Alarming News

May 26, 2009

Try to contain your surprise.

Obama picks liberal activist judge for Supreme Court.

In the video linked above she mocks the idea that courts don’t make the laws before remembering she’s being taped and saying she doesn’t endorse that idea.

Also at the link, she believes a Latina woman would make a better judge than a while male.

Posted by Karol at 11:51 AM |
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It is well known and understood that the Court of Appeals (NY’s highest court) is a policymaking court. It’s not a secret, and she wasn’t mocking it in the video (she has no reason to do so, as it’s common knowledge). Just like the Supreme Court makes policy for the entire US, each state’s highest court makes policy for that state.

Posted by: Yelena at May 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Last I checked, courts weren’t supposed to be making policy, only interpreting the law. I guess we’ve completely surrendered that illusion? What constitution!?

Posted by: Karol at May 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Yes, the courts can only interpret the law. And interpretation of the law has an element of policymaking. Interpretation/policymaking is REQUIRED when you have big, amorphous guarantees like due process, which is required by the US constitution and each state’s constitutions. Some famous examples are SC holding that arrested ppl must get Miranda warnings… that was an interpretation of Due Process and resulted in policymaking… or SC holding segregation was unconstitutional… it was interpreted to be a violation of equal protection and the SC told Congress to make laws correcting this. The NY Court of Appeals also does this kind of intepretation all the time. It’s not making laws, it’s making policy as required by the NY constitution, and then the legislature has to go write laws that are in keeping with the court’s interpretation of the constitution. That’s how the system works, why are you surprised?

Posted by: Yelena at May 26, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Yelena, I’m fairly certain that her chuckle betrayed the fact that courts don’t actually *only* interpret the law, as you write. And an “element” of policymaking is not simply reworking the law to fit your opinion which is what many liberal judges seem to think is their role. Basically, if it were conservatives just making policy as you imply is their right, I’m sure you’d have more of a problem with it than just a shrugged shoulder and saying that’s the way things are.

Posted by: Karol at May 26, 2009 at 1:58 pm

And Casca, I accidentally deleted your comment and sent you an email about it which bounced back. While it was an accident, watch the personal attacks. It’s fine to disagree, not fine to name-call.

Posted by: Karol at May 26, 2009 at 1:58 pm

This is what comes of not keeping women barefoot, pregnant, and raising their own children. Ahhh, it was a better world.

Posted by: Casca at May 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

It’s not fair to say “if conservatives were making the policy…” because that implies they aren’t! There are plenty of opinions that one would see as too conservative or too liberal. It depends on who you ask! The point is that the opinion needs to have basis in the law, which is what you seem to have a problem with. What I was saying before is if the law to be interpreted is very broad (”liberty” “due process”) that involves much more policymaking than interpeting say, the tax code. And when you interpret things of this nature, SOMEBODY will not be happy.

Posted by: Yelena at May 26, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Yelena, the legislature makes the laws. The judiciary interprets the laws. The executive branch enforces the laws.
When the judiciary interprets a law to be in violation of the Constitution, the judiciary is not “making policy.”
Rather, the judiciary is just i-n-t-e-r-p-r-e-t-i-n-g Constitutionality of the policy.
If the judiciary rejects the Constitutionality of some aspect of a law, the legislature is the body which is therefore responsible for re-writing the law to be in accordance with the Constitution.
What Sotomayor and other left-wing activist judges “mean” when they say that policy is ‘made in court’ is that they oppose blind justice. When rendering a judgment, they take into account socio & economic circumstances (race, status, gender, religion,) of the plaintiff and defendant when determining the Constitutionality of a law—rather than just determining the Constitutionality of a law.
It’s like when a property inspector tells a contractor that the house he just built is in violation of a specific building code. The contractor is the one responsible for fixing it.
And just because the property inspector informed the contractor of the violation, you would never say that the property inspector had a hand in “designing the house” as an architect does, or “building the house,” as a contractor does.
Thanks for playing. :)

Posted by: IamTheWalrus at May 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm

All judges make some policy. Some are more honest about what they are doing than others. Oppose Sotomayor if you think it is important to do so but it ain’t going to work.

Posted by: Charles at May 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I like Iamthewalrus’s contractor example. Seems accurate.
We’re not even pretending there’s blind justice anymore. Our new supreme court nominee thinks Hispanic women can make better decisions than white men and that’s considered totally ok.

Posted by: Karol at May 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm

This is from Sotomayor:
“And I know, I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don

Posted by: SB at May 26, 2009 at 9:09 pm

So our new nominee has outed herself as both sexist and racist-amazing.

Posted by: Craig at May 27, 2009 at 12:15 am

All judges make “policy” in the sense that their decisions become binding legal precedent, until overturned by a higher court, or by a legislative act. Particularly on an appellate court, where the cases heard often involve inconsistent interpretations coming before them from different district court judges. Its not uncommon to find a law interpreted 2 different ways by the district courts, and the role of the appellate court – in her case the 2nd circuit – is to interpret the law, and determine what lower court decision was right or wrong…or, if neither were correct, remand them both. Similarly, cases coming to the Supreme Court involve cases where a Constitutional question arises, or a dispute among circuits… Sure, the legislature can always rewrite legislation they think the courts interpreted incorrectly… but where there is ambiguity, or vagueness in the law, it is the role of the courts to clarify… whether you want to call it “Making policy” or not, its essentially what they’re doing… regardless of what side of the political spectrum they might fall on…

Posted by: katie g. at May 27, 2009 at 12:55 am

This one is a slam dunk alas and I don’t expect to see much of a fight from the GOP (sadly, some of this is because they don’t want to look anti-Hispanic). The Dems in the Senate hold firm and, at the very least, Snow and Collins join them.

Posted by: Von Bek at May 27, 2009 at 9:24 am

To Yelena and the little girl:
You evidently don’t realize the difference and improperly want to lump everything together. You’re talking about judges “making policy” based on personal opinion. Judges can make what you call “policy,” but based only on law and not what they want the law to be.
Even when judges strike something down, it isn’t (supposed to be) based on their personal opinion, but rather based on the Supreme Law of the Land, i.e. the Constitution. However, the hypocritical and racist Sotomayor says she won’t “bend” the Constitution yet rules based on her personal opinion of what she wishes the law to be. Like Humpty Dumpty, words mean what she wants them to be. I’ve used that for years to describe liberals, long before conservatives in the last few days applied it to Sotomayor.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm

That’s just a completely untrue account of her judicial opinions. And, by the way, if you really cared to read them…they’re all public record. Of course the “policy” is based on the laws at issue, and the Constitutional question…if they weren’t, you’d have heard a few complaints from the NY practitioners appearing before her over all these years…

Posted by: katieg at May 29, 2009 at 9:10 am

That’s just a completely untrue account of her judicial opinions. And, by the way, if you really cared to read them…they’re all public record.
Little girl, I have read her decisions, which show her to be more of a racist bigot than the quote itself.
The media will spin things, and the GOP will back off instead of taking a stand, but there’s no way you can spin yourself out of this. Do you or do you not agree that a judge should take race and economic conditions into account? Do you or do you not agree that justice should be impartial?
Of course the “policy” is based on the laws at issue, and the Constitutional question…if they weren’t, you’d have heard a few complaints from the NY practitioners appearing before her over all these years…
You haven’t been paying attention. Even a fellow judge, a Democrat, chastised her for her ONE-paragraph decision so utterly devoid of actual law, because she wanted to just issue a summary judgment instead of going over 1800 pages of legal points.
“I need not remind this audience that Judge Paez of your home Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, has had the dubious distinction of having had his confirmation delayed the longest in Senate history.” – Sotomayor, 2002
The record has since been broken, once Democrats kept refusing to allow floor votes for Bush’s nominees to the federal judiciary.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 1, 2009 at 4:57 pm
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