Seven Series of Questions for Judge Sotomayor
By: Jim Byrd
The Constitution of these United States holds different meanings for different people:
Conservatives/Federalists believe that this federated group of states, governed by a representative government with the Constitution as the foundation and the rule of law as the bedrock that keeps this country from spiraling into the abyss that has historically plagued other forms of government.
Traditional liberal Democrats believe that the Constitution is, at best, a rough and antiquated guideline of law that can be edited and adapted to whatever capricious disposition the country is experiencing at the moment, whether it be in the name of improvement, progress, reform, or votes.
Contemporary Democrats/Fascists, quite frankly, see the Constitution as an inconvenient barrier in the conversion from Federalism to Nationalism, then progressing into some form of a Fascist central governing body. And quite contrary to what the Left would have you believe, Fascism is a predilection of the Left, not the Right.
Barack Obama and the leaders of the Democratic Congress have governed, especially since Obama’s inauguration, with quintessential Fascism. Three of the Supreme Court justices, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens have legislated from the bench in a bizarre and agenda-driven, activist manner, in stark contrast to the original intent and meaning of the Constitution and its role in this Republican form of government. With Justice Souter’s retirement, and the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to replace him on the bench, it is imperative to ascertain where she fits, ideologically, into the make-up of the court.
The Supreme Court is the omnipotent arbitrator of the constitutionality of laws and their applications. This is the universally accepted role of the court dating back to the Marshall court with Marbury v. Madison in 1803. The court’s judicial review power was relativity benign until FDR’s expeditious assault on the Constitution and the rule of law. The Supreme Court, the last bastion of Federalism at the time, struck down, repeatedly, various components of Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation as unconstitutional. At this point, it became apparent that if a political party were going to circumvent the Constitution to advance an agenda, it would be necessary to gerrymander the Supreme Court. FDR tried packing the court with justices he could control. He was eventually able to replace enough justices to get his New Deal rubber stamped by the Supreme Court. Congress rejected the court packing scheme, the power and politicization of the Supreme Court in the modern era had begun.
The scatology of American politics involved in the appointing and confirming of a Supreme Court justice, one of nine who will magisterially be arbitrating the law of a sharply divided nation–ideologically and politically–will now put Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s entire being under the microscope. What does she mean to the Constitution, Nationalism, Federalism, original intent, original meaning, activism, identity politics, agendas, the Left, the Right, etcetera, and etcetera?
I have a few questions that should be asked of Judge Sotomayor regarding some of her controversial rulings, and contextually puzzling remarks regarding the role of a justice on the Supreme Court. This country has an erratic history, especially in the twentieth century, of Supreme Court rulings that strayed, for trendy and ideological reasons, far from the original intent of the Constitution. And for this country to be shackled to malignant case law has become a perpetual disservice. The questions asked of Sotomayor, or any other nominee, should be directly related to the meaning of the Constitution, and not whimsical interpretations by various nihilists on the bench.
Series One: Since you will be one of nine justices sitting on the highest court of these United States, my first question concerns the United States’ form of government.
In your senior thesis at Princeton, The Impact Of The Life Of Luis MuÃ±oz Marin On The Political And Economic History of Puerto Rico, 1930-1975, you referred to yourself as a Puerto Rican nationalist. Also, in the body of your thesis, you repeatedly referred to the Congress of these United States as the North American Congress, and Mainland Congress.
Do you have a clear understanding of the American form of government? If so, why did you refer to the Congress as the North American Congress and Mainland Congress? Do you understand our form of government, but disagree with it, or do you not understand it? Do you understand that if confirmed, the Senate of these United States, and not the North American Senate, will confirm you?
Do you consider yourself an American citizen, a Puerto Rican citizen, or an American citizen who is a proponent of Puerto Rican nationalism?
Series Two: You have, in the past, referred to yourself as an “affirmative action baby.” You were admitted to Princeton and Yale with substandard test scores, by your own admission, because you were Hispanic, and poor. Your exact statement on a panel of three female judges was: “if I had gone through the traditional numbers route of those institutions, it would have been highly questionable if I would have been accepted.”
Do you think it fair, considering there were other applicants to Princeton and Yale with markedly higher academic achievements, and possibly a better work ethic than you, that you were chosen over them solely based on your ethnicity and financial hardships? And, without referencing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any other “racial quota” laws, do you believe that your taking their deserved spot violated their equal protection rights under the 14th Amendment?
Series Three: The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), issued a brief stating that the right to an abortion is the same as any other fundamental right. You were serving on the board of PRLDEF at the time of this brief.
As you should be well aware, the Constitution, on which you will rule if appointed, derives its fundamental rights from natural law, or God’s law. Also eloquently stated by Supreme Court justice Benjamin Cardozo in the case of Palko v. Connecticut, 1937, fundamental rights are, “the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty, without which justice is not possible. To deprive an individual of these rights is a hardship so acute and shocking that our polity will not endure it.”
With that in mind, do you believe that the right to abort a fetus is a fundamental right derived from God, and if so, do you believe that, as Justice Cardozo stated, that depriving one of the right to abort a fetus would cause “a hardship so acute and shocking that our polity will not endure it?”
Series Four: In 2005, you stated to a group of law students at Duke University that the U.S. Court of Appeals “is where policy is made.” Are you aware that these United States have three branches of government? Do you understand that the Legislative Branch makes the laws, the Executive Branch approves and enforces the laws, and the Judicial Branch interprets the laws and determines if the laws are Constitutional? Do you believe that the role of a judge is to make the laws and policies that govern this country?
Series Five: You have stated in the past that, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” In your defense, Barack Obama, referring to that statement said, “I think she’d say that her word choice in 2001 was poor… I am sure she would have restated it.”
Would you have restated it, and if so, which particular time would you have done so? Was it the 4000 word lecture that you prepared and gave at the University of California, Berkeley, that was turned into a law-review article? Or was it when you made the same statement in a speech in 1994 in Puerto Rico? Or was it when you stated it in 1999 at the Women’s Bar Association of New York? Or was it in 1999, at a speech at Yale University? Or was it in a lecture in 2000 at the City University of New York School of Law? Or was it in 2002 at the Princeton Club? Or was it in a lecture in 2003, at Seton Hall?
And can you explain how a “wise Latina woman” would reach a better conclusion than a white male regarding Constitutional law, that quite frankly, was written by old, wise, white men over two-hundred years ago?
Series Six: In the case of Maloney v. Cuomo, you joined in the opinion on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that the rights of the Second Amendment do not apply to the states, and a state can restrict an individual’s Second Amendment rights. You also stated, “it is settled law, however, that the Second Amendment applies only to limitations the federal government seeks to impose on this right.” You also issued an opinion in 2004 that “the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right.”
Is it your opinion, since the Second Amendment does not apply to the states, that the states are free to limit the entire scope of the Bill of Rights for individuals? Do you believe that all state gun laws should supersede all federal gun laws? Can you explain how, when clearly stated in the Constitution in the Second Amendment, “the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right?” And can you explain how you reached the conclusion that possessing a gun it not a fundamental right, but aborting a fetus is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution?
In your answer, use only the Constitution and related information from its ratification for reference, no case law, and be specific and avoid the murky use of a penumbra to ferret out an implied right to privacy as Justice Blackmun did in Roe v. Wade.
Series Seven: In the case of Ricci v. DeStefano, a decision of yours that was recently overturned by the Supreme Court, you ruled that the white firefighters that passed the test for promotions were not discriminated against when the city of New Haven invalidated the test results because only two Latinos and no African Americans scored high enough for a promotion.
One question in this matter: If no white firefighters had passed the test, and only African American firefighters had passed the test, and the city refused to invalidate the test and the white firefighters sued, would you have ruled that the white firefighters had been discriminated against?
Sonia Sotomayor will be front and center in the news this week as her confirmation hearings begin, but if three things were different about her, she would in all probability be an unknown quantity, and certainly not a candidate for a Supreme Court justice. If she had been born rich, white, and male, but maintained the same substandard academic achievements, Princeton and Yale would not have been factored into the equation, and law school, especially an Ivy League school, would have been an impossibility.
It is manifestly apparent that Sotomayor has demonstrated the she has not, and will not, according to the oath she will be required to take, adhere to that oath of office: “I, Sonia Sotomayor, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as Supreme Court Justice under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.
Sotomayor has demonstrated time and again that she is incapable of meting out equal justice without being influenced by poverty wealth, race, or any other minority or underprivileged-related plight.
The primary reasons that Obama picked her were that she was Hispanic, a woman, and she will violate her oath of office, just as Ginsberg, Souter, Stevens, and Breyer have done on a continual basis. Obama could not advance his Leftist agenda otherwise.
Many political pundits have been taken to task for labeling Sotomayor a racist because of her straightforward racist rulings and statements. But if a white male had made the statement that “I would hope that a wise, white male with the richness of his experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn’t lived that life,” is there any doubt as to how the character of the person making that statement would be branded?
Jim Byrd's website is A Skewed View.