Keep the Nomination Process Civil, Respectful and Constructive

Supreme Court nominations get political, even with nominees as qualified as Judge Sonia Sotomayor. However, that does not mean that politicians get a free pass to attack nominees solely on the basis of race, ethnicity or gender. Such outbursts are reprehensible not only to Hispanics and communities of color, but to all Americans. More than 4,000 people have stood up to the nonsense and signed NCLR’s (National Council of La Raza) petition asking the Republican leadership to restore the debate on Judge Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination to a more civil level of discourse.

NCLR will be presenting the petition to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R–OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY). Please join us in asking these Republican leaders to denounce this smear campaign and keep the nomination process civil, respectful and constructive. If you haven’t already done so, please sign NCLR’s petition today. If you have, forward it on to your family and friends. Let’s make sure that this petition has 5,000 supporters by the time it lands on Michael Steele’s desk.


Meredith D.
Meredith D8 years ago

I don't get what the big deal is. Bush's nominees weren't vilafied by the media the way Sotomayor is. We already have some far-right judges; a leftie would just balance the court out a bit. I think it has it's fair share of privileged white males. A "strong Latina woman's" point of view on the issues would be a good addition, as far as I'm concerned. And as for the sexism charge, what woman has never said "men suck?" What man has never said "Women are crazy?" Does that mean we're all sexist? And as for the racism charge, it's not racist to think that people from different economic and cultural backgrounds would see things slightly differently; that's logical. My Irish working-class roots certainly lead to a different worldview than if I were an affluent WASP-type person. We have way too many of them in government and in the judiciary than their population merits. Since a huge portion of our population is either female, Latino/a, from poor/underprivileged background, or some combination thereof, I don't see why somebody shouldn't be representing their interests on the Supreme Court. Don't they get a voice in interpreting the laws our founders set down? It may not say what you want to hear, but the voice of the downtrodden deserves to be heard and taken into consideration when making major decisions. And Supreme Court judges legislate from the bench all the time. By giving them the right to interpret all law, we have essentially given them some legislative power.

Claire M.
Claire M8 years ago

Somebody really needs to keep track of this kind of thing. When election times come around its like the media completely forgets what these people have said and you get to see the mask instead of the reality. I don't think this issue is really about race more than its about gender and her views. It would how ever be a major set back for the progress of women to equal status if we let them push her out like this.

Bill L.
Bill L.8 years ago

Sure are a lot of right wing loonies making comments here. Hard to believe that those making reference to Robert Bork and to Clarence Thomas were capable of doing so as most who were in favor of either of them didn't know how to read let alone compose a sentence.
Try doing some research. There is this really wonderful website called YouTube where they actually show clips of old speaches. Things like Clarence Thomas being described as "empathetic", Sam Alito saying how his life experience and heritage has shaped his opinion and view of law. You would really be amazed at what you'll find.
Yeah, good ol' Clarence is quite a jurist. He's so inquisitive. It's surprising that he actually signs his name rather than just writing "me too" under Scalia's signature.
I can understand how persecuted old white guys must feel with the coming threat of a latino woman. After all, they have been under the thumb of minorities for so long they barely have any advantages and the thought of another cultural background rearing its ugly head is appalling. I'm sure John Roberts must wonder how such a background could possibly know that every decision must be made in favor of corporations over citizens like he does.
Don't forget that some of her decisions were overturned! Since we all know that every decision of the Supreme Court is the best one for American Citizens simply by definition that must mean that hers are flawed.
Get used to it. She's as good as sitting there already.

Margaret S.
Margaret S8 years ago


The role of a Supreme Court Justice is NOT to enact policy (as Sotomayor has said judges where she now sits do)

"It’s the role of the political branches to make law and policy.  It’s the role of those who occupy positions in those branches, and not that of judges, to translate competing concepts of empathy and prudence into public policy and to consult their values and life experiences in doing so.  Sotomayor and Obama are dead wrong on this fundamental matter".
Ed Whelan

To question Sotomayor's qualifications and ability to follow the oath IS NOT
uncivil discourse. Actually is is FAR MORE CIVIL than that afforded Republican nominees. Check for yourselves.

If Sotomayor cannot rule according to the oath she would take, she should not be a Supreme Court Justice. Period.

Margaret S.
Margaret S8 years ago

It's amazing (but not surprising), how liberals think that an in depth inquiry in a nominee is an attack. Look back at the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas (both eminently qualified Jurists) if you want to see savage, unconscionable attacks.

Sotomayor is not being attacked on race (liberals are always the first to bring this up), nor ethnicity or gender. She is being questioned because of HER presumed bias. It would be expected that the liberal, very biased, radical La Raza would support her, or the NCLR either.

Sotomayor has been overruled on 60% of her decisions.

Obama's ideal Justice who would 'take into a decision empathy, more than judging by the Rule of Law, Empathy and bias have no place in the judicial system. While some may prefer it, they surely wouldn't like it from someone who used it against them. Sotomayor has a tough background, but then so does Clarence Thomas, only more so. That didn't stop Democrats from viciously attacking him.

In Sotomayor's case, she rules using her own experience/ideology. That IS NOT what being a Supreme Court Justice is about. they all take an oath:

"I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."

The role of a Supreme Court Justice is

Carol H.
Past Member 8 years ago

She has said several times what she thinks of White Men and this in itself tells you in what direction she heading. Look what she did to the fireman and so many other cases I just don't trust her at all.
I know she will probably get in because of all the Demos that are in Congress.

Roberta C.
Past Member 8 years ago

60% of her judgments have been overturned. Why shoiuld we want even more of this? that is enough to disqualify her. James is correct, and she should NOT be given a pass because she is a women, or Puerto Rican, or martian!
and Robert, what Ms Sotomyer said was"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion that a white male who hasn't lived that life". She used that expression at least four more times in other speeches. In nearly half of her 183 appearances since 1993, her Senate questionnaire shows, she either spoke about ethnicity and gender or addressed a minority or women's group. It is clearly highly important to her. That does NTO make her fair and balanced, that makes her biased.

Cindy F.
Cindy F8 years ago

Sotomayor should be strongly scrutinized just as others have been regardless of gender. I personally see her as a racist and an opportunist that will rule right or wrong, just because she can.

Robert Michael
Robert Michael8 years ago

We 've seen what happens when candidates appointed by neocon Repiblicans are not, as was the case with Judge Robert Bork, examined as to their concepts and ideas (by Joe Biden). What Ms. Sotomayor said was that anyone such as she who had personal and scientific experience to understand the consequences of elitism aimed against groups targeted by bigots was more likely than those lacking such experience to be able to decide cases where such considerations were found by examining the effects of such legislative bias on the basis of their real-world effects. She was correct. Affirmative action doesn't give favors to minority groups; what it does is note the inherent bias in the sorts of tests, linguistic and structural-cultural assumptions applied to candidates for positions. I've never heard a single neocon admit their lower IQ should have disqualified them from seeking the presidency or Supreme Court positions; yet they want inadequate criteria in non priori- tized order applied to everyone else in the United States. The year in CA Gov. Reagan did away with such culturally-biased protections, not a single candidate from any minority linguistic group won acceptance to medical or legal schools on a com-petitive basis. End this farce. Challenge the cultural misas-sumptions of favoritism to WASPS. Protect candidates far more qualified than neocon judicial nominees from being slandered by pseudo-religious power-seeking elitist bigots. Superiority is true ability to act and think.

James H.
James H8 years ago

Kety, I do not mean to be disrespectful, however this judges own words and writings from many an occasion indicate she is not now nor ever qualified for the bench period. She is a racist and a sexist. Further her viewpoints of revisionist law are a greater issue. I don't care much for either party, since they clearly do not represent the interests of the citizens, but going back to Bork I do not remember a candidate for SCOTUS who was not put through the wringer. Actually Judge Sotomayor has been given a rather easy time by comparable standards.

I find it interesting how often we cry foul when we like the pick and they are put through the mill and how ugly we become when we don't like the choice and the gloves come off.