Update VI: Sonia A-Shout-Out-To-My-Mom Mayor

Affirmative Action,Constitution,Justice,Law,Left-Liberalism And Progressivisim,Private Property,The Courts


FIDELITY TO THE LAW. As you read through Sonia Sotomayor’s brief remarks delivered at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, consider first that Sotomayor swore “fidelity” to the law, not to the Constitution. Second, her alleged loyalty to the law should not assuage you, since this statement begs the question; it assumes that post-Constitution America holds an immutable notion of what the law is. Not so. (The law to Obama liberals, for example, must entail an admixture of empathy and life experience.)

But how unlike Sotomoayor is this writer. I’ve opened this post with a comment on logic and the law. Sotomayor began and continued her statement by extending the love, the gratitude, the humility to … blah blah… “who made this day possible.” Sonia gave a shout out to mom, bro, barack.

Her initial greetings and props are uncanny in their mundane, anti-intellectual, Oprah-worthy nature. I can just hear the mentors of Sotomayor—the people responsible for the bumper crops of mindless monolithic graduates emerging from US institutions—instructing her throughout the years: “be sure to emphasize your community service, the strong black or Hispanic women in your life, the diversity of your complexion and your career.”

The law according to our Latina: “my judicial philosophy … is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law — it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress’ intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court.”

Much is made of hewing to precedent. George Bush “thought” that a judicial activist was someone who disobeys the President. Left-liberals believe a judicial activist is someone who reverses precedent, unless the precedent was established by an originalist Court.

Right thinking individuals know that striking down unconstitutional laws is not judicial activism. Judicial activism means 1) minting new rights not in the Constitution 2) striking down laws to comport with these freshly minted unconstitutional rights.

Update I (July 14): PULLING A JOE THE PLUMBER ON FRANK RICCI. The firefighter from New Haven, whose Constitutional case Sotomayor dismissed in a hastily scribbled paragraph, is being smeared by the likes of Dahlia Lithwick of Slate magazine. Watch and listen as Fox News’ Megyn Kelly interviews Ricci’s attorney, and asks: “Does this remind you at all of what happened to Joe the Plumber?” Ricci will be witness for the Minority at the hearings.

Update II: Sen. Grassley grills the woman—who is manifestly working with half the brainpower of a Justice Roberts—about property rights and unlawful “takings.” Her responses are poor.
The Volokh Conspiracy: “During the confirmation hearings today, Judge Sotomayor considerably misstated of the holding of Kelo v. City of New London, making the decision seem more limited than it actually was. In response to questioning by Democratic Senator Herb Kohl, Sotomayor refused to reveal her view of Kelo, a standard tactic used by previous Supreme Court nominees, but also incorrectly claimed that Kelo upheld a taking in an ‘economically blighted area.'”

I’m disgusted at the absence of a transcript to refer to. What impoverished reporting from the mainstream media. Can’t they get a court stenographer to offer a contemporaneous transcript?

During the tremendously important session on Kelo, an anti-abortion dunderhead began screaming. Here I am straining to hear how the woman excused her troubling ruling in Didden v. Village of Port Chester, when one of those abortion idiots disrupts a most crucial moment in the hearing: a discussion of government’s violation of property rights. But then what would a zealot like that know about property rights!? This sort of “Christian” is forever demonstrating for the glory of aborting full-terms people abroad and protecting fetuses not HIS stateside.

Update III: SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER is showcasing the wonders of his nominee by walking her through decisions that prove her fidelity to the rule of law and not to feelings. At one point Sotomayor says she’s entrusted with doing what’s in the common good, which she equates with following the law. I thought that following the law was supposed to provide justice and a remedy for individuals or other entities wronged. The common good?

Update IV: So Republican Lindsey Graham of the interminable war on terror, amnesty for illegals and many other Republican initiatives, can be bright when he chooses to. He has been asking poignant questions on judicial philosophy: originalism vs. living-document doctrine; is there a right in the Constitution that provides for abortion, etc. In the last probe, Sotomayour was permitted to fudge the question. Naturally, the Constitution provides for no right to abortion. If abortion is to be regulated, it must be at the state level.

I spoke to soon; Graham has gone back to his area of moral comfort: the amorphous, ever-morphing war on terror.

So far, Sen. Charles Grassley gets my vote for canniest politician. He asked good questions on property rights.

Update V: Let’s get back to that part of the hearings. If I understood Sotomayor’s testimony on the Didden Case, “where her Second Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that it was constitutionally permissible for a state to condemn property because the owners had refused developer Greg Wasser’s demand to pay him $800,000 or give him a 50% stake in their business, threatening to have the property condemned if they did not comply (via The Volokh Conspiracy)—then her decision against private property rights turned on a technicality.

Update VI (July 15): Judge Sotomayor and two other 2nd Circuit judges tried to bury their hastily written summary orders, “which represent the unanimous judgment of three appellate judges,” in the “discrimination suit by a group of [white] firefighters against New Haven, Conn.” As Stuart Taylor Jr. of National Journal tells it, this sneaky act might have prevented the case from coming before the SCOTUS. Fortunately, Judge Cabranes, “a Clinton appointee of Puerto Rican heritage — and once a mentor to [Sotomayor] — … published a blistering June 12, 2008, dissent,” thus bringing “the case forcefully to the attention of the Supreme Court.”

Read on.

14 thoughts on “Update VI: Sonia A-Shout-Out-To-My-Mom Mayor

  1. Martin Berrow

    I am hoping for a “meltdown”. That is the term that the media is saying would be the only way Sotomayor would not be confirmed. Like Obama who picked her, Sotomayor is anti-constitution for sure. People in America desperately need to pay attention to this. It is very simple: if the Constitution is removed, then you are held in a communist dictatorship. We saw what that was like just a few weeks ago in Iran. Sotomayor needs all of her judicial authority removed from her period, and put out to pasture, and anyone else who would try to alter our precious Constitution in the slightest way. Martin Berrow

    [Sure, but we’d need to remove members of both Houses, bar Ron Paul, as well as the government. As I said, Hondurans for Hire, anyone?]

  2. robert

    In another thoughtful piece of yours,”More History from Below,” you ask,”Does our overlord seek to repetitively rub in the never-changing theme of the white man’s burden, the theme WASPs welcome like wimps?” This question is ultimately the answer to ““who made this day possible?” for Sonia.
    If and when paleos, libertarians, and other thinking Americans decide enough is enough, there will be some gratitude owed to writers and thinkers from Barely A Blog and other such venues who didn’t apologise for defending their own history, their own patrimony and their own loves. Of course you have experienced the sad consequences in history when good men do nothing but it has made you a braver soul, a stronger woman and more thoughtful writer than your wimpy, WASP contemporaries in Obamerica.

  3. Myron Pauli

    First – on Berrow’s comment – our Constitution expired around 1937, aged 150, from continuous abuse and old age. Rigor mortis has set in and it is only propped up like Norman Bates’s mother for show purposes on occasion. 95% of this country would be upset if we restored constitutional government – no Socialist Insecurity, no endless Wars on Drugs/Poverty/CO2/Iraqs, etc.

    Second – Will this endless media bathos on Sotomayor and Ricci overcoming adversity ever stop? [Ricci, I will remind you, was forbidden by the racial powers that be to “overcome adversity”] Of course, humans are SUPPOSED to overcome obstacles. Hoover was an orphan who picked onions! Mankind is all about overcoming obstacles.

    Soon enough, we will get the made-for-TV movie on Sonia’s life with the obnoxious fat bigot kid who taunts her as “Spic” (played by Frank Ricci!), the stuck-up head cheerleader who won’t allow Sonia on the pom-pom squad (played by Palin), and the kindly Princeton professor mentor who puts diabetic Sonia on his knee and reads her Suess’ “Hop on Pop” (played by Obama). Encouraged by affirmative action and her kindly mentor, our heroine learns English, becomes the #1 student at Princeton, and winds up on the court as a wise Latina woman. Tears sob-sob.

  4. Steve

    May I share a little personal experience in the area of constitutional ignorance?

    We discuss constitutional issues at work because we sit in an open area at computers. I had one co-worker say the constitution was an “old piece of paper” meaning, it was irrelevant. Another co-worker told me it means nothing to him. It is that ignorance of the constitution, that causes people like my co-workers to vote for politicians that ignore the constitution. Which leads to unconstitutional rulings from the court system and unconstitutional laws from congress.

    We are getting what we the people deserve because we the people are ignorant by choice.

  5. robert

    This is a classic left we win, right you lose, charade. Even the dunderheads were probably leftists plants used to provide cover fire to disrupt the difficult questioning concerning the Federal Govt’s taking powers under the old constitution. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. The most revealing answer is the nominee’s “claim that Kelo upheld a taking in an ‘economically blighted area.’” In other words, as long as the government is taking from poor people it’s fine; when they start taking from the rich it might be OK or not OK “depending on facts.” But be assured that according to this view of our “living” Constitution, the government can do and will do what the government pleases, constitutional restraints be damned!! This is typical liberal cant.
    The idea of the real Constitution with very limited powers at the national level is so rare that everyone and their dunderheads are there in Washington either nursing their grievances or seeking the feds for more help in making life better. After all, isn’t this nominee the perfect example of what the Government can do for people just like you… and other minorities like Sonia? What an ironic twist on the meaning of words for a liberal justice to say today –some one hundred years after the loss of states’ rights and local government: “The task of a judge is not to make the law — it is to apply the law.” Oh, for Heaven’s sake!!!!

  6. Myron Pauli

    (1) On Sotomayor – When it is convenient, she turns into an automaton reciting precedents and “law” for denial of rights to private property, guns, etc. When it is not convenient, she then becomes a compassionate wise Latina who can “understand the living Constitution”. On the other hand, if she is a relatively dim bulb, this may be as good as it gets. No sense having some Obama-appointed genius Stalinist able to manipulate Anthony Swinger Kennedy. Replacing the pathetic Souter with mediocre Sotomayor is probably a wash.

    (2) On property rights – Obviously, one cannot look to the courts for redress. Which means that citizens must INSIST on state constitutions that prevent takings for private purposes and defeat legislators who disagree.

  7. Barbara Grant

    The idea of the state controlling a woman’s uterus is so abominable to me that it makes me want to vomit. I am also sickened when I think about the murder and mayhem our government has inflicted on the people of Iraq, for no substantive reason. And it appears that in many cases, cheerleaders on the first issue remain oblivious to the second. I don’t understand it.

    I do, however, agree with your assertion that if abortion is to be regulated, it must be done at the state level—as per the Constitution.

    I also note a link here to some recent advice former Supreme Court Justice nominee Robert Bork has given to current nominee, Sonia Sotomayor: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/07/bork_has_some_a.html

  8. robert

    The following skit should be played in every High School before Labor Day and substitute for a years worth of AP World History and Us History since 1865. You should submit it to the department of education for publication immediately with an apology to Dr. Seuss. You are a real gem when it comes to keeping a small light on after dark. Many thanks for your priceless participation. I assume you were only second in your class at Princeton?
    Soon enough, we will get the made-for-TV movie on Sonia’s life with the obnoxious fat bigot kid who taunts her as “Spic” (played by Frank Ricci!), the stuck-up head cheerleader who won’t allow Sonia on the pom-pom squad (played by Palin), and the kindly Princeton professor mentor who puts diabetic Sonia on his knee and reads her Seuss’ “Hop on Pop” (played by Obama). Encouraged by affirmative action and her kindly mentor, our heroine learns English, becomes the #1 student at Princeton, and winds up on the court as a wise Latina woman. Tears sob-sob.”

    [Our Myron is related to Nobel Prize winner Wolfgang Pauli of the “Exclusion Principle” fame. A Judge (you), a genius (Myron): those are the kind of people BAB draws. Oh, we haven’t heard from Prof. Hayim for a while. He designs some dreamy lunar structures. Barbara Grant is also an engineer in some impossible field.]

  9. Myron Pauli

    Regarding Princeton University:

    I’m quite happy for Sonia that she met a nice mensch of a Professor Peter Winn (who was later denied tenure at Princeton) who really mentored her along:


    In my one day of my life wasted visiting PU, while I met two nice elderly professors, I had the great “pleasure” of being berated by a pompous future Nobel Laureate**: “[you like] Nuclear Physics – that’s … that’s chemistry!” and “Oh you’re a ‘computer nut’ … our work is SO FUNDAMENTAL that we don’t [stoop down to] use computers”. Well, I got the distinct honor (in hindsight) of being rejected by that eminent mental institution and attended my first choice, MIT, and got to be treated as dog manure by different professors. Incidentally, the two black theoreticians at MIT were really nice professors who treated graduate students as if they were (gasp!) human.

    But I’m glad you (Robert) like my idea for the made-for-TV movie even if I am a PU reject.

    ** As I once remarked about having the guts to ask my future wife to dance with me – if I’m going to be turned down, it might as well be by a gorgeous woman.

  10. robert

    Myron, my son was recently rejected at Princeton but he made the cut at UPENN which was his first choice. The “Ricci Effect” extends deep into our cultural framework so it is hard to know nowadays why one is rejected and another accepted. I am of one mind with you when it comes to asking the most beautiful woman in the room to waltz before going off to war— “If I’m going to be turned down, it might as well be by a gorgeous woman.”

    Yes, this wise turn of the phrase has the humility of a true paleo- libertarian type.

    Now the true neo-con see it differently. In regards to beautiful women we like to say loudly in a crowded room that: “I try to give them all a chance to dance with me.” With neo-cons it always about them, that is why it is safe to say with Paul Gottfried, “If they are supporting something or somebody, we should instinctively oppose — may G-d someday in his mercy grant eternal rest to their ever living, lying, arrogant souls! Amen

    [I’d argue that the inward-looking narcissism pervading the culture is apolitical. It used to be that men eyed women on the street; now they eye their reflections in shop windows. Older guys are manlier in their interests.]

  11. robert

    Your link to “Older guys are manlier in their interests,” was an excellent article written back in 2006. Introspection is indeed the vice of an alienated people best exemplified in the psychological novels of Henry James and exposed with detail in Eliot’s poem, J. Alfred Proofrock. Thank you for the link and your excellent article on the subject. It is a quite a contrast from the old Greek historian Herodotus and the older english poets,such as Kipling, who believed that young men should still be taught to ride, shoot and speak the truth.

  12. Barbara Grant

    Speaking as a native of the U. S. West (actually, CA) I think far too much importance is being attached here, to the “Ivy League” and East Coast schools. Sure, we see it in the Sotomayor hearings; but there is so much more out there, that can work and has worked to change things for the better. Consider, please, this list of “distinguished alumni” from a _community college_ in my area. The two “Steves” mentioned on the list didn’t even graduate from community college, but their innovations were superb: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Anza_College

    Higher education, and numerous degrees, are not all they’re cracked up to be, in my viewpoint. Too bad that so much emphasis is placed by our culture on the “Ivy League,” and so little on substantive achievement, regardless of where (or whether) an individual has gone to school.

  13. robert

    Please forgive me if I insinuated anything about The Ivy League other than a place that one of my sons wanted to attend. I live in Oklahoma and attended the University of Kansas. My eldest daughter is also attending my Alma Mater, my eldest son is at Chicago. Nothing exclusive or priggish here just insinuating that the Ivy League, like so many other aspects of our current culture is a crap shoot. Helps to be weird, effeminate if you are male, masculine if female, don’t own any guns, don’t be raised in the country, might be better to have five or six step parents, helps to have written a book at age 15 about overcoming some great tragedy or else some inane experience involving one or none of the above. Personally, I believe we live in a polyglot culture with all standards of merit and measurement except quantity extinct. You are preaching to the choir here, dear.

  14. Van Wijk

    The American attitude toward higher education is identical to our attitude toward democracy: everyone must have it in order to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

    Barbara Grant has it right. America needs technicians, not more deluded children with degrees in post-colonial Asian lesbian theory. And perhaps if dedicated trade schools returned we wouldn’t have to import quite so many Bengalis and Poles to be technicians for us.

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