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calendar   Sunday - May 31, 2009

The jury’s still out on if Sonia Sotomayor is the right judge for the job, in editorial page here ..

Following up on editorials and articles re this person by Drew and a tip from Blake, I thought maybe I should post this for the benefit of BMEWS readers as it’s from the editorial page of the Telegraph.

I’m not posting all of it as much has already been posted with regard to her bio.
I hesitated at first but the idea stuck me that maybe some of you would be interested in seeing how this is being reported outside our own country.

I’m not clear on why the author here thinks the jury is still out.  Which jury would that be?
I do believe this is an attempt to please a large and rapidly growing segment of the American population.  A segment that by and large voted for Obama.
I think it’s fair and honest to say our side would do the same, except our side is far less likely to join the social engineering diversity one size WILL fit all mind set.  But then again I do tend to be biased.

Oh wait, I can’t let this go just yet.  There’s one really important thing. Guns, and the control or banishment of them by this judge if she has her way.
I may be judging her in a negative light on just that one issue, and critics will say that’s wrong. 
Well, I am living in a place right now that has a gun ban, of serious sorts, and where only the really bad guys have them.  I’m in a place and at an age where self defense is a personal issue.
I would HATE to see anyone on the court with the means of screwing up the right to arms for law abiding citizens.
I’m witness to what happens to those law abiding folks who are, armless. Don’t much like what I see let me tell ya. It’s very scary!
You must not allow that to happen in the USA!!!!


Profile: From the tough Puerto Rican projects of the Bronx, to the threshold of the Supreme Court, she’s certainly come a long way – but no one is quite sure where she stands, says William Langley.

William Langley
Last Updated: 4:45PM BST 30 May 2009

Soon after the start of his run for the presidency, Barack Obama dropped a big hint about the kind of judges he wanted to see on the bench of the Supreme Court. “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognise what it’s like to be a young teenage mom,” said the candidate. “The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old.” The “old” bit seemed superfluous, given that one of the current judges is 89 and four others are in their 70s, but that’s campaign rhetoric for you.

Of far more interest is what Obama actually meant by “empathy”. The word – a longstanding pop-psychology and self-help manual standby – has been heavily in play since Obama last week proposed Sonia Sotomayor, a New York appeals court judge, as his first Supreme Court pick. Miss Sotomayor, a glossily coiffeured, divorced and childless daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, would, if approved by the Senate, become the first Hispanic woman – and only the third woman ever – to join the ranks of the Supremes. But uncertainty as to whom and what she might choose to do her empathising with swirls around her, and may yet scupper her candidacy.

Many conservatives see her nomination as, at best, a payback for the 67 per cent of the Hispanic vote that Obama took in November’s election, and at worst a sign of the new President’s stealthy, socialistic refashioning of the American state. “Empathy,” wrote Karl Rove, the previous President’s senior policy adviser, in The Wall Street Journal last week, “is the latest code word for liberal activism, for treating the Constitution as malleable clay to be kneaded and moulded in whatever form justices want. It represents an expansive view of the judiciary in which courts create policy that couldn’t pass the legislative branch, or, if it did, would generate a voter backlash.”

The Supreme Court’s job is to interpret the Constitution. This isn’t as dull as it sounds, and can occasionally throw up cases like the claim of Anna Nicole Smith, the voluptuous blonde ex-lapdancer and TV reality star, to inherit her 89-year-old billionaire husband’s fortune. For most of the court’s 218-year history the bench has been occupied by worthy, middle-aged, white, male constitutional lawyers of little or no obvious political leanings. It was only during the second half of the 20th century that the White House began to realise that a president’s right to nominate judges could be a powerful extension of policy.

As Rove suggests, an ideologically supportive Supreme Court is a convenient way of “laundering” legislation into the system. The court deals with around 100 cases a year, nearly all of which have a bearing on the nation’s political character, and some of which shape it. The problem is that partisan appointments have a history of backfiring. Eisenhower rued his nomination of the celebrated Chief Justice Earl Warren as “the biggest damned mistake I ever made”, after Warren – sent in as a conservative – returned a series of ultra-liberal judgements. Something similar happened with David Souter, appointed by George Bush Sr. It is his retirement, after a controversial 19-year tenure, that has opened the door for Miss Sotomayor.

Appointments are for life: the justices can only be replaced as a result of death, retirement or impeachment. So Miss Sotomayor, at 54, is likely to remain in office long after Obama has gone and, just as few people know who she is, still fewer can predict with any certainty what she might do. Consequently the liberal lobby is displaying signs of nervousness comparable to those that afflict the conservative camp.

Judge Sotomayer has a surprisingly limited track record on hot-button social issues such as abortion, gay rights, gun control, affirmative action, immigration and the death penalty. The kinds of things, in other words, that those cheering her appointment are likely to be most consumed by. Her largely uncontroversial years in the appeals court have provided few clues as to how she might proceed on the big constitutional questions.

This could be because the judge is extremely clever – or, as her detractors see it, because she is nowhere near clever enough. In a detailed examination of her career, Jeffrey Rosen, the legal affairs editor of The New Republic, raised doubts about “her temperament, her judicial craftsmanship, and most of all, her ability to provide an intellectual counterweight to the conservative justices”. One former New York court official is quoted by Rosen as saying: “She’s not that smart, and a kind of a bully.”

This seems harsh. No one claims she’s the next Oliver Wendell Holmes, but Miss Sotomayor’s life story is a qualification in itself.

HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/31/2009 at 01:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeGuns and Gun Control •  
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