EQUAL PROTECTION FOR EMPATHY
PART 1 of 2
Jon Christian Ryter
June 7, 2009
When Resident Barack Hussein Obama named one of the most arrogant magistrates on the federal bench as his pick to replace retiring Associate US Supreme Court Justice David Souter, the media jumped on the off-key liberal choir by calling his choice "inspiring" even though the US Supreme Court she wants to join overturned 60% of her rulings. As Obama picked 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals magistrate Sonia Sotomayor on Wed., May 26, he referred to the far left jurist as a "moderate"—not because she made centrist decisions, but simply beccause she was brought to the federal bench by a Republican, George H.W. Bush (whose taste in judges, except for Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, seems to be seasoned with a left-handed salt shaker. Sotomayor served as a former New York City Assistant District Attorney for five years (i.e., a "grunt" lawyer with no decision-making authority or opportunties to advance in the DA's office) before entering into private practice in New York. With absolutely no judicial experience, Sotomayor should never have been on anyone's radar screen for a federal judgeship—most certainly not on a Republican's.
In point of fact, she wasn't. She was actually on a Democrat's radar screen during the last year of Bush-41's single term in office. Just as liberal Republican former New Hampshire Governor//Bush-41 Chief-of-Staff John Sununu picked Souter, liberal New York Democratic Senator Daniel Moynihan was allowed to pick two of seven federal judges in a compromise to keep Bush-41's judicial appointments from being filibustered. Knowing her pedigree, Moynihan picked Sotomayor to fill the bench on the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Thus, Obama claims that a Republican president picked her is not true. She may, in fact, be the first federal court judge in US history picked by a US Senator and not a President.
And, of course, that's why Marxist Democrats have fast-tracked her. Sotomayor, like traditional liberals, embraces identity politics which incorporates the principles of categorical representation (minorities are best represented by minority judges). Even more to the liking of the far left, she is an extremely radical judicial activist who has made it clear that in her view "law is made at the appellate level" of the federal judiciary. Sotomayor believes that federal judges have the right, through reinterpretation, to rewrite the laws of the land. In Sotomayor's view, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights no longer fit the needs of the societal architects of an evolving world.
Sotomayor has apparently never taken a good look at at the statute of Lady Justice. She is blind to portray the legal concept of absolute neutrality in the dispensing of justice. The oath taken by nominees to the high court affirms what must be complete impartiality: "I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all duties incumbent upon me as (title) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me, God." If justice is not blind, then our federal court system will quickly become nothing more than the administrative arm of the Oval Office that metes punishment to those who challenge the edicts of the master in the White House.
When Bill Clinton nominated her for a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in 1997, the Republicans blocked her nomination for a year. In 1998, in what some insiders believe was another back room swap, the Republicans approved the Sotomayor nomination for the appellate court, and the Bronx time bomb began ticking. The time bomb that is ticking is the 2nd Amendment. On June 28, 2008 the US Supreme Court ruled on the case of District of Columbia et al v Heller in which the high court overturned the District's ban on the private ownership of guns, holding that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual's right to posses firearms and that the city's total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when needed for self-defense, violated that right and was, therefore, unconstitutional.
Since June 24, 2008, the right of the American people to own and legally possess firearms became settled law. Or rather, it should have. However, to the far left, which needs to disarm America before it can risk erasing our national borders and joining the stateless global economy, the 2nd Amendment is anything but settled law since judicial activists like Judge Sotomayor are frantically attempting to divorce the Constitution from the 14th Amendment—which binds the States to thee Bill of Rights.
Since the Supreme Court ruling on DC v Heller, two appellate courts have heard gun cases. The courts? The 2nd Circuit and the 9th Circuit. Six of about 170 federal judges have ruled on gun rights since the Heller decision last June. Of those six three judges, three agreed with the Supreme Court that the 2nd Amendment applies equally to the States, three did not. One of the appellate courts was the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the other was the 9th Circuit. Even the 9th Circuit, the most liberal court in the land, understood that the 14th Amendment binds the Bill of Rights to the States. A Bill Clinton-appointed and a Jimmy Carter-appointed judge on the 9th Circuit ruled in favor of the right of citizens to own firearms. In the other case, Maloney v Cuomo (which has been appealed to the US Supreme Court), two of the three judges on the 2nd Circuit ruled that New York's ban on martial arts weapons (a nunchaku) did not violate the 2nd Amendment.
In writing the majority opinion in Maloney (554 F.3d 56 ), Sotomayor stated that "...the Second Amendment does not apply to the States and therefore impose[s] no limitations on New York's ability to prohibit the possession of nunchakus. It is settled law," she continued, "that the Second Amendment applies only to limitations of the federal government seeks to impose on this right. Although the sweep of the Second Amendment has become the focus of a national legal dialogue, we see no need to enter into that debate. Instead, we hold that the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms imposes a limitation only upon the power of congress and the national government, and not upon that of the State." The far left, which has argued for years that the 14th Amendment tied the Bill of Rights to the States, now argues the reverse.
History in the making?
The media is claiming that Obama made history for nominating what the press has dubbed "the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court. In fact, she is not. The first Hispanic Associate Justice to the Supreme Court was Benjamin Nathan Cardozo. Justice Cardozo was appointed by President Herbert Hoover and was confirmed March 14, 1932. He assumed the seat held by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. When Holmes turned 90, he retired from the bench on January 12, 1932. His seat sat empty for two months until it was assumed by Cardozo. (By the way, in a nation of immigrants, there was no fanfare and whooping hurrahs that we put a Hispanic on the bench. Cardoza was simply an American.)
Clearly, the Election of 2008 was a history-making event. But not because we'll see a Hispanic on the Supreme Court for the first time. Where she does qualify as "first" is that, if confirmed, she will be the first US Supreme Court Justice without a sense of justice, and who believes that empathy should be part of the yardstick by which justice is measured. And, that will be historic. It's hard to believe that this woman—Sonia Sotomayor—is the same woman who, at herher US Senate confirmation hearing in 1992, told Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden that "...I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should honor that." Too bad she could not respect the rule of law once she got on the bench. That's why 60% of her rulings at the District Court level were reversed by the Supreme Court, and three of the five decisions of the 2nd Circuit that were written by her were also overturned. "Her high reversal rate alone," noted Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, "should be enough for us to pause and take a good look at her record. Frankly, it is the Senate's duty to do so." Because then President George H.W. Bush nominated her (even though we now know that she was actually nominated by Moynihan who leveraged Bush-41), she was approved unanimously in 1992 by Senators playing politics for votes—not for her, for themsselves. And, with a GOP majority that should have soundly rejected her in 1998, she was confirmed by a vote of 67 to 29. Seven of the Republicans who voted for her in 1998 are still in the Senate. It's almost a given they will vote for her again.
In 1992, there was no judicial history on this woman since the closest she came to the bench in a courtroom was during a sidebar arguing a point of law with opposing counsel before a Bronx city court judge. Today there is. None of it is good. Any Republican who casts a vote for her confirmation to the Supreme Court needs to be removed from office.
Looking closely at Sonio Sotomayor when the shroud of her public personae slips, we find a woman who is the mirror-opposite of the portrait of her painted by the liberal media. The media would have us see, through the prism of political-correctness, a compassionate, caring woman. They would have us believe she is a wise Hispanic woman who understands the plight of the poor because she came from poverty. (This, somehow, qualifies her to sit on the highest court in the land.) The reality is, one of her former liberal law clerks—now the legal afffairs editor for The New Republic—Jeffrey Rosen, observed that Sotomayor "...has an inflated opinion of herself, and...is a bully on the bench." Another law clerk working on the 2nd Circuit (who asked not to be identified) said she's "...not that smart and is a bully on the bench. She is domineering during oral arguments but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue."
Law clerks aren't the only ones who think Sotomayor is an arrogant bully. The current edition of the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary reveals how lawyers who have argued cases before the 2nd Circuit call her "nasty," a "terror on the bench," and "angry." The criticism lawyers expressed about Sotomayor stand in contrast to her peers on the 2nd Circuit. Of the 21 judges evaluated in the Almanac, the same lawyers gave 18 Circuit Court judges positive to glowing reviews. Two judges received mixed reviews. Only Sotomayor received negative comments all of the lawyers who responded to the Almanac questionnaire.
Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network issued a statement in which she said "...Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written.' In another statement she observed: "The records show she is far more of a liberal activist than even the current liberal activist Supreme Court."
As Thomas Sowell so wisely noted in his own commentary on May 27, "If you were going to have open heart surgery, would you want to be operated on by a surgeon who was chosen because he had to struggle to get where he is or by the best surgeon you could find—even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and had every advantage that money and social position could offer? In a 2006 RealClearPolitics.com article Sowell further observed that: "Contrary to what many say in the media, or even in academia, it is not a question of whether a judge is personally conservative or liberal. The real question is whether or he believes he is there to uphold the Constitution, or the Constitution is there to authorize him to do whatever he wants to do." Sotomayor is one of a growing number of judges who believe the Constitution is there to authorize them to do to whatever they want to do in the name of justice.
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The reality is, that even though Sotomayor backpedaled at Duke University , she believes she has the authority to "make policy," or, better stated, "make law." One need only look at her rulings as a US District Court Judge and the fact that 60% of her decisions were overturned to understand that she regularly "make laws." And, as noted above, three of the five decisions she wrote as an appellate court judge were overturned by the Supreme Court, and very likely, before she is confirmed to the high court, the fourth case—which is already on the high court'ss docket—will be overturned as well. (And when Maloney (554 F.3d 56 ) hits the high court's docket, it's likely that all five of the decisions she authored on the 2nd Circuit will be overturned by the Supreme Court. For part two click below.
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