The Blog

11:10 AM, Jul 14, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

While Marco Rubio says that Sotomayor's "academic credentials are unquestionable," senators "absolutely" have right to oppose a Supreme Court nominee over fundamental disagreements about judicial philosophy.

"I don't want to see this important moment to have a high-minded, philosophical discussion about the role of the judiciary to pass us by simply because of the historic nature of her nomination."

The Florida branch of Planned Parenthood hailed Crist's appointment of a liberal judge to the state Supreme Court in March as "Great news!"

According to the Palm Beach Post, "Crist spurned a state commission's six nominees for the appellate post in December, saying the roster lacked diversity and asking the commission to reconsider three black judges." On July 2, the state supreme court unanimously ruled that Crist's move was unconstitutional.

"the true measure of progress for the nation when it comes to issues surrounding race and ethnicity is the freedom of people of conscience to disagree with one another based on sound philosophical or political reasons without fear of being branded as racists."

TEXT

"In September, Judge Robert Pleus resigned from his post on Fifth District Court of Appeal because he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. The nominating commission provided a list of six names to Crist on Nov. 6. The constitution requires that Crist make an appointment from the list within 60 days. But on Dec. 1, Crist rejected the list, saying it lacked diversity and asked that the commission reconsider three black judges who had applied for the post but did not make the final list. The commission did not oblige; instead, the panel resubmitted its original list. The post remains vacant. Pleus, the retiring judge, filed the lawsuit against Crist." ("Crist lacked authority to send back judges list, SCOFLA rules," Palm Beach Post, 7/2/09)

One of the main issues to consider about Sotomayor's involvement with Ricci is why such a significant case was easily dismissed by Sotomayor when she joined a brief, unpublished opinion dismissing the firefighters' claims. It's important to ask: what issues and analysis led to her final decision to join this opinion?

a. President Obama has highlighted "empathy" as an important quality for his nominations. Should empathy play any role in a judge's consideration of a case? How does applying empathy to court cases reconcile with a judge's chief responsibility to interpret and apply the law?

b. Do you believe there are any instances when a judge should promote particular social policy objectives?

c. Do you consider the Constitution to be a living and breathing document, or should constitutional questions be decided on the basis of interpreting its authors' original intent? From your perspective, do you consider the law to be whatever a judge says it is on a given day, or based on what the Constitution's authors' intent was?

d. What role should international laws and legal opinions play in our own judicial system?

e. Do you believe the principle of adhering to precedent is inviolable, or are there instances when it is appropriate for the Supreme Court to overrule prior decisions? Can you please cite an example of a court case where you believed a then-existing precedent was appropriately overturned?

"I think Hispanic voters are Americans and want what's best for America," Rubio said. "I don't think Republicans will hurt themselves, if it's a philosophical opposition." Wanted to see her full testimony before saying whether he would oppose her.

CRIST

What the Democrats did to Estrada was outrageous. That was a pure, personal, partisan smearing of a qualified individual whose nomination was just as historic and just as qualified as this one."

"if affirmative action means that a private or public entity will take affirmative steps to identify and interview qualified minorities, I think affirmative action is a good thing."

TEXT