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Posts Tagged ‘supreme court’

Justice Sotomayor

Posted by AB on August 8, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor, left, President Obama's choice to replace retiring ...

All of the talk, and all of the debate is over.  The time for work is now.  Judge Sonia Sotomayor is now United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.  Today, she was sworn-in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 111th Justice of the US Supreme Court. 

Justice Sotomayor is only the third female Justice, the third minority Justice, and the first Hispanic Justice in the history of the United States of America.  Think about that for a moment.  In the matter of less than a year, we have elected a President who is the son of a Kenyan father and a white, American mother, and that President has successfully nominated a female Supreme Court Justice who was raised in a Bronx housing project by a Puerto Rican, immigrant mother.  It is easy to see that discrimination based on gender or race is alive and well, but don’t be mistaken; those voices of hate are loud, but they are few. 

We are a great country, but the inclusion and equality of all will allow us to become even greater.  So, for all of those who have led the way, and those who continue to lead, thank you.  As we continue to grow as a nation, we remember all who fought for this great day, and for those who fight for even greater days.  “Yes, we can.”


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Posted by AB on August 6, 2009

No surprise, but very gratifying for her supporters. Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been confirmed by a Senate vote of 68-31. She will be only the third woman and first Hispanic to sit upon this nation’s highest court. Judge Sotomayor will be sworn-in as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Saturday.

Nine Republicans voted “Yea,” while the rest of the Republican members of the US Senate voted “Nay.” There will, no doubt, be a political fallout for those who voted “Nay,” and some Pepublicans who voted “Yea.” This is not the time for that, however. We should all appreciate this historic moment in our nation’s history.

This confirmation is great for the United States of America, and not just because of her gender or race, but because she is immensely prepared to become a great Supreme Court Justice. I, for one, am very proud.

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Sotomayor Confirmation (Day 3)

Posted by AB on July 15, 2009

There was more of the same in the second day of questioning on Capitol Hill.  Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor conducted herself with class and showed immense knowledge of case-law.  I wish I could say the same for the Republican committee members. 

I really wanted to give the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee the benefit of the doubt, but that ship has sailed in regard to these hearings.  They continued to question her, and complain about the “wise Latina” comment.  She answered the same questions several times yesterday, and was forced to so so again, today.

The all-white, all-male group of Republicans continue to disrespect the female judge of Puerto Rican descent, in terms of gender and race.  I would never vote for these men to begin with, but women and Hispanics are watching closely, and Republicans will continue to alienate them while attempting to appease their base.  Just because they say they are being respectful doesn’t make it so.

Another round of questions for Ms. Sotomayor tomorrow, along with the beginning of testimony from witnesses.  It should be interesting, especially when the New Haven Firefighters are called to damage the nominee.

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Sotomayor Confirmation (Day 2)

Posted by AB on July 14, 2009

It was a long, but impressive day two for Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.  Today, she was questioned by Senate Judiciary Committee members.  As expected, by many, most Republicans on the panel focused on an out-of-context quote from an eight year-old speech about being a “wise Latina.”  Even after she said, clearly, that no ethnicity, race, or gender made a person more or less qualified to make better judgements, the questions and veiled accusations continued.

All of this seems ironic when faced with the requests, by Republican committee members, to have more time to study her lengthy judicial record.  In all actuality, we could have done this thing a week after her nomination, when the quote was well-vetted over and over and over again. 

I wasn’t able to see the entire day’s questioning, and from what I saw, it was not all Republicans that were stressing this quote, so I do not mean to imply that.  It was, however, most Republican members who asked question today.

Just par for the course, I guess, and Sotomayor handled the questions well.  I do wonder, though, how concerned the committee was of President George W. Bush’s two nominees–two white males–that they might be biased in favor of their race and gender.  That’s rhetorical.  Of course they weren’t concerned.

The hearing will continue tomorrow, and I hope that we can go at least an hour without hearing the phrase “wise Latina.”

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Supreme Court Confirmation

Posted by AB on July 13, 2009

Today marked the beginning of a truly important democratic process atthe United States Capitol.  Sonia Sotomayor–only the third woman, and the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee–began her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Beyond all of the political ruminations of the Senate, which will certainly be seen, this is an opportunity for Americans and the entire world to witness the confirmation process.

The hearing began with opening statements by the members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, consisting of twelve Democrats, including Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and seven Republicans.  Following the statements by all committee members, Judge Sotomayor was introduced with statements from her home-state Senators, (D-NY) Chuck Schumer and (D-NY) Kirsten Gillibrand.  After two compelling introductions, Sotomayor was sworn in by Chairman Leahy, and then offered her own statement, which was a brief summary of her journey to this point.  It was her first opportunity to speak publicly since her nomination.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor is sworn in during ...

After today’s hearing, I heard most media pundits declare that Republican committee-members were very tame and respectful.  I don’t know whichSupreme Court confirmation hearing those people were watching, but the one that I watched was one in which Republican members were setting the precursors for an attack.  This will not only be an attack upon Sotomayor, but an attack upon President Obama, most importantly.

Despite the filth of some partisan politics that will be on display for the rest of the hearing, I encourage everyone to watch as much of this process as possible.  It’s not quite Haley’s Comet, but there are only nine Supreme Court Justices, and they all have lifetime appointments. 

*This seat became available with Justice David Souter’s retirement.

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Supreme Court Nomination = Madness

Posted by AB on May 27, 2009

It’s already begun, and yes, it’s madness.  Yesterday, President Obama announced his nomination for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the retirement of  Justice David Souter.  The nominee is United States Second Court of Appeals Judge, Sonia Sotomayor.  If confirmed by Senate, she will become the first Latina, and only the third woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.  The Republican Party and conservative special-interest groups have been waiting to fight this nomination, whoever it was going to be, for years.  They wasted no time, as Judge Sotomayo has been eviscerated in the last 24 hours.

US President Barack Obama applauds his nominee for Supreme Court ...

Sonia Sotomayor’s academic record is stellar.  She graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from Princeton.  After that, she graduated from Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Review.  Her professional record is just as impressive.  Out of Law school, in 1979,  she landed a job as an Assisstant District Attorney in Manhattan.  In 1984, she entered into private law, and in 1988, she became a partner at Pavia and Harcourt.  Miss Sotomayor became a trial judge in October of 1992, when she was appointed to the US District Court by President George H. W. Bush.  In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the US Second Court of Appeals, where she was also the first Latina.

Anytime there is an opening on the highest court in the land, a fight can be expected.  After all, this is an exclusive club of only nine, and to increase the stakes even more, this is a lifetime appointment.  The importance of this process demands that difficult questions be asked about the nominee’s judicial philosophy, so I would never argue that she get a soft ride through the confirmation process.  It should, however, be a respectful process.  So far, it has not been.

Barely a few hours after the announcement of Sonia Sotomayor as the nominee, conservative radio show host, Rush Limbaugh declared that she was racist, or “reverse racist.”  He also demeaned the President as a “reverse racist.”  Also last night, former Republican Representative, Tom Tancredo, along with a never-ending list of right-wing pundits and bloggers, all called her racist.  And today, the former and disgraced Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich “tweeted” that she should remove her name from nomination because she is a “Latina racist.”  This from a group of individuals who constantly complain that they can’t criticize the President without being accused of being racist.  Of course that’s not true, but false political outrage has been used by all sides for many years.  These remarks are simply disgusting, but these are disgusting men.

Strangely, Republican Congress members, who actually have to vet this nomination, have been cautious with comments about Judge Sotomayor.  I don’t know how long they can resist the hatred of fellow conservatives, but let’s hope they can focus upon the job of, respectfully, vetting the nominee.  Unfortunately, they are also being silent about the attacks being brought about by the haters.  If the Republican Party is to survive, its members must be careful to be respectful to this nominee, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but she represents the fastest-growing demographic in the country. 

Get ready.  This thing will be debated throughout the Summer, ending in the likely confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as the next United States Supreme Court justice.  If the early rhetoric is any indication, this will be really nasty.  I hope that all sides will be respectful of one another, but I am not mad.

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