FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2009
Center for Individual Freedom Comments on Obama’s Nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to U.S. Supreme Court
“Judge Sotomayor’s nomination raises grave concerns for Americans,” says Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs.
ALEXANDRIA, VA – After weeks of anticipation, President Barack Obama today nominated Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court. In response, Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, issued the following statement calling for a careful review of Judge Sotomayor’s record and judicial temperament:
“The nomination of Judge Sotomayor raises issues of grave concern that must be thoroughly and carefully considered by both the American people and the United States Senate. First and foremost, questions must be raised about whether or not Judge Sotomayor is even capable of impartially administering the law.”
“For example, Judge Sotomayor has curiously asserted that ‘inherent physiological or cultural differences,’ as well as gender and national origin, ‘may and will make a difference in our judging,’” Mr. Lee noted. “On a separate occasion, she explicitly stated that she ‘would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who has not lived that life.’
“In a society that aspires to colorblindness and the rule of law rather than the rule of men, these are breathtaking contentions,” Mr. Lee said.
Lee went on to note that “in a 2005 speech at Duke University Law School, Judge Sotomayor said that the judicial branch ‘is where policy is made.’
“If she seeks to make policy, Judge Sotomayor should run for Congress, not be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
”Americans must ensure that the rule of law, not one justice’s particular ethnicity, gender or any other immutable factor guides his or her decision making. Otherwise, our national motto of ‘E Pluribus Unum’ – ‘From Many, One – is rendered meaningless.’
”The American people must carefully ascertain Judge Sotomayor’s ability to set aside her personal political preferences when ruling upon the critical issues of our time, such as the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms, the First Amendment’s free speech protections and the many other individual freedoms guaranteed by the text of our Constitution. Will she respect American sovereignty, or will she selectively apply foreign law to reach politicized decisions? Will she be guided by the rule of law, or by her own particular views?”
Mr. Lee also cautioned against the assumption that because Justice Souter often sided with the Supreme Court’s more liberal justices, this vacancy was of little consequence in shaping the Court’s balance. He pointed out that “although Justice Souter often joined the liberal bloc, his decisions in cases centering upon business and commerce issues often revealed a judicial sobriety and objectivity that went largely unreported in the press.
“It is important that we remain vigilant in determining whether Judge Sotomayor possesses the objectivity and expertise to address the wide range of matters that come before the Supreme Court – this is far from a ‘throwaway’ nomination,” Lee concluded
The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) is a constitutional and free market advocacy organization with more than 250,000 supporters and activists nationwide. Since its founding in 1998, CFIF has been active in the judicial confirmation process, including during the nominations and confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
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