Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let The Game Begin.....

Today, many of us are hearing about Sonya Sotomayor for the first time as the nominee to the Supreme Court seat soon to be vacated by Justice David Souter.
The Conservative noise machine has already started it engine of innuendo, gossip and lies in its attempt to stall or derail the nomination. The New Republic has already referred to her as Dishonest and Lazy. Fox News has said that "sources" report that she is not a very had worker.

The National Review used the terms "dumb and obnoxious" and even David Letterman, who should know better, jumped on the Sotomayor Smear Wagon with a sketch that protrayed her as being shrill, dumb and tempermental, without a shred of evidence to back up the claims, it was all unnamed sources and innuendo. This can only make you wonder, why are they saying these things about a woman who graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton and in a short eventful carreer, has risen to the top of her profession?

Could it be an attempt to play to racial and gender stereotypes? Naw, the Conservatives are above that kind of disgraceful behavior. Oh Yeah?

Sonya Sotomayor is a Puerto Rican American who was born to a lower middle classs family in the Bronx and grew up a few blocks from Yankee Stadium. She lost her father at an earl;y age and was raised by her mother who worked as a nuurse in a methadone clinic. Sonya developed diabetes when she was 8.
She was a good student who now says she was inspired to go into law at an early age by watching Perry Mason.
She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton then became the editor of the Yale Law Journal. She then joined the Manhattan district attorney office and the Board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. After 8 years at a Manhattan Law firm, she was appointed to a Federal Judgeship by President Clinton.
One of her more memorable rulings was as a Federal Judge in 1995. She was the judge who ended the inteminable Baseball strike and salvaged the season. At the time she was lauded for her diplomacy and wisdom.
She seems to have a hallmark of independance. She has made important decisions which have made it easier for police to collect evidence and also made important decisions separating church and state and also supporting the rights of religious groups.
She is a lot less affluent than many of her peers. She has chosen to live in expensive Manhattan, where she owns a coop in the West Village. This is the only property she owns.
In public, she presents an affable fun loving personality and describes herself as an avid baseball fan and compares many of her moments on the bench in baseball metaphores.
Recently in a documentary, Sotomayor said, "We should applaud more frequently those who transform a lost life."

As Sotomayor saw it, she was not so far from her humble child hood that she was not emotionally touched when she signed her first judgement of conviction after becoming a judge.

"That emotion will never leave me--humility" she said. "A deep sense of humility. And a deep, deep senseof there but for the grace of God could I have gone and many that I have loved."

Perhaps in the last statement one can find the very essence of what the conservatives find so very dangerous about her. To them, compassion is a weakness that will used to portray her to the left of Abbie Hoffman.

You can believe that every aspect of her life and conduct on the bench will be scrutinized in the next few weeks in an attempt to find any appearance of a flaw that can be exploited.
Let the game begin!


mud_rake said...

I just posted a piece on her in which I said that the GOP is in a real bind if they try to obstruct her nomination. They could lose even more women as well as the Latino and Hispanic voters from their shrinking, white, southern party.

DromedaryHump said...

I was all in favor of her till I heard on NPR that she ruled against a student's free speech by upholding an expulsion of a student who in his own blog, from his home, referred to the school administration as "douchbags" for threatening to cancel a dance.

I have a problem with that. What a kid says off school grounds, on his internet blog, that is neither threatening or criminal is hardly a place for big brother's intrusion.

She is also about to be reversed on appeal on another decision.

It may be worthwhile to investigate some of her decisions / thinking before we jump on board based on her attractive credentials and philosophy.


mikeb302000 said...

I'm rooting for her to weather these unavoidable storms. I still don't see how she feels about capital punishment, but as a woman and a minority, I can't imagine she'd be in favor of it. On guns, I think she'll be great. Those are my two favorite issues.

DromedaryHump said...

what difference does it make what her perspective is on cap. punishment or guns?

The Constitution has never been interpreted to mean cap. punishment is "cruel and unusual" punishment, thus leaving it up to the individual states to decide. and the court already ruled on the 2nd amendment last year confirming it an individual right, striking down the DC gun ban. There hasn't been a reversal of a SC ruling in 40 years.

The issues we should be concered about is the mixing of govt with religion / "faith based" initiatives, creationism/ID in schools, elimination of sectarian symbols from public property; the civil right of individuals to marry who they please; the right of free speech; the right to privacy; the right to die with dignity.

I mean..if your whole thing is cap punishment and guns, thats a pretty narrow focus, esp. given that neither of those issues are likely to come before the supreme court [again] in your life time.

But to each their own.

microdot said...

Hey Dromedary, we all have our specific concerns. You focus on religion a personal liberty. Mike focuses on guns and the death penalty but there are areas where you both overlap.
I happen to share your feelings about religion and I also share a lot of Mikes concerns. From the specific focus of both of your blogs, i get a lot of input.
You might enjoy Mikes blog, it's in the side bar of links.
mikeb302000. It's a lively place where heads get knocked around, you might see some people you know....

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Muddy,
Just like CSN sang,
"We are stardust, we are golden, We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

Great posting!!

DromedaryHump said...

yep..i have no prob with mikes focus...as i said to each his own. But expecting the supreme court to rule capitol punishment as unconstitutional is to be ignorant of our government and our history.

The Founding fathers knew that capital punishment was widely practised and endorsed. The founders never viewed it as "cruel and unusual punishment" else it would have been so described. Thus no constitutional scholar can possibly view it as in opposition to the intent or spirit of the constiution

Laws are made by the legislative branch, not the Supreme Court. Thus it would be impossible for the SC to rule to outlaw cap. punishment. They can only rule when a plantiff submits it's being unfairly or inappropruately applied to a specific person or class of people.

It's up to the states to make their own distinctions. Thus, using capital punishment as a basis for support or opposition to placment to the supreme court is fractally wrong. One may as well use the candidates position on oral sex, or left handedness to make the same decision.


mikeb302000 said...

Dear Drom, Thanks for the lesson.