Well, it has now become official. The nominee for the new Supreme Court Justice is Sonia Sotomayor. Let's try to check off the "qualifications" she needed to get the nomination, none of which have anything to do with being a good judge. Woman? Check. Minority? Check. Thinks personal experience and "empathy" have a place in a court of law? Check.
Look, I don't care that she's a Hispanic woman. I do care that she was chosen BECAUSE she is a Hispanic woman (oh, and because she has "empathy"). Race and gender should be completely irrelevant. Why are we still obsessed with affirmative action? Now that we have a black president, isn't it clear that institutionalized racism no longer exists in the Unites States? I mean, a black man with Muslim/atheist parents just became the most powerful man in the world! We know that Sotomayor supports affirmative action, because she has voted to uphold blatant racial discrimination. Remember this story? A city in Connecticut denied promotions to the firefighters who did best on a test of job-related skills because none of them were black. She upheld the decision.
Is she even qualified? Well, she's been in the courts for a long time, but almost all of her rulings that went to the Supreme Court (80%) were overturned, a couple of them unanimously.
She has already admitted that she is incapable of being impartial: "Our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that -- it's an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others."
People are going to read this and say, "Oh, come on, she's just being realistic." Um, no she's not. The Law doesn't change based on how she feels about it. In fact, The Law is the only thing for which a judge should have any partiality. I don't care what your life experiences are. As a Supreme Court Justice, your job is to uphold the Constitution. Period. But no, she is an activist. We already know that she said the courts are "where policy is made," and then laughed and admitted she shouldn't have said that on tape.
I think Mike Huckabee said it best on his blog: "The notion that appellate court decisions are to be interpreted by the 'feelings' of the judge is a direct affront of the basic premise of our judicial system that is supposed to apply the law without personal emotion. If she is confirmed, then we need to take the blindfold off Lady Justice."
Here is a link to a great article about this pick, which features a few more frightening quotes from Sotomayor about why a Hispanic woman is inherently a better judge than a white man.