Texas Darlin’ on Sotomayor: Still ugly

June 15, 2009

I can’t bite my tongue and let idiots rage on unfairly and inaccurately about important matters.

Earlier I noted the difficulties with reality at Texas Darlin’.  The warden of the blog dropped by and suggested I should join the discussion there if I had something to say.  It always ends badly.  Someone there says something plug ugly stupid, and I note the facts.  My posts get edited, or censored.

Some post linked there, and I looked.  I couldn’t resist.  The owner and commenters are flailing around like a bass in the boat, trying to make a case that Sonia Sotomayor shouldn’t be a justice of the Supreme Court.  They have convinced themselves that she’s a racist, she’s sexist, she got where she is solely because of affirmative action and the Great Cabal that Runs the World.  And they are stuffing tinfoil in their ears now — it makes their hats leak, but it keeps them from hearing anything that might upset them.

I expect they’ll remove my posts soon.  If you care, I’ve made some defense of Sonia Sotomayor, and I copied the posts below the fold.  Texas Darlin’ inmates correspondents repeat every canard about Sotomayor you can imagine.  And some you can’t imagine.

Texas Darlin’ is neither.

I am persuaded to do a series of posts on the nomination of Sotomayor.  In the interim, here’s my attempt to square things at Texas Darlin’, below the fold.

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The truth about Judge Sotomayor

June 11, 2009

Nina Totenberg of NPR wins great respect as a reporter on the Supreme Court for a reason:  She’s a great reporter.

Totenberg on Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s alleged race bias:

As a judge, Sotomayor has ruled in 100 cases that involve questions of racial discrimination of one sort or another. Tom Goldstein, Supreme Court advocate and founder of the leading Supreme Court blog, has read all of those decisions. He says that Sotomayor does not seem to put her thumb on the scale and has in fact, most of the time, ruled against those charging discrimination.

In only 1 of out 8 cases, he says, has she favored in some sense claims of discrimination.

“The fact that she so rarely upholds discrimination claims I think answers the idea that she is always angling for minorities,” he says.

Totenberg on Sotomayor’s statements about judge-made law and policy:

And if the New Haven case is a harbinger in one direction, there are other cases that point the other way too. Sotomayor, for example, dissented when her colleagues allowed the New York City Police Department to fire one of its officers for sending hate mail on his own time. While the hate mail was patently offensive, hateful and insulting, Sotomayor wrote, it did not interfere with the operations of the police department, and, she observed, under our Constitution, even a white bigot has the right to speak his mind.

In another case involving a black couple bumped from an American Airlines international flight, Sotomayor said their race discrimination claim was clearly trumped by an international treaty governing airline rules. It matters not, she said, that her ruling might mean airlines could discriminate on a wholesale basis and that there would be no legal recourse. The treaty’s language is clear and it is not for the courts to make policy, she said, adding that if policy is to be changed, Congress or federal agencies must do it.

White bigots ought to study more and flap less.


Supreme Court tryouts

March 20, 2009

Elena Kagan took the oath of office to be the nation’s top lawyer, the Solicitor General, last Friday.  The Associated Press is running a story (here from the Sacramento Bee) on whether this is a tryout for the Supreme Court itself, “Obama could make top high court lawyer a justice.”  (Isn’t that a tortured headline?)

Three justices may want to retire soon:  Justice John Paul Stevens is 88 years old.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 76, and back on the court in record time after surgery for pancreatic cancer.  Justice David Souter is third oldest, at 69.

So, this AP story could be a good article for use in government classes.  Consider these questions:

  • Is Solicitor General a stepping stone to the Supreme Court’s bench?
  • What is the role of the Solicitor General?
  • How important is Supreme Court experience, or experience in other courtrooms, to success in arguing before the Supreme Court?
  • What are some of the top cases before the Supreme Court this term, and what are the potential and likely results of these appeals?
  • What is the role of the U.S. Senate in selection of federal judges, and especially in the selection of Supreme Court justices?
  • Kagan clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall.  What do law clerks do for justices?  What does her clerking suggest for Kagan’s advocacy of Voting Rights Act issues, since she worked with Justice Thurgood Marshall?

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