Environmental Protection Agency because the agency permitted cost-benefit analysis to be used in the determination of environmental protection technology for power plant cooling water intake structures.

Cost benefit analysis involves the balancing of the total expected costs of a proposal or project against its total expected benefits in order to determine its economic feasibility. Do the benefits outweigh or justify the cost?

According to Milloy, had the EPA been required to abide by Judge Sotomayor’s decision, U.S. Consumers would have been forced to pay billions of dollars more in energy costs every year as power plants producing more than one-half of the nation’s electricity would have had to undertake expensive retrofits.”

Noting that President Obama said he wanted somebody “who has the intellectual firepower but also a little bit of a common touch and a practical sense of how the world works,” Milloy said that in the Riverkeeper case Sotomayor didn’t display too much of a “common touch” and “practical sense” when it came to the cost-benefit analysis.

Senators, Milloy advised, should probe whether Judge Sotomayor “lacks the common-sense realization that the benefits of environmental regulation ought to outweigh its costs — a worldview with ominous implications given the nation’s present rush toward cap-and-tax global warming regulation and other green mindlessness.”

Indeed, writing for the majority decision that overturned Sotomayor’s ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia:

noted that forcing compliance under Sotomayor’s reasoning would make companies spend nine times the amount necessary to accomplish “nearly the same benefit to the environment that cheaper technologies would achieve.”

Spend nine times more for very nearly the same benefit.  And liberals wonder why conservatives call them “insane.”

Now, it just so happens that “common touch” and “practical sense” didn’t matter very much when we voted for our president, either.  So why should it matter to us when we put yet another black-robed master over us for the rest of her life?

Let’s hear what Obama said he wanted:

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

The guy we voted for as our president said he planned to bankrupt fully half of our source of electricity.

“Empathy” means millions of Americans freezing to death in the dark.

Get ready for it.  Because Obama’s and Sotomayor’s crap river is going to flood right down your family’s throat.

Looking over Sotomayor’s record indicates that she doesn’t have a whole lot of legal sense, either.  She has had her cases overruled six out of seven of the times that they have come before the Supreme Court.  That is how radical, and how incompetent as a judge, she truly is.

Cases Reviewed by the Supreme Court

• Ricci v. DeStefano 530 F.3d 87 (2008) —decision pending as of 5/26/2009 [update as of 6/29/09: reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer)].

• Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA, 475 F.3d 83 (2007) — reversed 6-3 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg)

• Knight vs. Commissioner, 467 F.3d 149 (2006) — upheld, but reasoning was unanimously faulted

• Dabit vs. Merrill Lynch, 395 F.3d 25 (2005) — reversed 8-0

• Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. vs. McVeigh, 396 F.3d 136 (2005) — reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, Alito)

• Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp., 299 F.3d 374 (2000) — reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer)

• Tasini vs. New York Times, et al, 972 F. Supp. 804 (1997) — reversed 7-2 (Dissenting: Stevens, Breyer)

Sonia Sotomayor is a judge who has been humiliated with an 8-0 smackdown of her judicial reasoning.  She has been overruled – meaning her legal judgment was contradicted as wrong – six out of seven times.  And if that isn’t bad enough, the ONLY time her decision was actually upheld (Knight vs. Commissioner), her reasoning for the decision was faulted by every single judge on the panel.

In the recent Hew Haven Firefighter case (a.k.a. Ricci v. DeStefano), Sotomayor was not only overruled on the close 5-4 as was reported;  her underlying legal reasoning that compliance with Title VII justified “race-based preferences” as a matter of summary judgment was tossed aside by all nine justices.

So what do you do when you have a judge who has displayed such a shocking lack of common sense that she would have imposed billions of dollars on the American taxpayer to accomplish virtually nothing had her decision not been overruled by the Supreme Court?  What do you do when you have a judge who has been overruled six out of seven times by the Supreme Court?

You put such a judge on the supreme court, where she cannot possibly be overruled, that’s what.

Sonia Sotomayor has said, “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.”  And she said it not once, as was earlier maintained by liberals, but seven times.  There’s no defense of such a remark made even once, let alone seven separate times.  All one has to do to see how racist it is is to replace the words “Latina woman” with “white male” and the words “white male” with “Latina woman.”

And where do you put a judge who is clearly influenced by racial – and frankly racist – thinking?  On the Supreme Court, where her racial bias can become a fixed part of the institution for a generation to come.

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Jeff Sessions’ Remarks In Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing

July 13, 2009

Transcript: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Opening Statement

Monday July 13, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your leadership.

And I believe you set up some rules for the conducting of this hearing that are consistent with past hearings, and I believe will allow us to do our work together. And I’ve enjoyed working with you on this process.

I hope this will be viewed as the best hearing this committee has ever had. Why not? We should seek that.

So, I join Chairman Leahy, Judge Sotomayor, in welcoming you here today. And it marks an important milestone in your life. I know your family is proud, and rightly so, and it’s a pleasure to have them with us today.

I expect this hearing and resulting debate will be characterized by a respectful tone, a discussion of serious issues, a thoughtful dialogue and maybe some disagreements. But we worked hard to do that, to set that tone from the beginning.

I’ve been an active litigator in federal courts. I’ve tried cases as a federal prosecutor and as attorney general of Alabama. The Constitution and our great heritage of law I care deeply about. They are the foundation of our liberty and our prosperity.

And this nomination is critical for two important reasons. First, justices on the Supreme Court have great responsibility, hold enormous power and have a lifetime appointment. Just five members can declare the meaning of our Constitution, bending or changing its meaning from what the people intended.

Second, this hearing is important, because I believe our legal system is at a dangerous crossroads. Down one path is the traditional American system, so admired around the world, where judges impartially apply the law to the facts without regard to personal views. This is the compassionate system, because it’s the fair system.

In the American legal system, courts do not make law or set policy, because allowing unelected officials to make law would strike at the heart of our democracy.

Here, judges take an oath to administer justice impartially. That oath reads, “I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and to equal right to the rich and the poor, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God.”

These principles give the traditional system its moral authority, which is why Americans respect and accept the ruling of courts, even when they disagree. Indeed, our legal system is based on a firm belief in an ordered universe and objective truth. The trial is a process by which the impartial and wise judge guides us to truth.

Down the other path lies a brave new world, where words have no true meaning, and judges are free to decide what facts they choose to see. In this world, a judge is free to push his or her own political or social agenda.

I reject that view, and Americans reject that view.

We have seen federal judges force their political and social agenda on the nation, dictating that the words “under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance and barring students from even private, even silent prayer in schools.

Judges have dismissed the people’s right to their property, saying the government can take a person’s home for the purpose of developing a private shopping center.

Judges have, contrary to longstanding rules of war, created a right for terrorists captured on a foreign battlefield to sue the United States government in our own country.

Judges have cited foreign laws, world opinion and a United Nations resolution to determine that a state death penalty law was unconstitutional.

I’m afraid our system will only be further corrupted, I have to say, as a result of President Obama’s view that in tough cases the critical ingredient for a judge is, quote, “the depth and breadth of one’s empathy,” close quote, as well as his words, quote, “their broader vision of what America should be.”

Like the American people, I have watched this process for a number of years, and I fear that this thinking empathy standard is another step down the road to a liberal, activist, results-oriented, relativistic world, where laws lose their fixed meaning, unelected judges set policy, Americans are seen as members of separate groups rather than as simply Americans, where the constitutional limits on government power are ignored when politicians want to buy out private companies.

I feel we’ve reached a fork in the road, I think, and there are stark differences. I want to be clear. I will not vote for, and no senator should vote for, an individual nominated by any president who is not fully committed to fairness and impartiality toward every person who appears before them.

And I will not vote for, and no senator should vote for, an individual nominated by any president who believes it is acceptable for a judge to allow their personal background, gender, prejudices or sympathies to sway their decision in favor of or against parties before the court.

In my view such a philosophy is disqualified. Such an approach to judging means that the umpire calling the game is not neutral, but instead feels empowered to favor one team over another. Call it empathy, call it prejudice, or call it sympathy, but whatever it is, it’s not law. In truth it’s more akin to politics, and politics has no place in the courtroom.

Some will respond Judge Sotomayor would never say it’s never acceptable for a judge to display prejudice in that case, but I regret to say, Judge, that some of your statements that I’ll outline seem to say that clearly. Let’s look at just a few examples. We’ve seen the video of a Duke University panel, where Judge Sotomayor says, “It’s the Court of Appeals where policy is made, and I know, I know that this is on tape, and I should never say that and should not think that.”

And during a speech 15 years ago, Judge Sotomayor said, quote, “I willingly accept the way the judge must not deny the difference resulting from experience and heritage, but attempt continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate,” close quote.

And in that same speech she said, quote, “My experiences will affect the facts I choose to seek.” Having tried a lot of cases, that particular phrase bothers me. I expect every judge to seek all the facts.

So I think it’s noteworthy that when asked about Judge Sotomayor’s now famous statement that a wise Latina would come to a better conclusion than others, President Obama, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg declined to defend the substance of those remarks.

They each assume the nominee misspoke. But I don’t think it — but the nominee did not misspeak. She is on record as making this statement at least five times over the course of a decade. I am providing a copy of the full text of those speeches for the record.

Others will say that despite these statements, we should look to a nominee’s record, which they characterize as moderate. People said the same of Justice Ginsburg, who is now considered to be one of the most activist members of the Supreme Court in history.

Some senators ignored Justice Ginsburg’s philosophy and focused on the nominee’s judicial opinions. But that is not a good test, because those cases where necessarily restrained by precedent and the threat of reversal from higher courts. On the Supreme Court, those checks on judicial power will be removed, and the judge’s philosophy will be allowed to reach full bloom.

But even as a lower court judge, our nominee has made some troubled rulings. I’m concerned by the Ricci, the New Haven firefighters case recently reversed by the Supreme Court, where she agreed with the city of New Haven’s decision to change the promotion rules in the middle of the game. Incredibly, her opinion consisted of just one substantive paragraph of analysis.

Justice Sotomayor has said she accepts that her opinions, sympathies and prejudices will affect her rulings. Could it be that her time as a leader in the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a fine organization, provides a clue to her decision against the firefighters?

While the nominee was chair of that fund’s litigation committee, the organization aggressively pursued racial quotas in city hiring and in numerous cases fought to overturn the results of promotion exams. It seems to me that in Ricci, Judge Sotomayor’s empathy for one group of firefighters turned out to be prejudice against another.

That is, of course, the logical flaw in the empathy standard. Empathy for one party is always prejudice against another.

Judge Sotomayor, we will inquire into how your philosophy, which allows subjectivity in the courtroom, affects your decision-making, like, for example, in abortion, where an organization of which you were an active leader argued that the Constitution requires taxpayer money to fund abortions; and gun control, where you recently noted it is settled law that the Second Amendment does not prevent a city or state from barring gun ownership; private property, where you ruled recently that the government could take property from one pharmacy developer and give it to another; capital punishment, where you personally signed a statement opposing the reinstatement of the death penalty in New York because of the inhuman psychological burden it places on the offender and the family.

So I hope the American people will follow these hearings closely. They should learn about the issues and listen to both sides of the argument and — and at the end of the hearing ask, if I must one day go to court, what kind of judge what I wish to hear my case? Do I want a judge that allows his or her social, political or religious views to change the outcome? Or do I want a judge that impartially applies the law to the facts and fairly rules on the merits without bias or prejudice?

It’s our job to determine which side of that fundamental divide the nominee stands.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

END

Sotomayor’s ‘Empathy’ For Extreme Green Groups Would Have Cost Americans Billions

June 1, 2009

Empathy.  Who doesn’t want some?

I mean, I suppose that some part of me, as a conservative, would love for some judge to come along and say, “There, there.  I’ll make sure those mean Democrats don’t do stuff you don’t want.  I’ll overturn the election.”

Only that isn’t the direction the “empathy river” flows, is it?  It’s a manure river that springs and flows from the radical left and routinely runs its banks to flood over conservatives.

In the case of Sonia Sotomayor, that crap river has run pretty deep and pretty wide.  It has run over white firefighters who made the mistake of playing by the rules against a racially-biased system increasingly geared to flood over them.  And in the case of Sotomayor, it is a river that would have flooded over every single American to the tune of billions of dollars had the Supreme Court not reversed her decision.

If Sotomayor gets appointed to the Supreme Court, you can bet that THIS crap river will be flowing over you soon:

Sotomayor Ruling Could Have Cost Consumers Billions

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
By: Phil Brennan

A decision rendered by Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, fortunately reversed by the Supreme Court on April 1, 2009, could have been extravagantly costly to American consumers, according to the Steve Milloy’s authoritative Junkscience.Com.

Charging that her nomination represents a potential threat to U.S. Consumers and to the economy in terms of energy and the environment, Milloy reported on her 2007 Second Circuit decision in Riverkeeper, Inc. V. EPA 475 F. 3d 83′

Milloy wrote that in her ruling Judge Sotomayor sided with “extreme green groups” who had sued the Environmental Protection Agency because the agency permitted cost-benefit analysis to be used in the determination of environmental protection technology for power plant cooling water intake structures.

Cost benefit analysis involves the balancing of the total expected costs of a proposal or project against its total expected benefits in order to determine its economic feasibility. Do the benefits outweigh or justify the cost?

According to Milloy, had the EPA been required to abide by Judge Sotomayor’s decision, U.S. Consumers would have been forced to pay billions of dollars more in energy costs every year as power plants producing more than one-half of the nation’s electricity would have had to undertake expensive retrofits.”

Noting that President Obama said he wanted somebody “who has the intellectual firepower but also a little bit of a common touch and a practical sense of how the world works,” Milloy said that in the Riverkeeper case Sotomayor didn’t display too much of a “common touch” and “practical sense” when it came to the cost-benefit analysis.

Senators, Milloy advised, should probe whether Judge Sotomayor “lacks the common-sense realization that the benefits of environmental regulation ought to outweigh its costs — a worldview with ominous implications given the nation’s present rush toward cap-and-tax global warming regulation and other green mindlessness.”

What is truly sad, truly pathetic, and truly laughable (in a hysterical-laughing-into-a-crying-jag-whilest-curled-up-in-a-fetal-position sort of way) is that Americans have already said, “Please, sir, may we have some more” when it comes to massive energy taxes that will do to our economy what a German U-boat did to the Lusitania.

Judge Sotomayor clearly doesn’t have a whole lot of that “common touch” or “practical sense.”  Indeed, writing for the majority decision that overturned Sotomayor’s ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia:

noted that forcing compliance under Sotomayor’s reasoning would make companies spend nine times the amount necessary to accomplish “nearly the same benefit to the environment that cheaper technologies would achieve.”

Spend nine times more for very nearly the same benefit.  And liberals wonder why conservatives call them “insane.”

Now, it just so happens that “common touch” and “practical sense” didn’t matter very much when we voted for our president, either.  So why should it matter to us when we put yet another black-robed master over us for the rest of her life?

Let’s hear what Obama said he wanted:

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

The guy we voted for as our president said he planned to bankrupt fully half of our source of electricity.

“Empathy” means millions of Americans freezing to death in the dark.

Get ready for it.  Because Obama’s and Sotomayor’s crap river is going to flood right down your family’s throat.

Sonia Sotomayor: Another Radical In Robes

May 26, 2009

In a nutshell: Sonia Sotomayor is an activist judge whose decisions have nearly always been overturned by the very Court to which she aspires, as well as a judge who has expressed racist views.

Let us begin with her racist views.

Have you ever seen the statue representing justice?  Ever notice that “Lady Justice” is wearing a blindfold?

Lady Justice wears the blindfold so that she will NOT be biased by what her eyes see.  She will not notice the race, the gender, the religion, or any other such factor.  Instead, she will balance each case before her with the scales of justice, as determined by the law.

We immediately discover that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has no resemblance whatsoever to Lady Justice.  As CNN provides:

At a 2001 U.C. Berkeley symposium marking the 40th anniversary of the first Latino named to the federal district court, Sotomayor said that the gender and ethnicity of judges does and should affect their judicial decision-making. From her speech:

“I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society….

“I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that – it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others….

Our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor [Martha] Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” [U.C. Berkeley School of Law, 10/26/2001]

Judge Sotomayor has ripped the blindfold off, and makes race and gender major focal points of her view of “justice.”  That she feels that a Latina woman is able to reach a “better conclusion” than a white male is simply racist.

Imagine for a single nanosecond that a white man said, “I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn’t lived that life.” Imagine the OUTRAGE.  Her statement is every bit as racist; but it is radically leftist, and so it is ignored for any purpose of criticism.

What about the scales of justice that Lady Justice uses to weigh cases?

Sonia Sotomayor lacks proper scales, as well.  She certainly lacks impartiality, by her own acknowledgment.

First of all, let us see how she views the law:

In a 2005 panel discussion at Duke University, Sotomayor told students that the federal Court of Appeals is where “policy is made.” She and other panelists had been asked by a student to describe the differences between clerking in the District Court versus in the Circuit Court of Appeals. Sotomayor said that traditionally, those interested in academia, policy, and public interest law tend to seek circuit court clerkships. She said, “All of the legal defense funds out there, they’re looking for people with Court of Appeals experience. Because it is — Court of Appeals is where policy is made. And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don’t ‘make law,’ I know. [audience laughter] Okay, I know. I know. I’m not promoting it, and I’m not advocating it. I’m, you know. [audience laughter] Having said that, the Court of Appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating. Its interpretation, its application.” [Duke University School of Law, 2/25/2005, 43:19, http://realserver.law.duke.edu/ramgen/spring05/lawschool/02252005clerk.rm%5D

Should judges legislate from the bench?  Should they make policy?  Sotomayor clearly acknowledges her view, even as she recognizes how radical and wrong it is, and therefore says the pro forma things to cover her arse.

She uses her position on the bench to impose her views upon the law, to make policy rather than allow the legislative branch to make policy and issue verdicts on the basis of the laws that are written.

Chief Justice John Roberts once put it this way:

“Judges are like umpires.  Umpires don’t make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire.”

Amazingly, this statement has been attacked by the left.  That is because they want a judge to be able to change the color or shape of the baseballs, or change the size or length of the bats, or subjectively alter the way the game is called.  And they believe that a judge should be able to call the game in a way that favors one chosen side over another (using their “empathy” or their preference for a particular race, for example).  Because THEY are the side that features the activists judges who will do those things to favor leftists causes and arguments.

Justice Scalia, in his response to ACLU president Nadine Strossen’s favoring judicial activism and finding opinions in foreign law that corresponded with the verdicts they wanted to impose, said:

“Someday, Nadine, you’re going to get a very conservative Supreme Court… And you’re going to regret what you’ve done.”

Because the left would howl in unholy outrage if rightwing justices abandoned the Constitution the way the left have and imposed their own views and sought their own sources to justify their subjective rulings.  If you’re on the left, imagine how you would feel if a far right judge invoked sharia law to suppress the homosexual agenda, and you’ll understand how conservatives feel about judicial activists invoking European law to promote it.  We didn’t place ourselves under the authority of European law; we placed ourselves under our very own Constitution.

Justice Roberts made another relevant and powerful statement:

“I had someone ask me in this process — I don’t remember who it was, but somebody asked me, you know, ‘Are you going to be on the side of the little guy?’ And you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then, the big guy is going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That’s the oath.

But this ISN’T the oath that Sonia Sotomayor will hold herself to.  Rather, she will pull off the blindfold, and judge cases by race and by gender.  And she will “make policy” rather than follow the law.

What did Thomas Jefferson say about the threat of Supreme Court Justices imposing their own will upon the Constitution and imposing laws on the nation based on nothing but their own wills?

“This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt.” —Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1825. ME 16:114“The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” —Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1804. ME 11:51

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.” —Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:277

I don’t hear Jefferson praising “empathy” as the defining quality of of our Supreme Court Justices. I don’t hear him lamenting that a Latina woman isn’t on the bench due to her superior wisdom over his own (as a white man).  I don’t hear him praising Sotomayor’s desire to “make policy” from the bench.  In fact, what I hear Jefferson doing is rolling in his grave over the abomination that Barack Obama’s and Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial philosophy is inflicting upon the nation.

Finally, Sotomayor doesn’t make good law.  Too many times, her activist decisions have been overturned.  Of the cases in which she ruled that went before the US Supreme Court, Sotomayor has been reversed fully five out of six times.  And the one time she WASN’T reversed, her reasoning was unanimously faulted by every single justice:

Cases Reviewed by the Supreme Court

• Ricci v. DeStefano 530 F.3d 87 (2008) — decision pending as of 5/26/2009

• Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA, 475 F.3d 83 (2007) — reversed 6-3 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg)

• Knight vs. Commissioner, 467 F.3d 149 (2006) — upheld, but reasoning was unanimously faulted

• Dabit vs. Merrill Lynch, 395 F.3d 25 (2005) — reversed 8-0

• Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. vs. McVeigh, 396 F.3d 136 (2005) — reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, Alito)

• Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp., 299 F.3d 374 (2000) — reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer)

• Tasini vs. New York Times, et al, 972 F. Supp. 804 (1997) — reversed 7-2 (Dissenting: Stevens, Breyer)

Sonia Sotomayor is a judge who has been humiliated with an 8-0 smackdown of her judicial reasoning.

And the case that is “pending review” – Ricci v. DeStefano (aka the New Haven firefighter case), is precisely the sort of terrible and racist reasoning that should demonstrate how unfit for the highest court in the land Sonia Sotomayor truly is.

A couple of paragraphs from an excellent article on the case:

Mr. Ricci’s saga started in 2003. At the time, he was one of more than 100 firemen who took a written and oral exam that the New Haven Fire Department (NHFD) administered in order to determine whom it would promote to fill 15 openings for lieutenant and captain positions. In preparation for the test, Ricci, a dyslexic who struggles with reading and retaining information, simply outworked most of his competition. He spent more than $1,000 to purchase books that the city had recommended as useful study guides, and he studied for 8 to 13 hours each day. When the test scores were ultimately tabulated, Ricci’s name was near the top of the list. The promotion should have been his.

It didn’t happen that way. It soon emerged that New Haven’s black firefighters, on average, had performed quite poorly on the same test that Ricci had aced. In fact, not a single African American had scored high enough to qualify for a promotion. When word of this got around, a number of local black leaders with political influence thundered that the exam itself was to blame, arguing alternately that it was racially biased on the one hand, and a poor predictor of an applicant’s potential to fulfill the duties of a leadership position on the other.

This is exactly the sort of thing that Roberts was talking about in his analogy.  We had a law in place; we had a universally recognized system of promotion.  One man, in particular, tried to work as hard as he could within the rules that were supposed to be for everyone, and aced the exam.  But Sonia Sotomayor decided she didn’t like the results, and so she changed the rules quite literally after the game had already been played.

Let’s demand a justice who rules according to the law without prejudice rather than a justice who makes prejudice a basis for her rulings.  Let’s demand a justice who understands that she is under the rule of law rather than a justice who uses the legal system to “make policy.”

We don’t need another radical in robes.

The American people have enough black-robed masters and government bureaucrats imposing their will upon us in blatant disregard of the intent of the Constitution which is supposed to be our source of law.  We have enough officials who conflate their own power and explode the size and role of government as master over every sphere of our lives.  We can do far better than Sonia Sotomayor.

Why Obama’s Supreme Court Selection Will Be A Disgrace To The Constitution

May 4, 2009

Does the Constitution mean anything specific, or is it just a “living, breathing” document that means whatever the reader wants it to mean?

And what does it mean if the Constitution is essentially meaningless?  What does it mean if the rule of leftwing “empathy” trumps the rule of law?

Depending on your answer to the first question, and what you think about the second, you are either about to be very angry, or very happy.

Justice David Souter just announced his resignation from the Supreme Court, and Barack Obama had this to say:

“I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book, it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives, whether they can make a living, and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes, and welcome in their own nation. I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with peoples hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes.”

Back in November, when asked what kind of Supreme Court Justice he wanted, Obama said:

I taught constitutional law for 10 years, and . . . when you look at what makes a great Supreme Court justice, it’s not just the particular issue and how they rule, but it’s their conception of the Court. And part of the role of the Court is that it is going to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process, the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don’t have a lot of clout.

. . . [S]ometimes we’re only looking at academics or people who’ve been in the [lower] court. If we can find people who have life experience and they understand what it means to be on the outside, what it means to have the system not work for them, that’s the kind of person I want on the Supreme Court.

Obama has said:

We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.

Is that what being a Supreme Court Justice should mean?  Taking the little guy’s side against the big guy?  Taking the outsider’s side, such that we use the power of law to bring the outsiders inside?  Having “empathy” toward liberal voting blocs?  Why should it even matter if the law is on the rich and powerful guy’s side?

Kelly Long, of the Judicial Confirmation Network, said in response to Obama’s statement today:

“What he means is, he wants empathy for one side, and what’s wrong with that is it is being partial rather than impartial.

And she’s right: I didn’t hear Obama mentioning the need to have any empathy toward any traditional or conservative people or groups.  As an example of this highly partial and politicized and partisan “empathy,” a hate crimes bill just passed the House that could target pastors who argue that homosexuality is a sin.  Where’s the “empathy” for them?

Empathy is recast as a political weapon of the left.  And when a judge makes rulings on such feelings, his “empathy” for one group translates into naked contempt for another group.

Contrast Obama’s view with the view of Chief Justice John Roberts:

“I had someone ask me in this process — I don’t remember who it was, but somebody asked me, you know, ‘Are you going to be on the side of the little guy?’ And you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then, the big guy is going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution.  That’s the oath.

In other words, Roberts 100% disagrees with Obama: being a Supreme Court Justice is not at all about having “empathy” or taking the little guy’s side; it is about following the Constitution and ruling in accordance to what the founders who wrote it intended.  Something has to ground our laws.  And the purely subjective opinions of nine unelected lawyers should not be what anchors this nation.

We find out something: as much as liberals want to argue that Bush trounced the Constitution, it is THEY who frankly could care less about the Constitution.

Rasmussen found out that:

While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree. Just 11% of McCain supporters say judges should rule based on the judge’s sense of fairness, while nearly half (49%) of Obama supporters agree.

Only 29% of Obama supporters agree that justices should rule on what is in the Constitution.  That is absolutely terrifying.

It is conservatives who care about the Constitution.  Liberals only care about what they want, and whatever ends justify whatever means.  And if the Constitution doesn’t support what they want, so much the worse for the Constitution.

obama_yes-we-can-constitution

That’s why liberal judges can mysteriously find penumbras and emanations supporting the “Constitutional” right to abortion, and simultaneously deny the clear and obvious meaning of the 2nd Amendment’s right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Justice Thurgood Marshall, who is the prototype of the liberal justice, said, “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up” (see Deborah L. Rhode, “A Tribute to Justice Thurgood Marshall: Letting the Law Catch Up,” in the 44 Stanford Law Review 1259 (1992).

The problem with this view is that one can literally do whatever one wants as a Justice without any guide but one’s own desires or convictions.  And yet that is the essence of Obama’s philosophy.  All kinds of horrors have resulted from this approach.

In the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision, likely the worst decision ever, the Supreme Court ignored the overwhelmingly clear mandate of the Constitution in favor of a desired outcome. In writing his dissent to this despicable example of judicial tyranny, Justice Benjamin R. Curtis wrote, “When a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we no longer have a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is according to their own views of what it ought to mean” (Dred Scott 60 U.S. 621 (Curtis, J., dissenting)).

Similarly, in the 1944 Korematsu v. United States decision, the activist Supreme Court upheld the executive orders of FDR requiring forced internment of some 110,000 American citizens of Japanese descent in clear violation of the plain sense of the 5th Amendments prohibitions against deprivation of life liberty, or property without due process.

Activist judges have repeatedly throughout history justified slavery, segregation, and racism, abandoning the plain sense of the Constitution in order to impose their views upon the text.  Let’s not forget that it was Democrats who fought to impose slavery, and it was judicial activists who bound the country up with laws that took the bloodiest war in American history to overcome.

What did Thomas Jefferson say about the threat of Supreme Court Justices imposing their own will upon the Constitution and imposing laws on the nation based on nothing but their own wills?

“This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1825. ME 16:114

“The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other.  But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1804. ME 11:51

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.  Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
—Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:277

I don’t hear Jefferson praising “empathy” as the defining quality of of our Supreme Court Justices.  In fact, I hear him turning in his grave over the abomination that Barack Obama’s philosophy is inflicting upon the nation.

Not that Obama cares one bit about what Jefferson realized about the stupidity and folly of judicial activism two centuries ago.  That would be honoring the original intent of our incredibly wise founding fathers, and liberals like  Obama won’t have any of that.

Antonin Scalia and Nadine Strossen debated over the strict constructivist approach, which honors the founding fathers’ view of the Constitution; versus the “living document” approach, which enables justices to impose their will on the Constitution.  A partial transcript of their debate is available.

Toward the end of the transcript, Scalia said this:

Someday, Nadine, you’re going to get a very conservative Supreme Court… And you’re going to regret what you’ve done.

Imagine if “rightwing” justices bought into the “living document” view of liberals, abandoned their historical interpretation of the Constitution, and began to start seeking “penumbras and emanations” justifying whatever laws they wanted to impose upon society.  Liberals, just imagine for a moment what they would do to society by basing their decisions not upon the Constitution and the law but upon whatever they felt like doing based upon their ideology.

Liberal activist judges love to turn to foreign law to “inform” their rulings.  So let’s see a hardcore rightwing justice start referring to sharia to “inform” his rulings against women and homosexuals.  Let’s see how the left feels if the right uses their own “legal reasoning” against them to impose a rabid moral view in the name of and with the force of law.  One thing is sure: no matter how far such a rightwing judge might go, it is yet unlikely he would go as far as the left did against babies.

The farther Obama pushes the envelope toward liberal judicial activism, the greater the ultimate backlash will be when the worm turns.  And if the economy tanks or we are hit by terrorists, the worm WILL turn to the right.

We don’t know who Obama will appoint to fill the Souter vacancy, but the one thing we DO know is that his pick will be a disgrace to the Constitution.