Jim Kouri
Obama's Supreme Court nominee: symbolism over substance?
By Jim Kouri
May 27, 2009

President Barack Obama's choice of Federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to take a seat on the US Supreme Court is possibly his boldest move since his inauguration last January.

Should conservatives and moderates worry?

"You bet," says political strategist Mike Barker, who lives across the river from Sotomayor's birthplace — the Bronx, New York.

"In order to help Obama and Sotomayor the news media are attempting to discuss everything except her record as a judge and her comments regarding 'white men' that border on out-and-out bigotry," said Barker.

Barker referred to Judge Sotomayor's 2001 statement: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion [as a judge] than a white male who hasn't lived that life." [My emphasis]

Using Sotomayor's logic, then a Latina judge from the Bronx would be ill-equipped to hear a case regarding multinational corporations with CEOs making salaries well over $10 million per year. However, with the liberal-left and the media only statements by white judges would be analyzed for "racial overtones."

Baker points out that one of the excuses being given by Obama's sycophants within the news media for Sotomayor's obvious leftist views is that her confirmation will do little to change the court's 5-4 "conservative" majority because she is replacing liberal Associate Justice David Souter, who is retiring.

"The fact that the media would use the terms 'conservative' and 'liberal' displays an overly simplistic view of the US Constitution by newspeople, a group who can always be counted on to use a minimum amount of intelligence," quips Barker.

Some observers assert that Sotomayer is further to the left than Souter, because they claim their opinions are based on her record and not on her race, ethnicity or gender.

In picking Sonia Sotomayer, President Obama has confirmed that identity politics matter to him more than merit, writes Ilya Shapiro, a legal scholar at the Cato Institute.

"Judge Sotomayor is not one of the leading lights of the federal judiciary and would not even have been on [Obama's] shortlist if she were not Hispanic," stated Shapiro.

Another bedtime story being shoved down the throats of Americans is that the 54-year old Sotomayor, 54, is a success story without a privileged background. They repeatedly point to the fact that she grew up in a public housing project in the Bronx as if she were the first person to ever come from humble beginnings.

"What angers me is that when Clarence Thomas was nominated, the media focused on his conservatism rather than the fact that he was poorer than poor and lived in a shack in the rural South. Compare Thomas' family with Sotomayor's family, who enjoyed not only living conditions paid for by taxpayers, they were also eligible for food stamps and other government giveaways. Thomas' grandmother raised him to be an individualist with suspicion of big government," said former NYPD detective Gus Puller, an African-American police veteran.

"The news media smeared him almost daily and then his enemies cooked up the Anita Hill allegations of sexual harassment. Here was a black man who was a true success story who believed in an originalist legal philosophy and the Democrats and their media lapdogs could only see someone who had to be stopped or damaged," said the decorated cop.

"Unfortunately, because the Democrats possess a majority in the US Senate, it appears unlikely that the GOP will be able to stop her, unless there is a pouring out of Americans' criticism that will frighten some Democrats into rethinking their position on Sotomayer," said Puller.

Of concern to originalists — those Americans who believe that the US Constitution is to be interpreted based on the original intent of the nation's founders — was an assertion Sotomayor made during an appearance at the Duke School of Law in 2005.

She boasted that the Court of Appeals is "where policy is made."

Within seconds of making that off-the-cuff statement, she made a joke of what she let slip out and no one has taken her to task for her obviously "activist" legal philosophy.

During another appearance — this time at Berkley — Sotomayor claimed it is beneficial for judges to consider their personal "experiences as women and people of color" in their rulings.

While such statements should have caused alarm bells to sound throughout the nation, most members of the news media appear to share that view and so they either omit that statement from their reports or bury it in their stories.

"If the left doesn't like how the majority votes on issues, they can always find a judge who agrees with their point of view about law and social policy. Some judges even brag about their legislating from their benches," warns Det. Puller.

"She is the perfect pick for a President who admits his priority for the courts should be 'empathy.' In the world of a left-wing activist empathy trumps justice and social justice trumps the law," adds Det. Puller.

© Jim Kouri


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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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