sonia sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor

Justice on the US Supreme Court who'll be having a mostly negative impact on the U.S. for decades. Despite that fact, she was confirmed with little real opposition.

It wouldn't have been that difficult to cause her to withdraw after having been nominated to the Supreme Court, except few others gave it a try.

As far as the GOP was concerned, the fix was in from the beginning as they presented minimal opposition. Fox News and others harped on "wise Latina" but didn't go beyond that and weren't able to make her toxic to her supporters. And, the self-styled "patriots" in the tea parties said absolutely nothing about her.

All of that is despite the fact that her past memberships in the PRLDEF and the National Council of La Raza should have disqualified her.

If you don't like her positions, share the blame between Barack Obama *and* the tea parties, the GOP, and their helpers and enablers.

Last modified Sep 7, 2014
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

Supreme Court upholds 2007 Arizona immigration enforcement law; eVerify; losing: US Chamber, DOJ, Berman, NCLR, ADL, SPLC, AILA, SEIU, LULAC - 05/26/11

In a major victory for states that want to reduce illegal immigration, the US Supreme Court has upheld Arizona's 2007 "Legal Arizona Workers Act" employer enforcement law that requires the use of eVerify and that allows Arizona to pull the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. Note that the 2007 law and the decision have no relation to Arizona's more recent immigration law. A Los Angeles Times article is here, and links to legal documents are here. Sonia Sotomayor voted in dissent; see her name's link.

Those who opposed Arizona's law in court and who lost today include the Obama administration's Department of Justice (see Obama immigration) and the US Chamber of Commerce (see their name and this).

Others who filed briefs in the case and who lost today include (see each link for more on that group):

* Rep. Howard Berman
* National Council of La Raza
* Anti Defamation League
* American Immigration Lawyers Association
* PRLDEF (a former associated group of Sotomayor)
* Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (a former associated group of Barack Obama)
* Southern Poverty Law Center
* Service Employees International Union
* National Day Laborer Organizing Network(NDLON)
* National Immigrant Justice Center
* American Immigration Council
* Asian American Justice Center
* Asian American Institute
* Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
* Asian Law Caucus
* Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
* League of United Latin American Citizens
* Legal Aid Society
* Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
* National Employment Law Project

Others on the losing side were former senator Arlen Specter and Ron Mazzoli (of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty fame).

UPDATE: Thomas Saenz of MALDEF (which doesn't appear to have been involved in the suit) weighs in. He got one thing right: just because the 2007 law was upheld doesn't mean SB 1070 will prevail. In my opinion, states should just simply copy Arizona's 2007 law for now.

In any case, here's what Saenz says (maldef.org/news/releases/az_evrfy):

"Today's regrettable decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting is a tortured product of judicial activism responding to perceived political views of the moment. The majority proclaims itself unable to find implied preemption of an Arizona law that plainly impedes a federal scheme of exclusive enforcement of longstanding immigration-related employment law, and then, with a facile shift, easily finds an implied permission for Arizona to mandate E-verify, a power that Congress denied the federal government itself. All of this is accomplished through providing talismanic significance to the word 'licensing' even though Arizona's use of the term violates any plain-language or historical understanding of the term."

"Despite this egregious outcome, today's decision provides little predictive value as to the constitutional issue of preemption with respect to Arizona's SB 1070 and similar laws recently enacted in other states. Laws that encroach on exclusive federal immigration enforcement by mandating or permitting untrained local police officers to engage in racial profiling will find little refuge in today's decision. Wise state and local lawmakers must continue to tread carefully in areas touching on immigration. As has been the case for well over 200 years, federal action remains the sole legitimate avenue to address immigration issues."

UPDATE 2: The ADL weighs in with a bit of a muted press release (adl.org/PresRele/SupremeCourt_33/6050_33.htm). They're "disappointed":

The law increases the legal risks for businesses that employ undocumented workers but fails to provide sufficient \safeguards to protect those workers against unlawful treatment. It undermines federal efforts to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.

The Arizona law also requires state use of E-Verify – a federal pilot program that allows employers to verify the eligibility of newly-hired employees – even though the program relies on records that are prone to error. That is one reason Congress has decided to hold off on making participation in the program mandatory.

Although the Court has upheld Arizona's law, we hope other states will show greater concern for the potentially discriminatory impact such laws can have, and choose not to follow Arizona's lead.

And, I hope they do follow Arizona's lead. We'll see how that works out; I tend to think several will.

Supreme Court orders California to release >30,000 prisoners; how much overcrowding due to illegal immigration? (ACLU) - 05/23/11

The US Supreme Court has ordered the state of California to release at least 30,000 state prisoners in order to reduce overcrowding (link, excerpt at [1]). What you probably won't hear from many others is the role that massive immigration - especially of the illegal variety - has played in this matter.

According to a Public Policy Institute of California study, "[i]n 2005, there were 28,279 foreign born adults and 139,419 U.S.-born adults in California prisons". Not all of the former are illegal aliens; in fact, it appears that statistics on the numbers of illegal aliens in California prisons are kept under wraps (but if anyone has a valid cite, leave it in comments). However, most of those foreign born are likely to be low-skilled legal immigrants and a large number of them will be illegal aliens; few of that number are likely to be H1B engineers. And, all of that number could have been prevented from coming here in the first place. Note that Arnold Schwarzenegger put the number of illegal aliens in state prisons at 20,000 but it's not known where he got that number. The Government Accountability Office put the number of illegal aliens in California state prisons at about 27,000 in 2008 [3].

Reducing low-skilled immigration would have gone a long way towards reducing prison overcrowding, and without all that massive immigration we wouldn't have tens of thousands of prisoners set free to roam the streets of California.

UPDATE: Jerry Brown says he's trying to comply with the order without releasing anyone (link):

California now has two weeks to produce a plan that would reduce its prison population by more than 33,000 inmates within two years. [Matthew Cate, secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] said the state could ask a federal three-judge panel for more time to reach the lower inmate number. He said Brown’s proposal to shift thousands of state prisoners to county jails would reduce the state’s prison population by about 30,000 inmates over the next four years.

So, while the outcome isn't clear, I might be wrong about tens of thousands of prisoners being released to roam the streets. In any case, we wouldn't have the problem in the first place without massive, especially illegal, immigration.

Also, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a friend of the court brief in the case and issues a triumphant press release at [4]. As discussed at the last link, the ACLU is a very strong supporter of illegal immigration; they helped the state get into the current mess.

UPDATE 2: It's worth noting that Sonia Sotomayor was on the wrong side, and the ruling was 5-4. See the link for who's to blame for her making it to the Supreme Court.

5/29/11 UPDATE: CA state senator Sharon Runner says (link):

"there are 20,000 illegal inmates [she means illegal aliens] that the federal government should be taking care of and they’re not. If they take over those 20 thousand illegal inmates, at least we’d be halfway to what the court has ordered."

And, from this:

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, this week sent a "2010 invoice" for $885,039,426 to President Barack Obama asking him to pay up or take custody of 17,000 illegal immigrants from state prisons.

...Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has also sought the reimbursement from the federal government through a reauthorization bill. It would provide $950 million for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2015 to carry out the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (note: see SCAAP).

...In 2010, SCAAP doled out a roughly $400 million to 850 cities, counties and states, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan research organization.

..."The state has spent over $885 million to house these inmates, but last year we got reimbursed only $88 million," Donnelly said. "That's less than 10 cents for every dollar spent."

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation holds in custody 16,829 inmates who are under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.

An additional 3,844 are under "potential" ICE hold - deemed possible illegal entrants who have not come into contact with Department of Homeland Security and have no record in the federal database.

-------
[1] From the Los Angeles Times article:

[U.S. Supreme Court] Justices upheld an order from a three-judge panel in California that called for releasing 38,000 to 46,000 prisoners. Since then, the state has transferred about 9,000 state inmates to county jails. As a result, the total prison population is now about 32,000 more than the capacity limit set by the panel.

Justice (Anthony Kennedy), speaking for the majority, said California's prisons had "fallen short of minimum constitutional requirements" because of overcrowding. As many as 200 prisoners may live in gymnasium, he said, and as many as 54 prisoners share a single toilet.

Kennedy insisted that the state had no choice but to release more prisoners. The justices, however, agreed that California officials should be given more time to make the needed reductions.

In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia called the ruling "staggering" and "absurd."

He said the high court had repeatedly overruled the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for ordering the release of individual prisoners. Now, he said, the majority were ordering the release of "46,000 happy-go-lucky felons." He added that "terrible things are sure to happen as a consequence of this outrageous order." Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

In a separate dissent, Justice (Samuel Alito). and Chief Justice (John Roberts) said the ruling conflicted with a federal law intended to limit the power of federal judges to order a release of prisoners.

[2] ppic.org/content/pubs/cacounts/CC_208KBCC.pdf
Note that their total for the number of state prisoners as of 2005 is almost 168,000, while the LAT says there are currently 142,000. Some of that may be due to shifting prisoners to local facilities, or it could be a matter of apples and oranges. In any case, the percentages are likely to be similar. As I said, it's difficult to find statistics on these matters.

[3] (added later) Per the GAO (gao.gov/new.items/d11187.pdf):

[T]he total number of SCAAP illegal aliens incarcerated in California state prisons in fiscal year 2008 was about 27,000, which accounted for about 10 percent of all inmate days.

That might again be an apples and oranges number, but it's the closest I've found to a definitive cite.

[4] aclu.org/blog/prisoners-rights/
aclu-lens-supreme-court-orders-
california-reduce-its-prison-population-allevi1

Sotomayor uses "undocumented immigrant" in Supreme Court opinion; never happened before - 12/09/09

From this:

In an otherwise dry opinion, Justice Sotomayor did introduce one new and politically charged term into the Supreme Court lexicon.

Justice Sotomayor’s opinion in the case, Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter, No. 08-678, marked the first use of the term "undocumented immigrant," according to a legal database. The term "illegal immigrant" has appeared in a dozen decisions.

This is a relatively minor issue, but expect things to get worse and maybe even much worse. At this point in time, it's worth looking back at those who basically took a fall after she was nominated; that will be covered in a future post.

Note that while the case in question concerns illegal aliens, this was a procedural issue; see this and this.

Questions for John Fund about the Hispanic vote (Wall Street Journal, Carly Fiorina) - 11/28/09

John Fund of the Wall Street Journal offers an interview with California senate candidate Carly Fiorina (link). Fiorina is not an option, and she says the to-be-expected things.

Rather than spending time discussing why Fiorina is wrong, I encourage the readers of this site to go to Fund's appearances and ask him about this paragraph:

An issue that will give (Chuck DeVore) some traction in a primary is that Ms. Fiorina says she "probably" would have voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor, because most presidential Supreme Court nominees who are qualified deserve a presumption of support. One can argue with that position on substantive grounds, but it's probably smart politics in a general election given that California is 37% Hispanic.

The great majority of Hispanics in California are Mexican-American (or Mexican). Puerto Ricans make up only about 10% of U.S. Hispanics, and their percentage is probably higher in New York City than in California. And, while the two groups are Hispanic in the broad sense, the two groups aren't known for being close friends. For an example right from the WSJ's hometown, see September 6, 2003's "Little but Language in Common; Mexicans and Puerto Ricans Quarrel in East Harlem" from the New York Times (link).

Why is Fund assuming that Mexican-Americans would reflexively fall behind a Puerto Rican candidate? In fact, some Mexican-American leaders grumbled about a non-Mexican-American Hispanic being selected and Hispanics were generally in line with everyone else about the nomination. Why is Fund in effect supporting pan-Hispanic nationalism, just as Bill Richardson, Bob Menendez, and the National Council of La Raza do? Wouldn't it be better for the U.S. to oppose pan-ethnic nationalism and thereby take power away from Richardson, Menendez, the NCLR, and all the other far-left racial power advocates and organizations? And, why is Fund suggesting capitulation over the choice of someone who was a member of the NCLR, a board member of the equally far-left PRLDEF, and who showed herself to be highly ethno-centric?

Kos: Republicans must do everything Hispanics want or we won't vote for them (Sotomayor) - 08/08/09

The great Kos speaks (dailykos.com/story/2009/8/7/763043/-It-WAS-an-incredible-day-for-Latinos):

We have a wise Latina on the Supreme Court... Pat Buchanan pines for the America of the '50s, but the country has changed, and for the better... And while we Latinos celebrate Associate Justice Sotomayor's accomplishments, we have also take note of who tried to stand in her way... Nine Republicans voted to confirm... [aside from those retiring and the "Maine twins"] That leaves Alexander, Graham, and Lugar as the only other Republicans unwilling to alienate the nation's fastest growing ethnic demographic by casting a symbolic and doomed vote against the Supreme Court nominee with the most judicial experience in our nation's history. Props to them, but it didn't work. Latinos know the score.

He's basically saying Republicans have to do anything that Hispanics want. It's unfortunate that many Republicans buy into the same thing he's selling. (On the plus side, one of those who didn't vote for her is John McCain.)

After the excerpt above, he points out that a DailyKos poll (dailykos.com/weeklypoll/2009/7/30) shows that, when asked how they view the Republican Party, 11% of Latinos are unsure (just 4% are favorable and 85% are unfavorable). He obviously thinks the 11% is too high, and that's despite the fact that several Republicans did vote to (supposedly) give Hispanics what they want by voting for Sotomayor. The implication is that no matter how strongly Republicans pander, unless every single one of them does everything Latinos want, they won't get their votes. The downside of Kos' argument is that some might decide that pandering to those who won't respond isn't worth the effort.

National Council of La Raza promotes radical groups - 08/03/09

Tom Tancredo writes:

The National Council of La Raza bills itself as "the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States" who works through "its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations."

Among these affiliates are several chapters of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan) who La Raza helps fund. Aztlan is what radical "Mechistas"—as they refer to themselves on La Raza’s website—call the American Southwest, which they claim still belongs to Mexico. Their slogan is "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada" meaning "For The Race everything, outside the Race nothing." One chapter says on La Raza’s site that their mission is "empowerment of our gente and the liberation of Aztlan."

La Raza receives tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to set up charter schools like the Aztlan Academy of Tucson where they fly the Mexican Flag, but not the American Flag and teach students "Aztec Math."

See the link for some of his citations, and the "liberation of Aztlan" group is promoted at lideres.nclr.org/content/groups/detail/2308. In addition to that call, they also include the MEChA logo of an eagle holding a stick of dynamite and a war club. See also lideres.nclr.org/content/article/detail/1743 where they promote someone who joined a Brown Berets group while in the sixth grade; they're even more extreme than MEChA. And, right there on the right in that section: the logos of some of the NCLR's corporate sponsors: Allstate, Best Buy, MetLife, and Sodexo. Note also that the NCLR claims not to support separatism at nclr.org/section/separatist. So much for that.

Arlen Specter: "wise Latina" was commendable, "nothing wrong with a little ethnic pride" - 07/28/09

Earlier today, Arlen Specter said referring to the infamous comments from Sonia Sotomayor:

"I didn't find fault with the 'wise Latina' comment, I find it commendable... There's nothing wrong with a little ethnic pride."

Of course, what she said wasn't so much "ethnic pride" as chauvinism or worse. Some forms of ethnic pride are certainly inoffensive. Others aren't, such as being a board member of a far-left racial power group (the PRLDEF) and being a member of another (the National Council of La Raza).

Sen. Pat Leahy lies about Sonia Sotomayor "wise Latina" statement - 07/16/09

The attached video from the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings has Senator Pat Leahy saying:

"You said that, quote, you 'would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would reach wise decisions'".

Leahy is lying and doing so outrageously. Here's the accurate version of Sotomayor's famous comment:

"I 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 hasn’t lived that life".

Did he realize how outrageous her statement was and then decide to bowdlerize it on the spot, or was that pre-planned?

How to block Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court - 07/13/09

If many of Sonia Sotomayor's online opponents concentrated on opposing her in effective ways, she might not be confirmed. At the very least, that opposition would deal a blow to the Obama administration and the MSM. Here's how to do it:

People for the American Way, TPM begin personal destruction campaign against Frank Ricci (what you can do) - 07/11/09

McClatchy reports that People for the American Way and perhaps other groups are "quietly" beginning a "politics of personal destruction"/"Joe the Plumber"-style campaign against Frank Ricci, the firefighter who'll be testifying at the Sonia Sotomayor confirmati

Sonia Sotomayor's PRLDEF pushed Ricci-style cases, campaigned against Robert Bork - 07/02/09

From this:

The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) officially opposed Bork, whose nomination by President Ronald Reagan was rejected by the Senate in 1987, "because of the threat he poses to the civil rights of the Latino community," its president reported in one of several documents from the group that the Senate Judiciary Committee released Wednesday.

And, from this:

Sonia Sotomayor dismissed innocent man's case on a technicality, costing him six years in prison - 06/30/09

From this:

The nomination by President Obama of 2nd Circuit Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court is more than alarming to an innocent man who was convicted of murder and spent 16 years in prison before being cleared and released.

Jeff Deskovic, whose pursuit of freedom has been chronicled by the New York Times and others, told WND that the last six of those years are directly attributable to decisions endorsed by Sotomayor...

...According to reports, his lawyer asked a court clerk about the [habeas corpus] deadline and was told it had to be mailed by that date. Wrong. The court rules required delivery by that date.

When the paperwork arrived late it was dismissed. Eventually Sotomayor and other appellate judge found that such a mistake didn't "rise to the level of an extraordinary circumstance" and dismissed it.

"The district court correctly dismissed Deskovic's petition as untimely," the appeals court decision from Sotomayor concluded. A subsequent appeal was dismissed with the terse: "It is ordered that said petition for rehearing is denied."

Six years later, after the Innocence Project helped discover the real murderer, he was released.

Sotomayor in 1986 found that "men unconsciously discriminate against women" - 06/19/09

Journey back to the 80s with the attached video clip featuring Sonia Sotomayor being interviewed on Good Morning America in 1986. In the clip, she says she found that "men unconsciously discriminate against women". If there's something else on this clip of interest, or if someone can find the full version of the interview, please leave a comment.

And, for all the dirt on Sotomayor that the GOP is largely ignoring, see her name's link above.

Kristin Collins/News & Observer misleads about NCLR (Andrea Bazan) - 06/18/09

Kristin Collins of the Raleigh, North Carolina News & Observer offers "La Raza drawn into debate/Sotomayor is a former member" (link), about Sonia Sotomayor's membership in the NCLR. If you trust Collins' reporting, please compare her report to my extensive summary of that group on the National Council of La Raza page. You'll discover a large number of things Collins didn't tell you; whether that's because she's completely gullible or because she's in on the game isn't known, but in either case her journalistic skills are questionable.

The article might be an indication that the NCLR (or even the Obama administration) is concerned that Sotomayor's six-year membership in that group might become an issue. In any case, their board chairwoman Andrea Bazan attempts to spin their name (see this for a response) and what they do:

"People that have worked with NCLR know it as a leading group that works across races and across communities."

I'm sure they abide by all relevant discrimination laws, but at the same time their entire focus is sharply concentrated on Hispanics, including foreign citizens who are here illegally. For an example of that focus, see this. This is the second time recently I've seen them say something like that, and obviously being portrayed as discriminatory is a concern to them.

They're also spinning Sotomayor's involvement with that group:

NCLR officials say Sotomayor paid the group's $35 yearly dues and received its newsletters from 1998 to 2003 and has not been involved since.

Whether that's accurate or not isn't known; when a member of the PRLDEF board she was quite involved and it doesn't seem likely that she treated her membership in the NCLR just as she would a magazine subscription.

Sonia Sotomayor, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and more quotes (on PRLDEF board for 12 years) - 06/13/09

This post will round up Sonia Sotomayor's involvement with the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), nowadays called "LatinoJustice PRLDEF". See below for some of the details on her involvement with that group and even more questionable quotes from her.

Poll: 55% don't yet have opinion of Sotomayor; Hispanics generally in line with everyone else on how GOP should proceed - 06/12/09

Margaret Talev of McClatchy offers "Poll: GOP risks loss of respect if it goes after Sotomayor" (link). Both the absurd headline and, to a slightly lesser extent the article, try to spin the poll in the most Democratic Party-favorable fashion possible. However, that fails:

Fully 55 percent of Americans said they hadn't yet heard enough about Sonia Sotomayor to have an opinion of her, according to a new McClatchy-Ipsos poll. That could be the opportunity that Republicans can exploit by attacking her. Even so, 54 percent said the Senate should confirm her, while only 21 percent said it should not, and one in four Americans isn't yet sure...

...the poll revealed a danger for Republicans: 37 percent of the general population and 42 percent of Hispanics said they'd feel less favorably toward the Republican Party if Senate Republicans "overwhelmingly oppose" Sotomayor, 54, a Latina federal appellate judge from New York.

A much smaller number - 24 percent of the general population and 20 percent of Hispanics - said that organized GOP opposition would endear Republicans to them.

Obviously, there's a huge opportunity here for the GOP to define her, but just as obviously they're not even going to try. Note also that Hispanics aren't exactly joining hands in pan-Hispanic unity in support of her; while those numbers are on the expected side, their numbers aren't that different from the rest of us.

If you want to help lower public support for her, send out emails to all your friends containing links to the various news reports discussing her strong support for identity politics and affirmative action. If you can find a good summary of the Ricci case, send that as well. And, let those national GOP leaders know that if they don't vigorously oppose her you'll work to get others elected in their place.

Sonia Sotomayor is member of elite womens-only group (Belizean Grove) - 06/12/09

Sonia Sotomayor is one of the 125 members of the elite, womens-only "Belizean Grove" (belizeangrove.com). More on them here, and from their site:

Having observed the power of the Bohemian Grove, a 130-year-old, elite old boys' network of former Presidents, businessmen, military, musicians, academics, and non-profit leaders, and realizing that women didn't have a similar organization, Susan Stautberg and 26 other founding members created the Belizean Grove, a constellation of influential women who are key decision makers in the profit, non-profit and social sectors; who build long term mutually beneficial relationships in order to both take charge of their own destinies and help others to do the same.

In their PDF, they say their members are "ethnically, racially, age, and geographically diverse", and Sotomayor has probably regaled them with tales from the affirmative action front lines.

Chuck Schumer: Sotomayor is "within the judicial mainstream" on immigration cases; how far off is he? - 06/08/09

From this:

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of Judiciary’s immigration subcommittee, assigned his staff to analyze how (Sonia Sotomayor) voted in 955 immigration cases in which she has participated throughout her judicial career, with a special focus on cases that involved foreigners trying to win asylum claims in order to remain in the United States.

Of the 848 asylum cases in which Sotomayor has taken part, Schumer’s aides say, she sided with the foreigner over the government in 144 of them, or 17 percent of the time. That percentage, the aides point out, is virtually identical to that of the entire 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, of which she is a member, during a two-year window analyzed as part of a recent article published in the Stanford Law Review by law professors at Temple and Georgetown universities.

Their rulings were unanimous in all but three of the asylum cases. In response to his study, Chuck Shumer says:

"These findings should put to rest any doubts about Judge Sotomayor’s fidelity to the rule of law. Even in immigration cases, which would most test the so-called ‘empathy factor,’ Judge Sotomayor’s record is well within the judicial mainstream."

It would, of course, be helpful if someone could check his work, such as by pulling out a few contentious cases and looking at how she handled them.

Dave Neiwert is very confused about identity politics (Sotomayor) - 06/06/09

David Neiwert of Crooks and Liars offers "We Stand With Sonia Sotomayor" (crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/we-stand-sonia-sotomayor) about a new solidarity campaign for her. When some of the comments others left on the post didn't break his way, Neiwert left a comment of his own:

Standing behind her has nothing to do with identity politics. Indeed, it's about refuting white male identity politics -- the primary reason for the right's opposition to her. We stand behind her because of her extraordinary qualifications and her sound legal reasoning. I don't think the fear of Catholicism is a legitimate reason to be concerned, either.

1. About the only form of socially-acceptable "white male identity politics" is to be found in beer commercials or as the butt of jokes. Other than that, as Neiwert would rush to remind anyone, "white male identity politics" equates to the KKK and the like. The debate about Sonia Sotomayor is almost all about her judicial actions, her statements, and how she's manifested her ethnicity. No white leader has ever in any way opposed her because they want "one of us" on the court. The same cannot, of course, be said of other leaders (see UPDATE 4).

2. The idea that identity politics didn't play a major role in her selection is beyond absurd. And, considering that the campaign David Niewert is promoting is from a group called Presente which uses "Latino" no less than eight times just on their About page (presente.org/about) and which seeks to "promote the political empowerment of Latino communities", Neiwert is even dumber than usual.

WaPo: "Sotomayor Speeches Woven With Ethnicity"; "The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever"; "sister power" - 06/06/09

Sonia Sotomayor is so deeply enmeshed in far-left concepts like ethnic nationalism that even the Washington Post isn't trying to hide it.

Sonia Sotomayor was member of National Council of La Raza from 1998 to 2004 (+Raul Yzaguirre) - 06/05/09

As first discussed here over a week ago, Sonia Sotomayor was member of the far-left, illegal activity-supporting, extemist-funding, racist-awarding National Council of La Raza. Now we know that she was a member from 1998 to 2004 (link).

1976: Sotomayor favored Puerto Rican independence, referred to "North American Congress" and "mainland Congress" - 06/05/09

A history professor took a look at Sonia Sotomayor's 1976 Princeton University senior thesis and says it would get an A minus or thereabout. Oh, and also:

First, I'm curious as to when Sotomayor ceased being a Puerto Rican nationalist who favors independence -- as she says she does in the preface. (The position, as she points out in the thesis, had received 0.6 percent in a 1967 referendum, the most recent such vote before she wrote the thesis.) I don't know that I've seen it reported anywhere that she favored Puerto Rican independence, which has always been very much a fringe position....

Second, her unwillingness to call the Congress the U.S. Congress is bizarre -- in the thesis, it's always referred to as either the 'North American Congress' or the 'mainland Congress.' I guess by the language of her thesis, it should be said that she's seeking an appointment to the North American Supreme Court, subject to advice and consent of the North American Senate. This kind of rhetoric was very trendy, and not uncommon, among the Latin Americanist fringe of the academy.

Sotomayor repeatedly used "wise woman" or "wise Latina" in speeches - 06/04/09

From this:

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor delivered multiple speeches between 1994 and 2003 in which she suggested "a wise Latina woman" or "wise woman" judge might "reach a better conclusion" than a male judge... A draft version of a October 2003 speech Sotomayor delivered at Seton Hall University stated, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion." That is identical to her October 2001 remarks at the University of California, Berkeley...

A list of the times she's said various similar things would be helpful. Obviously, such thoughts are deeply ingrained. About the "wise Latina" comments, Barack Obama claimed (link) "I'm sure she would have restated it". Now we see that she repeatedly said the same thing that even Obama admits she shouldn't have said.

NCLR makes hay out of opponents' mistakes (Sotomayor) - 06/03/09

One would think that a group that gave an award to someone who'd proposed genocide wouldn't have much of a chance at beating their opponents. Yet, the National Council of La Raza is in the lucky position that most of their leading opposition doesn't have a clue about that organization or doesn't have a clue about the best way to oppose them.

(For those curious, the way to oppose them is simple: just tell the truth. See the extensive summary of their activities at the last link.)

Sotomayor made "wise woman" comment in 1994; only 19% support her New Haven firefighter decision; Gingrich gets smarter - 06/03/09

In 2001, Sonia Sotomayor made her now-infamous "wise Latina" speech, and since then Barack Obama and Robert Gibbs have tried to walk her back from it, despite the fact that at no time between when she said it and now did she issue any sort of backtrack. Not only that, but back in 1994 she said something highly similar (link); one of the few differences is that she didn't mention her ethnicity, only her gender:

Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that “a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion in dueling cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes the line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, if Prof. Martha Minnow is correct, there can never be a universal definition of ‘wise.’ Second, I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.

The defense raised by some that apparently that statement was reviewed for her appeals court nomination and found acceptable doesn't particularly wash due to the fact that she's been nominated to the US Supreme Court and due to the fact that what she later said was even worse.

Sonia Sotomayor as a "gift" to Obama opponents if they have the guts to exploit it; "poster child of the Left" - 06/01/09

I don't know if Sonia Sotomayor is a "bigot" as Bay Buchanan calls her in "Obama Picks a Bigot for the High Court" (link). Calling her extremely ethno-centric and steeped in identity politics is the better option. However, the ending - aside from the part where she doesn't broaden the opposition to include all Obama opponents - is correct:

Sonia Sotomayor is a gift to conservatives. But we must find the guts to exploit it. Sonia Baby needs to become the poster child of the Left. With her as point, we can strip away the scab hiding the real identity of those in power: anti-white male racists who support a radical agenda of massive illegal immigration, reverse discrimination and gun control. It is time we showed Americans we are ready to fight for them against the likes of Sonia Sotomayor and her pals.

UPDATE: I don't think it's correct or useful to say that Sotomayor is a "racist" or a "bigot". It's correct and useful to say that about some Democratic leaders due to the specific things they've said. However, it is correct and useful to point out that she supports something that might be called "institutional reverse racism", although maybe that phrase shouldn't be used. Instead, it should be pointed out that she's deeply linked into far-left concepts like affirmative action, ethnic nationalism, and identity politics. Not only that, but she joined not just one but two far-left racial power groups: the PRLDEF and the National Council of La Raza.

Lawyer for far-left LULAC has advice for Republicans re: Sotomayor - 05/31/09

Of the opposition response to the Sonia Sotomayor nomination, Luis Vera - National Legal Advisor of the League of United Latin American Citizens says:

"The more they personalize their attack, all I can promise you is that the Latino community will raise such a voice across the country, that it'll be many, many, many years before the Republican party can draw Latinos back into their voting block"...

...Vera says it's acceptable to attack Sotomayor's voting record, and what she's written in her decisions, but it's not fair to pull a few words and use them against her.

"The Republicans need to be careful about how they do this because, yes, without the Latino vote, the Republicans cannot succeed."

See the LULAC link above for more on his group. If the GOP were smart they'd realize that those "few words" are a key part of any opposition to her. They'd make the attacks only based on facts and wouldn't call her names that might not be true. But, they wouldn't shy away from the facts no matter what far-left racial power groups think. Obviously, the GOP and others in their umbrella will go the other direction: they'll concentrate on the name-calling while ignoring things like her memberships in PRLDEF and the National Council of La Raza.

NYT: Sotomayors Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle (laying the groundwork for her withdrawal?) - 05/30/09

David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times offers "Sotomayor’s Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle" (link). Kremlin watchers are invited to speculate on whether they're trying to get those issues out of the way now, whether they're trying to give her an easy pretext to withdraw, or something else.

Judge Sotomayor, whose parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico, has championed the importance of considering race and ethnicity in admissions, hiring and even judicial selection at almost every stage of her career — as a student activist at Princeton and at Yale Law School, as a board member of left-leaning Hispanic advocacy groups and as a federal judge arguing for diversity on the bench.

Hispanic GOP strategists shocked enough by anti-Sotomayor comments to help Democrats (Lionel Sosa) - 05/30/09

Lionel Sosa from MATT.org and other groups is an extremely ethnocentric GOP advertising consultant who worked on presidential campaigns by George W Bush and others. In 2007, he crossed over and supported Bill Richardson because, as he said at the time, "Blood runs thicker than politics".

Some Hispanic leaders not 100% happy with Sotomayor being Puerto Rican, not Mexican-American - 05/27/09

Oh what a tangled web they weave when first they start to play ethnic politics and assume that all Hispanics think alike despite country of origin. Daniel Gonzalez and Erin Kelly of the Arizona Republic offer "Hispanics laud choice, but many hoped for a Mexican-American" (link). Considering that in Arizona there are, per the article, "1.6 million Latinos of Mexican ancestry, compared with 28,524 of Puerto Rican ancestry", one wonders what (if anything) Ben Smith was thinking when he earlier wrote that "Fierce opposition from the right could push Florida and the West out of reach."

Some analysts caution that Republicans, who have already seen their support among Latinos decline sharply over the issue of immigration, risk further alienating Hispanics by opposing Sotomayor.

But even Latinos are taking a careful look at her nomination.

[Many Hispanics are elated, but] some would have preferred to see Obama nominate a Mexican-American considering that they make up 70 percent of the nation's 47 million Latinos.

"The argument could be made for (a Mexican-American nominee)," said Raul Yzaguirre, former head of the National Council of La Raza... "I want unity, so I am more inclined to overlook those things and say, 'Let's work together.'"

Sonia Sotomayor: affirmative action nominee for Supreme Court? Close to far-left Puerto Rico extremists? - 05/26/09

[SEE THE UPDATES]

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is Barack Obama's choice to replace David Souter on the US Supreme Court. Weak GOP talking points are here; Peter Baker and Jeff Zeleny (remember him?) have the New York Times' take here.

Was she selected only because of her outstanding grasp of legal issues? Or, was at least part of the selection due to the fact that she's a woman and a Hispanic? Were there more qualified possibilities who didn't happen to fit the politically-friendly uniform? If so, then she is indeed an affirmative action pick, despite the many attempts to claim otherwise we'll be treated to in the months to come. See the quotes at [1].

Expect the Democrats and their helpers to try to present any opposition to her as anti-Hispanic, just as they constantly played the race card before the election. Three examples at [2]. Note that many MSM reporters and politicians will, either through ignorance or simple dishonesty, fail to note that most Hispanics in the U.S. are Mexican-American, and pan-Hispanic ethnic nationalism will only go so far with most.

It will be interesting to see whether some interesting quotes will come to light; here's one:

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.

And, one thing the MSM won't look into - and the GOP won't discuss - is whether she's an extremist or not. To what extent does she agree with Luis Gutierrez and Nydia Velazquez, both of whom are former U.S. leaders of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party? Sotomayer is a former member of the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting PRLDEF; did she say or do anything interesting while a member? With Mexican-American leaders it's easy for me to tell their level of support for reconquista sentiments; I'm not familiar with Puerto Rican issues, and it's probably going to be difficult to find anyone to give the straight scoop on her position on issues like sovereignty.

UPDATE: Regarding that possible extremism, we're getting there. From this:

After launching a public campaign to force Princeton University to hire faculty and administrators of "Puerto Rican or Chicano heritage," Sotomayor finally got her way. But she wasn't finished complaining. Despite being appointed to a student advisory board that would counsel the University on the hiring of a "minority dean," Sotomayor was ultimately unsatisfied by the appointment of Luis Garcia as Associate Dean of Student Affairs in September 1974. Sotomayor had a litany of complaints ranging from the manner in which the advisory board was selected to the manner in which the candidate was selected.

See also this.

Meanwhile, this says:

her legal theses included Race in the American Classroom, and Undying Injustice: American "Exceptionalism" and Permanent Bigotry, and Deadly Obsession: American Gun Culture. In this text, the student Sotomayor explained that the Second Amendment to the Constitution did not actually afford individual citizens the right to bear arms, but only duly conferred organizations, like the military. Instead of making guns illegal, she argues that they have been illegal for individuals to own since the passing of the Bill of Rights.

However: that quote is supposedly from americannews.com, a site that appears to have only existed as a parked domain for several years. Consider the last quote a hoax or at least inflation of some kind until a source is provided. UPDATE: The last post has a "satire" tag; I don't think it was there when this was posted but my assumptions were correct. If you ever run across that site again, please ignore them.

UPDATE 2: Video of some of her questionable statements is here.

The pro-life side weighs in here; see also this petition. However, in at least this case she apparently ruled against the pro-choice side; if there are other cases please leave a comment.

For her position on the second amendment, someone please summarize this; there might be something interesting in that.

Back in 1978, she dropped out of the running for a law firm job and filed a complaint after being asked whether he heritage had "culturally deprived" her (link).

Per this, as a District judge she ordered a "$10,000 fine to someone who pleads guilty to a federal charge of sharing in more than $200,000 in kickbacks".

Back to extremism, Michael Fletcher says:

Latino legal activists applauded Sotomayor's appointment. "This is a historic moment," said Cesar Perales, executive director of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a New York-based civil rights group, where Sotomayor once served as a board member. "This is the most important Hispanic appointment that has been made in this country's history. It is a recognition that we are coming of age, that we can be one of nine wise people on the Supreme Court, making decisions that affect everyone in this country." ...During her years on the organization's board during the 1980s, the organization, then known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, focused its efforts on the creation of majority-Hispanic voting districts and the defense of bilingual education programs.

There's more on the PRLDEF here, specifically relating to their campaign against Bush nominee Miguel Estrada.

UPDATE 3: From this: Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed...

George Will offers "Identity Justice" (link) and the Wall Street Journal offers the editorial "The 'Empathy' Nominee/Is Sonia Sotomayor judically superior to 'a white male'?" (link).

UPDATE 4: At least as of 2000, Sotomayor was a member of the National Council of La Raza. See the link for much more on that far-left group that continually supports illegal activity.