Sotomayor Nominated for U.S. Supreme Court

Sotomayor Nominated for U.S. Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail
Written by epublius
Thursday, 28 May 2009 20:34

President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court this week. If confirmed she would be the first Hispanic justice appointed to the court. This has sparked the age-old debate on what is the role of a Supreme Court Justice.

Conservatives view the role of the Supreme Court differently than liberals. Conservatives believe that the justices should stick to a very strict interpretation of the law. Ergo, when a more liberal court justice finds a correlation in the law, conservatives immediately state that they are making law, not interpreting the law. Reality is that liberal or conservative; interpreting will always bring about disagreement from one side or the other.

Even with these pitfalls, the Supreme Court’s role has always been clear. They are to interpret the law and uphold the U.S. Constitution. Our founding fathers set-up three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial with specific roles. Alexander Hamilton clearly defined each of their roles in the Federalist Papers No.78 -

“The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.”

The founding fathers never meant for the judicial branch to intentionally make law or right the wrongs of society. Therefore, Judge Sotomayor’s statements proclaiming the “court of appeals is where policy is made” is contrary to what the founding fathers envisioned and defined in the U.S. Constitution as the role of the judicial branch of the government. Apparently, she does not agree with the founding fathers intent.

Judge Sotamayor's Statements

Other statements made by Judge Sotomayor further raise concerns about how she will see her role on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“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. Justice [Sandra Day] O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases…. I am… not so sure that I agree with the statement. First… there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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.”

Our justice system is supposed to be blind and just for all. Statements like the one above lead me to believe that gender, race, and cultural differences are going to weigh more heavily than the rule of law. When you allow these sorts of biases to cloud your judgment, you create the same conditions that led to past discriminations. The founding fathers deliberately separated the powers and defined each of their roles very clearly.

Any Supreme Court justice that seeks to intentionally make law, correct past wrongs, or take any action other than making judgment is in violation of the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. Supreme Court justices should to be impartial in the same vain that juries are supposed to be. They are not supposed to be liberal, conservative, male, female or any other description; they are to be “justices.” Justices that cannot be non-descript and impartial do not belong on the Supreme Court.


Post a Comment

I reserve the right to delete profane, obscene, or otherwise insulting messages. So please, keep it clean.

While you're at it, visit our message boards!