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Sotomayor's Ricci Decision Analysis

The racist right's rantings notwithstanding, we have this:

More:

  • Sotomayor did not say that one should legislate from the bench. Instead, in the full context, she essentially said (paraphrase) that district court attends to specifics of the case. The appellate court looks at how the case was tried relative to other similar cases (i.e. policy for the courts - NOT government policy or legislation). This particular quote out of context is particularly deceptive.
  • When "when Sotomayor asserted, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she was specifically discussing the importance of judicial diversity in determining race and sex discrimination cases" (Media Matters.org). Clarence Thomas said something similar, but conservatives had no problem with his statement.
  • Her reversal rate is not high. Of her more than 400 cases only 5% have been overturned. The 60% figure refers to those which were appealed and heard at SCOTUS. It is the same percentage by which ALL cases, not just Sotomayor's, were reversed. In other words, her reversal rate is average.
  • In fact, as Media Matters points out, contrary to myth, conservatives are more likely to be activist judges according to one study.
  • Sotomayor was not soft on corruption. It is relevant (though left out by these commentators) that the defendant in the case had already paid complete restitution.
  • She does not lack the intellect to serve on SCOTUS. And the claims otherwise are not just untrue, they are insulting.
  • Using unnamed former law clerks (for other judges on the court) as witnesses to her "temperament to serve on SCOTUS, this claim relies on a hit job in the New Republic (May 4 issue) by legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen, Fox News host Bill Hemmer and Supreme Court reporter Shannon Bream." (That's not exactly an objective crew there.) And using said unnamed clerks leaves open the possibility that these clerks were partisans themselves (on the other side).

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Comments (6)

steve:

Why waste webspace making excuses for her? Obama has already promised that she herself will re-word her prior statements so let's keep our ears open this week

ts:

Lee -

You might want to use better sourcing. The New Republic, hardly a right wing mouthpiece, article was by Jeffrey Rosen, their legal affairs editor. No one from Fox News was involved. Is that the new left wing version of Godwinning someone? Just attach a Fox News reporter to the story. That said, Rosen's piece was little more than high-brow gossip, and easily disposed of.

But what is more interesting is that your post is about three times the length of the summary order she participated in on the Ricci case, so everyone is analyzing what isn't there, because the order is so short. Even if she were right on the law, and the oral arguments at the SC make that a pretty iffy position at this point, it represented sloppy work by the appellate court that she will need to address at her confirmation hearings.

ke_future:

here's an interesting article.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/06/01/sonia-sotomayor-nomination-opinions-columnists-conservatives.html

in it, the author argues against some of the tactics taken by conservatives against sotomayor, but also brings up points as to why libertarians should be against her nomination.

the author says better than i can why i don't like her judicial philosophy

Keith:

Let's see.....a bunch of people whose job it is to save lives take a written test as a major part of their promotion process. All these people work at the same job and have the exact same access to study materials as the others. In other words they are 100% equal at this point with the possible exception of seniority in the department.

The test scores are tabulated and as luck would have it mostly whites scored the highest. New Haven scrapped the test.

Now, had it been that mostly blacks scored the highest no one would have cared.

That's racism right there.

So instead New Haven is most likely going to rewrite the test with the result of "dumbing it down" so those who typically would have been weeded out will be allowed to pass.

Inferior and deadly.

Sotomayors decision was 100% racist in this case. She simply sided with the blacks that there was not enough representation. Sotomayors decision was also 100% stupid in this case in that she wholly ignored the law.

As for her whole "white man bad, latina good" malarkey we happen to live in a country founded upon the concept of the Rule of Law. Justice is blind woman for a reason. As soon as you start taking into account skin color and other racial markers into your decision making process you effectively start playing favoritism and this is 100% why Sotomayor must not ever be given a bench on the USSC.

Lee Ward:
Let's see.....a bunch of people whose job it is to save lives take a written test as a major part of their promotion process. All these people work at the same job and have the exact same access to study materials as the others. In other words they are 100% equal at this point with the possible exception of seniority in the department.

The test scores are tabulated and as luck would have it mostly whites scored the highest. New Haven scrapped the test.

Now, had it been that mostly blacks scored the highest no one would have cared.

First off, that isn't what happened. It was 'all things were equal' going into the test - you never have that situation.

Second, yes -- it's the law that if all things were equal and whites scored high and blacks didn't under the current law the test gets thrown out.

The law that applies says that there must be bias built into the test if race is a determining fact in the outcome.

You yourself, Keith, said that the black applicants were in this hypothetical case equally qualified and experienced, etc.

Obviously there is something wrong with the test if equally qualified people score differently based on their race.

J.R.:

Obviously there is something wrong with the test if equally qualified people score differently based on their race.

Really lee? Is there something wrong with the SATs then? the MCAT or LSATs? any high school student is 'qualified' to take the SAT as are college grads to be with the MCAT or LSAT, yet people score differently on those and there are breakdowns because of race.

Tests are not administered so that everyone comes out equal, that's why people take tests. sheesh. And how the hell can you rig a fire fighting test to favor only white applicants?


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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