Back in the 2006 nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court , Barack Obama criticized the philosphy on confirming Supreme Court Justices stating the Senate should "only examine whether or not the Justice is intellectually capable and is nice to his wife." He further objected that, "once you get beyond intellect and personal character there shouldn't be further question to whether the justice should be confirmed. Meaningful advice and consent includes an examination of a judge's philosophy, ideology, and record."
I agree with his objection, and find it very curious as to why Obama has focused on his nominee's empathy and "personal story" of how she was born in the Bronx, diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 8, her father's death, and how she overcame so many obstacles. It is also interesting to note how the media latched on to the sympathetic success story. Of course, it isn't surprising how quickly the media played on the heart strings of this narrative. However, as Obama advises, let's get beyond personal character and examine the judge's philosphies, ideologies, and record."
One statement made by Sotomayor is very disturbing in the realm of judicial philosophy. This month…a video surfaced of Judge Sotomayor asserting in 2005 [during a panel discussion for law students] that a ‘court of appeals is where policy is made.’ She then adds:
‘And I know — I know this is on tape, and I should never say that because we don’t make law. I know. Okay. I know. I’m not promoting it. I’m not advocating it. I’m — you know.’
This statement has been largely ignored by the main stream media yet the need for clarification is extremely important if the Senate is to approve this woman to one of the most powerful positions in America.
If we are to look at judge Sotomayor's personal ideologies it would be reckless to ignore her feelings on race and sex. One statement the media has been forced to cover, thanks to people like Rush Limbaugh, is quite alarming.
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.
I imagine this is the kind of "empathy" Obama was looking for in a nominee, however the benefit of the doubt could rule she mispoke. Similar statements, however, seem to make clear exactly how she feels her sex and race influence her judgement:
"Our experience as women and people of color affect our decisions. Whether born from experience or physiological or cultural differences...our gender and national origins may and WILL make a difference in our judging. Personal experiences affect the facts judges CHOOSE to see."
That statement is pretty clear cut, and as far as I know completely unreported by the media. Just looking at Sotomayor's record, we can already see how she is prone to rule in race cases. We also shouldn't ignore what we ended up with the last time a nominee mentioned race and gender influencing decisions. However, the most disturbing reflection of Sotomayor's character is the company she keeps. According the American Bar Association, Sotomayor is a member of the NCLR, otherwise known as "La Raza".
As President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee comes under heavy fire for allegedly being a “racist,” Judge Sonia Sotomayor is listed as a member of the National Council of La Raza, a group that’s promoted driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, amnesty programs, and no immigration law enforcement by local and state police.
According the American Bar Association, Sotomayor is a member of the NCLR, which bills itself as the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S.
Meaning “the Race,” La Raza also has connections to groups that advocate the separation of several southwestern states from the rest of America.
.... La Raza was condemned in 2007 by former U.S. Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga., as a radical “pro-illegal immigration lobbying organization that supports racist groups calling for the secession of the western United States as a Hispanic-only homeland.”
Norwood urged La Raza to renounce its support of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan – which sees “the Race” as part of an ethnic group that one day will reclaim Aztlan, the mythical birthplace of the Aztecs. In Chicano folklore, Aztlan includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas.
La Raza is a known radical pro-illegal immigration group that should be bringing up many, many questions. However, the media hasn't reported a peep on Sotomayor's association with the group. Don't expect much either.
In summary, I advise the Senate to take the Presiden't advice. Look past the personal stories and look at the nominee's beliefs, philosophies, and record. We know the media won't.