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Second Amendment, race dominate Supreme Court confirmation hearing

July 15, 2009 by  

Second Amendment, race dominate Supreme Court confirmation hearing Sonia Sotomayor started her congressional confirmation hearings earlier this week, and hot-button issues such as gun rights and her alleged activism have dominated the proceedings so far.

The Republicans have pressed Sotomoyor to explain her "wise Latina" remark that had been interpreted by some as suggesting Latinos with a certain background had better judgment than white people who have not lived those experiences.

Sotomayor stated that it was an "unfortunate rhetorical flourish," and sought to clarify she does not believe that any "ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in sound judgment."

The panel also asked questions about her judicial philosophy, given her 2008 opinion supporting the city of New Haven’s decision to annul the results of a firefighter promotion exam because almost no minorities qualified. The Supreme Court recently overturned that decision.

In response, the nominee vowed to base her rulings on law, rather than racial considerations and emphasized her record of 17 years as a judge demonstrates her commitment to applying the law rather than making it.

With regards to gun rights, Sotomayor said she accepted a Supreme Court ruling from last year guaranteeing an individual’s right to own guns and said she would keep "an open mind" on the issue.

The Senate vote on the nomination will likely take place before the end of July, and if confirmed Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the highest court.
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  • s c

    This woman is a specialist in mediocrity. Never did we need those who say ‘this’ but mean ‘that,’ people who fear using focused definitions, or those who despise the Constitution. We need impartial thinkers. We don’t need predators who seek to destroy America via ‘precedents.’ We don’t need utopians who serve the ‘interests’ of other nations. The people need a judge with common sense. We must have a judge who will check a patrician Congress. We need a judge who lead by true example. We dare not pack the Supreme Court with camp-followers, quid pro quo sycophants or those who are touted by delusional lemmings disguised as leaders.

    • outspoken2

      Sotomayor has about as much common sense as Congress has ethics.

  • Brian Rawls

    This idiot sucks! This president has to be the worst ever. They both would have not lasted 24 hours lets say forty years ago. Neither would have mase it into office.

    • rodin

      Go cry in your glass of bourbon.

      • Brian Rawls

        Rodin you are back I have missed you

      • Brian Rawls

        I have brought plenty of corn-mash today.

        • Rodin

          I know… I can tell by the tone of your writing.

        • Brian Rawls

          beer when its near—brandy when its handy ———and a lil bourbon to get ya swerven. lol

  • http://kibitzer-truthseeker.blogspot.com Stan

    I have serious reservations about this nomination, which I hope the Republicans, and conservative Democrats, will look seriously at. This is a major opportunity to look at substantive constitutional questions. The Constitution is liable to fall, if we continue on the path we’re on, which treats that contract as ‘a living document’ – ie, as merely a damn piece of paper, as a former leader put it. (So both the so-called right and the left are at fault in this constitutional regard.)

    Item. Sotomayor said that the Appeals Court is ‘where policy is made’. So she doesn’t see that sort of thing as the work of the legislative branch of government.

    Item. She, as a Latino woman, can make decisions “better” than a white male. Not “wiser”, which she would be entitled to consider. But “better”? So she is putting race and gender ahead of a clear, legal interpretation of the Constitution – of the law – as it is written. That is, the law is amenable to bending whichever way you want to bend it; depending on whatever your personal socio-political proclivities are.

    This is not law. This is corruption.

    I’m sure there are Latina lawyers or judges out there who could make a “better” Supreme Court justice than this woman – better, in making decisions made by the rule of law. Not personal whim. The law deserves more respect than this.

    • rodin

      She made the comment as part of a “rhetorical flourish”. Now who among us has not in our lives not made a slight rhetorical flourish? I know that I’m guilty… So what… if you look at her track history of judgements over her lifetime on the bench, it’s pretty clear that she is not an activist for either side…. even the republican from south carolina recognized this… What is clear is there’s a lot of conservatives out there that are pissed off that they didn’t get another conservative on the bench to really warp the decisions over the next twenty years. It has nothing to do with her own abilities or ideas, merely that she is not rigidly and blindly Conservative. Grow up everybody… She’s replacing a great thinker appointed by a conservative president that turned out to also not be a sycophantic ideological ass-kisser to the BUSH administrations that wanted to turn the American public into fearful slaves.

      • Brian Rawls

        Bravo! You figured it all out. I will give you a 21 wall-mart bag salute. We dont need any but kissers any more.

      • Scott

        Sorry, I don’t believe one makes a “rhetorical flourish” multiple times over the course of several years in big speeches. It sounds like she is trying to cover her butt at this point. That comment however is not my biggest problem with her.

        One of my big problems is her belief that abortion is a right that should be paid for by the federal government. I also have a problem with her idea that local government should be able to pass laws governing gun ownership. Perhaps my biggest problem though is that she believes the judicial branch of government should take an activist part in law and policy making. Judges are to interpret existing laws not craft them into something new. I don’t think empathy has any place on the judges bench. That is why lawyers argue cases.She should be concerned with the points of law.

        Don’t forget too that in the 6 cases she has had before the Supreme Court, 4 times they have reversed the ruling. No one can doubt that this Court is split. Nearly all decisions go 5-4 and not always predictable as to the direction.

        No doubt she is qualified in terms of education and experience. If (and that is a big if) she judges by the rule of law as she claims she will and not the way her speeches reflect, we could do worse.

        • Rodin

          First of all, everybody is focused on a SINGLE statement she made outside of court and not related to any particular case. It was flourish — What OTHER statements are you referring to? Especially given that you are going to stand alone in this given that your conservative hack friends would have brought them up IF they existed. So stop with your lies.

          Second. Abortion IS a right granted by Roe vs Wade. It is a medical procedure that could have serious health problems for the woman if not done correctly and without the aid of a clotheshanger. Medical procedures are covered by Medicare for a very small portion of our society right now. You should be pushing for 100% federal coverage to ensure fair treatment across the US for ALL women.

          Third. She never said what she BELIEVES in for gun ownership. IF a case comes before her, I am certain that she will weigh the arguments presented and apply the proper precedents much as she has ALWAYS done. Her entire record has been one of NOT overturning precedent so why do you want to paint her as an activist.

      • outspoken2

        Rodin, It doesn’t matter whether she is conservative or liberal, as long as she is impartial in her decision making, but if she acts like Ginzberg, we are up the preverbial creek without a paddle and we can’t swim. Ginzberg likes European rule of law, Sotomayor likes Ethnic rule of law, neither of which belong on the Supreme Court Bench. If she uses her activism on 2nd Amendment Issues, there are going to be a whole bunch of criminals, including moi. Everybody is talking about Hate Crimes, and the most important law on the books to promote Hate is “Roe vs Wade”. And Sotomayor says Abortion is a woman’s Right, that doesn’t make it right/correct. Just because some IDIOT makes something a law doesn’t mean it’s right.

        • rodin

          So what is your argument? If you’re suggesting the Supreme Court’s past decisions are not RIGHT then where do you want to stop. Perhaps with all their interpretations on gun ownership…. which are so clearly biased towards gun owners and gun manufacturers, perhaps with their judgments on the limitations of states rights…. clearly they have been more balanced towards the federal system…..

          I don’t think YOU get to pick and choose based on whether you agree with their decisions…. Just because you’re a flaming anti-abortionist, and against a woman’s rights to her own body doesn’t mean you get to suggest that a woman on the court is a bad idea. She has been extremely focused during her career on NOT being an activist and not creating new law. Why do you think that is going to change now? She’s certainly given NO indication that she would overturn any precedents. But I know you’d like to see Roe v Wade overturned. Go cry in your soup because THAT would be activism.

        • outspoken2

          RODIN,
          I’m so glad your who you are and I’m am who I am. I’d cry in my soup if I had any, but I don’t and I won’t. Sotomayor is just like B.O., both saying what it takes to get elected so they can screw things up worse than they already are. If those elected to office are not a cure for our problems, then they are part of the problem. We have problems for days and days and they aren’t getting any better. If you have a solution to solve the problems this country faces, then step up to the plate and submit your ideas instead of talking trash to those who have differing opinions than yours.

  • Bill Gordon L. Stafford

    Property Rights are Sacred

    **> The principle of reasonable use of

    property is enshrined as one of the
    great trinity of rights acknowledged
    in both the Fifth and Fourteenth
    Amendments, on par with life and
    liberty.**

    Property and
    one’s home are explicitly protected in the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and
    Fourteenth Amendments, and impliedly in the penumbra of the First,
    Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. See U.S. Const. amend. III
    (“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without
    the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be
    prescribed by law.”); U.S. Const. amend. IV (“The right of the people
    to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
    unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . .”); U.S.
    Const. amend. V (“nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without
    due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use,
    without just compensation.”); U.S. Const. amend. XIV (“nor shall any
    State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due
    process of law.”); Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 562 (2003)
    (“Liberty protects the person from unwarranted government intrusions
    into a dwelling or other private places. In our tradition the State is not
    omnipresent in the home.”); Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council,
    505 U.S. 1003, 1016 (1992) (right to use property for non-noxious
    uses is a fundamental “stick” in the property rights bundle).
    An individual’s right of property is not different from other
    fundamental Constitutional and human rights and deserves utmost
    protection when threatened. Lynch v. Household Finance Corp., 504
    U.S. 538, 552 (1972)(“The dichotomy between personal liberties and
    property rights is a false one.”). Property is “sacrosanct,” Hathcock,
    684 N.W.2d at 769, and an individual has a right ” to own property
    and use it as he pleases.” Georgia Dep’t of Transp. v. Jasper County,
    586 S.E. 2d 853, 856 (S.C. 2003). The Constitutional
    acknowledgement and protection of property and the home are
    founded upon Lockean principles that property rights, as a source of
    individual liberty, cannot be subject to absolute state control. See
    Palazzolo v. Rhode Island, 533 U.s. 606, 627 (2001) (the state cannot
    simply wipe out property rights by prospective legislation); Hughes v.
    Washington, 389 U.S. 290, 296-97 (1967) (Stewart, J. , concurring)
    (the government cannot defeat property rights and permit a taking
    simply by declaring that the property never existed at all); Webb’s
    Fabulous Pharmacies v. Beckwith, 449 U.S. 155, 164 (1980) (the state
    may not, “by ipse dixit” transform private property into public
    property). See also Lucas, 505 U.S. at 1014 (governments ability to
    redefine the range of interests included in the ownership of property is
    limited by the Constitution).
    Having the same textual foundation, eminent domain and regulatory
    takings jurisprudence cannot be consistently separated, particularly
    from the property owner’s perspective since it matters little that in one
    instance the government is affirmatively confiscating his property,
    while in the other the confiscation is de facto rather than
    de jure. See, e.g., Rukab v. City of Jacksonville, 811 So.2d 727, 733
    (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2002) (“We see no reason to treat a direct
    condemnation action differently from an inverse condemnation claim in
    this context. In both cases, property owners are asserting their
    constitutional rights not to have the government take their property
    without just compensation.”).
    14th Constitutional Principle
    LIFE AND LIBERTY ARE SECURE ONLY SO LONG AS THE RIGHT TO
    PROPERTY IS SECURE.
    The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as
    sacred as the Laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and
    public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. PROPERTY
    MUST BE SECURED OR LIBERTY CANNOT EXIST.
    John Adams
    It is not the right of property which is protected, but the right to
    property. Property, per se, has no rights; but the individual – the man
    - has three great rights, equally sacred from arbitrary interference: the
    right to his LIFE, the right to his LIBERTY, the right to his PROPERTY….
    The three rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right.
    To give a man his life but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all
    that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty but take from
    him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still
    leave him a slave.
    Justice George Sutherland of the U.S. Supreme Court
    January 21, 1921
    Property is the fruit of labor. Property is desirable, is a positive good in
    the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become
    rich and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. let
    not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him
    work diligently to build one for himself, thus by example assuring that
    his own shall be safe from violence…. I take it that it is best for all to
    leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will
    get wealthy. I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting
    rich; it would do more harm than good.
    Abraham Lincoln
    The supreme power cannot take from any man any part of his
    property without his own consent. For the preservation of property
    being the end of government, and that for which men enter into
    society, it necessarily supposes and requires that the people should
    have property, without which they must be supposed to lose that
    (property) by entering into society, which was the end for which they
    entered into it.
    John Locke
    Second Essay Concerning Civil Government, p. 57 par. 138.
    Government is instituted to protect property of every sort…. This
    being the end of government, that alone is not a just
    government,…nor is property secure under it, where the property
    which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty is violated
    by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.
    James Madison

  • Rodolfo RiveraSandoval

    Based on the statement: “… Latinos with a certain background had better judgment than white people…” it is obvious that the Republican political team is trying the best to reduce this president’s popularity. And in case you did not go through high school: Latino identifies a group of cultures and where they are located. White people identifies one of the human been’s race. Who is bringing the racismo fact into the argument?

    • outspoken2

      Mr. Sandoval, do you have a Green Card? If you do then you are Welcome to stay. If not, Please leave and take all that belongs to you. This has been an interesting discussion with some interesting ideas.

  • cr747

    Sounds like some of you need to go back to your on country and work things out there before coming over here in the US and living off the government. Need a ticket? Get on board.

    • Brian Rawls

      Rock and roll cr747. The landing gears busted, nose diver in the ocean.

      • cr747

        Brian Rawls, I just happen to have a parachute that will fit you, and you won't have to worry about landing. I'll even open the door for you, and even flush the commode for you on the way out.

        • Brian Rawls

          Easy amigo Im 100% anglo saxon. I dont even like flying. Hey I will drive. lol! Take some meds and chill.

        • outspoken2

          cr747, give’m a pair of roller skates not inline or rubber wheels and a map then point them in the right direction and give them their first helping hand.

  • cr747

    I'm cool, Hang in there!

  • http://none Rod

    I have talked to lots of Dems. who now say they didn’t know what Obama meant
    when he talked about (CHANGE) I think the up comming election is going to be
    v-e-r-y interesting. I also think Obama needs to show his birth certificate. That
    way we can all see what a good citizen of Africa he really is. Who wants a
    pretend president????

  • FarRightWinger

    After observing Obama on the campaign trail and during his first six months in office, we have concluded that our President lives and governs according to his own set of “Ten Commandments.” They’re certainly NOT the Ten Commandments you learned in Sunday School. In fact, many are the direct opposite! To prove that our conclusions are correct, you will find a link to source documentation for each commandment on the Patriot Update web site.

    I. Thou shalt have no God in America, except for me. For we are no longer a Christian nation and, after all, I am the chosen One. (And like God, I do not have a birth certificate.) SOURCE

    II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, unless it is my face carved on Mt. Rushmore. SOURCE

    III. Thou shalt not utter my middle name in vain (or in public). Only I can say Barack Hussein Obama. SOURCE

    IV. Remember tax day, April 15th, to keep it holy. SOURCE

    V. Honour thy father and thy mother until they are too old and sick to care for. They will cost our public-funded health-care system too much money. SOURCE

    VI. Thou shalt not kill, unless you have an unwanted, unborn baby. For it would be an abomination to punish your daughter with a baby. SOURCE

    VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery if you are conservative or a Republican. Liberals and Democrats are hereby forgiven for all of their infidelity and immorality, but the careers of conservatives will be forever destroyed. SOURCE

    VIII. Thou shalt not steal, until you’ve been elected to public office. Only then is it acceptable to take money from hard-working, successful citizens and give it to those who do not work, illegal immigrants, or those who do not have the motivation to better their own lives. SOURCE

    IX. Thou shalt not discriminate against thy neighbor unless they are conservative, Caucasian, or Christian. SOURCE

    X. Thou shalt not covet because it is simply unnecessary. I will place such a heavy tax burden on those that have achieved the American Dream that, by the end of my term as President, nobody will have any wealth or material goods left for you to covet

  • Robin, Arcadia, IN

    Sotomayer will not be good for our country. The only thing she is good for is to gain “Latino” votes for the Democrats. Watch her when she is being questioned. Her eyes flutter constantly. Not a normal blink, but a fast, furious blinking. She is either lying or thinks she is better than those asking the question. If you like, you can google eye language and read it for yourself….

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc Laura Schlegel

    You may learn something from Naomi Wolf…have you ever heard of her?

  • Patricia Henson

    Sotomayor is a dangerous woman who has wrapped herself up in the flag to get what she wants.She is on the record making racist statements and beleives international laws should be considered in deciding US juditial cases. It looks like Obama has pulled off another fast one. She is a member of the National Council of La Raza (translated means The Race),A group that has promoted drivers licenses for illegal aliens, amnesty programs, and NO immigration law enforcement by local and state police. La Raza has connections to groups that advocate the separation of several southwestern states from the rest of America. Muckraker Andy Martin says Sotomayers ex husband is a Chicago attorney. He goes on to say that it was a sham marriage to conceal her sexual identity. Is a vote for her a vote for gay marriage at the supreme court level? Martin goes on to say that Sotomayer is a deeply closeted Lesbian or possibly a Cougar-style sexual predator. ContrarianCommentary.com began its investigation with a tip about her sham marriage in 1976. They found that Sotomayer and her husband never lived together despite the fact that she was married during her whole law school career. They were living in different cities. Second the husband has never commented on her professional accomplishments despite he fact that she was his wife. Third a decade ago Sotomayer produced a fiance’ Peter White, when she was under review for the Court of Appeals. As soon as shewas confirmed her fiance’ prop disappeared. White just dropped from view. I beleive that when she is seated on the bench for life all of this will come out . I think this is Obama making good on his promises to gay rights activists during the campaign. I also think that marriage will have a new meaning when she takes her seat. I just get real tired of all the shams and props which are just fancy lies to get into office. Aren’t you tired of being lied to yet?

  • Norm

    So much hostility!

    Chill my children. The facts are:

    She is unstoppable, and rightfully so.
    She is basically more centrist than Sutter(who was appointed buy Bush I).
    Along with Roberts and Alito, the supreme court has a nice balance – an improvement.
    She has the brains, education and ability to be a great justice.

    Stop ranting and raving, and relax. We accepted Bush’s choices now let’s accept Obama’s.

    Oh and did I say she’s unstoppable.

  • James Corbin

    I am a democrat but you people had better listen up! It’s time we put politics aside and think of our country and what this president is doing!! He is appointing all these czars”. When Roosevelt, appointed czars the supreme court stopped him. You see,there isn’t anybody to stop Obama. He will end up as a dictator.
    Do you know anything about these people being appointed and what their views are? I don’t think they are needed!!!!!

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