Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Should Republicans try to block Sotomayors Nomination?

Today, President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. Would it be wise for Republicans to oppose her nomination and try and block her from being approved by the Senate?

Since Sotomayor is a Latina woman, does the GOP want to offend the Latino community by opposing her nomination? On the other hand, I have found out that she is a liberal, activist judge that wants to make policy from the bench. Should GOP fight the nomination and espouse their conservative values? Republicans traditionally believe in a strict constructionist approach to Judges with regard on how they interpret the Constitution. Judge Sotomayor clearly would do the exact opposite of what Republicans believe in how a good Justice would handle court decisions on the bench.

In 2005, Judge Sotomayor one example regarding that the Courts proper place is "where policy is made."

In a videotaped statement, she goes on to say, “And I know — I know this is on tape, and I should never say that because we don't make law. I know. O.K. I know. I'm not promoting it. I'm not advocating it. I'm — you know."

Below, this statement shows an example of Judge Sotamayor agreeing with the President's assesment of how a judge should make court decisions.

"It's exactly what the president has talked about. He likes that. He thinks that liberal judges are so smart and so enlightened and have such great instincts about what policy should be that they should be making the decisions about policy for the rest of us."

We do not yet know exactly what her postion is on abortion. I have searched extensively and it seems no one knows for sure what her position is regarding the abortion issue. Some articles written suspect she is in favor of the Roe V. Wade decision. But, then there are decisions on the bench that she clearly sided with Pro-Life groups based on the law.

Judge Sotamayor was appointed to the federal District Court in 1991 by George H.W. Bush , a Republican President. Does this make her a truly bi-partisan choice? Was President George H.W. Bush really a conservative? President Clinton appointed Sotomayor to Court of Appeals in 1998.

Sotomayor stated, "Our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging." Should this influence her court decisions?

Then, here is Sotomayor's stating that a "wise Latina woman" makes better judicial decisions than a white man because of the richness of her experience. Is this statement both sexist and racist?

MY OPINION: I believe that Republicans should demonstrate to Democrats just how extreme and left-wing Sotomayor is regarding her opinions both in court and out of court. I believe that the GOP should espouse their conservative views and their concern on how how she is clearly not a moderate. I believe that judges should adhere to the strict constructionist interpretation of laws according to the Constitution. I am against her nomination based on her being an activist judge, who clearly believes she has the right to make laws according to her liberal beliefs.

Crossposted to:http://teresamerica.blogtownhall.com/


Kyle R. Cupp said...


You wrote:

“I am against her nomination based on her being an activist judge, who clearly believes she has the right to make laws according to her liberal beliefs.”

Would you be against her nomination if she were an activist judge who clearly believed she had the right to make laws according to her conservative beliefs?

Teresa said...

I would tend to say NO.One example of conservatives consistent stance on activist judges was Harriot Miers, who did not even have the support from conservative senators because the administration was promoting her as if she would be a pro-life activist justice.

I only say I tend to say No because if there was an abortion case brought before the Supreme Court and the Justices had the possibility of making abortion illegal except in cases of rape, incest, and the life of mother than I would want the justices to vote to overturn Roe V. Wade while including the exceptions I just stated.

But, I am thinking of whether that would be considered activism or not? It would depend on the case and the arguments before the Supreme Court.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

So you are really okay with judicial activism so long as it’s done from a political standpoint with which you agree or on behalf of issues you deem important.

Follow up question: would you oppose her nomination, at least with the same force, if she were a liberal who did not engage in judicial activism?

Teresa said...

That's not exactly what I said. I did not say that I agree with any type of judicial activism. I said that it would depend on the case and the type of arguments brought before the court as to whether it would be considerd judicial activism or not. Let me clarify, If there was an abortion case heard by the Supreme Court, that on some legitimate basis challenged Roe V. Wade and the case was overturned with exceptions in case of rape, incest, or life of the mother, than I would support the justices decision.

My answer to your question is NO. If she was a liberal who was not an activist I would not oppose her nomination with the same force.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

"That's not exactly what I said. I did not say that I agree with any type of judicial activism."

I didn't say you agreed with any type of judicial activism. You say that you would oppose a liberal judicial activist, but would not oppose a conservative judicial activist. That implies you really are not opposed to judicial activism per se, at least not enough to make you oppose a judge, but rather judicial activism from a liberal persuasion. Clearly you do not agree with any type of judicial activism, but you seem to agree with some types of it. You don't seem to mind it if it's done on behalf of the unborn.

I'm not entirely clear what you mean by judicial activism, though. Could you give me a few concrete examples?

Teresa said...

Here is a definition I found on wikipedia.
Judicial activism is a philosophy advocating that judges should reach beyond the United States Constitution to achieve results that are consistent with contemporary conditions and values. Most often, it is associated with (modern) liberalism that believes in broad interpretation of the Constitution which can then be applied to specific issues. I don't know if there is a better definition or not.

Here are some examples of court cases that might be considered activist court decisions/cases:

Brown V. Board of Education
Engel V. Vitale which declared public shool prayer as unconstitutional.
Roe V. Wade
Mapp V. Ohio Declared warrantless searches and seizures unconstitutional.

Do you think any of these court decisions qualify as being activist decisions?

These are some of the examples I found. Do you know of any more examples?

Kyle R. Cupp said...

First, let's pinpoint the alleged judicial activism. What precisely in the cases qualify as such activism?

Teresa said...

As I am inferring, you would probably want a thorough answer regarding each of the court cases I mentioned.I believe what you are asking for would require basically, a term paper on each of these court cases. I don't want to do either injustice to your questions or injustice to my answer so I will address each, some seperately and some together, in furture blog articles.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

I'm really just looking for a concrete example of what you mean by judicial activism and why you think that example qualifies. Naming a court case isn't sufficient. Let's just stick with Roe, if that helps.

Teresa said...

The Warren Courts decision in Roe V. Wade was not based upon principles worked out in earlier cases but upon "policy judgments" made upon an ad hoc basis.

There is an unjustifiable application of a very questionable right to privacy. The justices identified a "right to privacy"in the Constitution that is not explicitly there. Roe is not merely patently wrong but also is fundamentally hostile to core precepts of American Government and citizenship.

The Court acknowledged that "the Constitution does not does not explicitly mention any right to privacy" but the justices used that basis to include a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy. Claiming this privacy includes abortion is both a massive stretch and dishonest. We have the legislative branch to draft laws and a Supreme Court to interpret the Constitutionality of laws. The Supreme Court overstepped its authority in the Roe V. Wade case.