Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is the nominee for Obama’s first Supreme Court appointment.
Her law clerks gave glowing reports about her, and her colleagues on the Second Circuit bench have also spoken kindly about her. But there are also lots of concerns about her nomination and possible confirmation for Supreme Court Justice.
Democrats wanted President Obama to nominate a legal star with impeccable credentials. Democrats, and presumably President Obama, want to get a judge confirmed who can shift the direction of Supreme Court decisions. Not too many of them around, though. And which of them could pass the background check and vetting process? The field of candidates shrinks pretty quickly through vetting. And quite a few prospective Obama Administration nominees got tripped up on their paths to nomination from tax issues and such.
One of the first questions any observer should ask is, “Is this person one of the best, brightest, most advanced legal minds in the United States?” However, it appears that the heading at the top of Obama’s short list said “Women, Black Women or Hispanic Women.”
So, when you begin your search with preconceptions, it narrows the field significantly. It also tells all observers that this is a political nomination, not a qualifications nomination.
Conservatives naturally get their panties in a wad about the possibility of a judicial activist getting onto the bench for a lifetime appointment. So, they are doing everything they can to find chinks in Sotomayor’s armor. I’ve read about a couple of her decisions, such as the one involving the New Haven, Connecticut firefighters, in which she appears to have promoted reverse racial discrimination. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich referred to her as a “racist” after her comments that a Latina woman’s experience would be better than a white man.
But both sides are missing the REAL issue, and I’m convinced that they are missing it on purpose.
The REAL ISSUE is the choice between strict Constitutional interpretation and any other Constitutional interpretation.
Look at this with the jaundiced eye of a political cynic. The Supreme Court is a branch of the Federal Government. The Justices get their paychecks from tax money. The Federal Government is all about constant growth of revenue and power. The Constitution is all about restriction of government revenue and power. A strict interpretation of the Constitution is diametrically opposed to the goals of the Federal Government.
So, the Justices of the Supreme Court must support the continued growth of revenue and power of the Federal Government. Sure they’ll throw an occasional decision in the direction of the citizens, but they will only serve to distract the citizens from the REAL ISSUE.
There are only two Justices on the present Supreme Court who lean toward strictness…Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. I said “lean toward,” though. There is no current Justice who is an advocate of strict interpretation. All other Justices broadly accept the belief that the Constitution is open to modern interpretations.
So, I can state with certainty that no President, regardless of political party affiliation, is going to nominate a strict Constitutionalist for the Supreme Court. And the theater of the absurd will continue until the Federal Government of the United States will collapse under its own weight.