Sonia Sotomayor on Principles & Values



Confirmed for Supreme Court by 58-31 vote

The sudden announcement by Justice David Souter that he was resigning from the Supreme Court gave Obama his first opportunity to make an appointment. He nominated Federal Appellate Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York as the first Hispanic American on the highest bench. Biden, who had chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee through every Supreme Court confirmation hearing since 1987, was called on to help prepare her. A Wall Street Journal editorial issued a scathing diatribe against him entitled, "How Joe Biden Wrecked the Judicial Process," alleging his insistence that a nominee be subjected to questioning about his or her judicial philosophy broke new and unwarranted ground. That approach had indeed brought Bork down, to the dismay of conservative stalwarts. Sotomayor, however, artfully dodged all challenges and was confirmed by a 58-31 vote, with nine Republican senators supporting her.
Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.454 , Oct 5, 2010

OpEd: All Latinos proud of her, not just Puerto Ricans

often dislike being lumped together, Latinos are highly conscious of their differences from one another. But it turned out that all Latinos were proud of Sotomayor; she reflected well on them even if they were of a different nationality. Obama realized that nominating Sotomayor would raise the same racial issues he had spent so much time during the campaign attempting to avoid.

White House aides fretted over how Mexican Americans would react to a Puertorriquena. Just as Asian Americans And when the "She's a racist" talk began, large numbers of Latinos took it as an insult to them all. First a Democratic president made them proud; now the Republican opposition was assaulting their pride. Of all the demographic setbacks by the Obama realized that nominating Sotomayor would raise the same racial issues he had spent so much time during the campaign attempting to avoid.

White House aides fretted over how Mexican Americans would react to a Puertorriquena. Just as Asian Americans

Source: The Promise: Obama Year One, by Jonathan Alter, p.329-330 , May 18, 2010

Advocates following and honoring the Constitution

"I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it." Her record holds true to that statement. For example, in Hankins v. Lyght, she argued that the federal government risks "an unconstitutional trespass" if it attempts to dictate to religious organizations who they can or cannot hire or dismiss as spiritual leaders. Since joining the Second Circuit, Sotomayor has honored the Constitution, the rule of law, and justice.
Source: White House press release, "Background on Sotomayor" , May 26, 2009

States cannot sue each other over eased voting rules.

Justice Sotomayor wrote the concurrence on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: "TX v. PA, GA, MI & WI" on Dec 11, 2020:

Summary of lawsuit, Dec. 7:: The 2020 election suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities including:

Supreme Court Order, Dec. 11: The State of Texas's motion is denied for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution. Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections. All other pending motions are dismissed as moot.

Texas Tribune analysis, Dec. 11:: Trump--and Republicans across the country--had pinned their hopes on the Texas suit. In a series of tweets, Trump called it "the big one" and later added, "it is very strong, ALL CRITERIA MET." If the court had heard the case, Sen. Ted Cruz said he would have argued it, at the request of Trump.

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas indicated they would have allowed Texas to bring the case but said they would "not grant other relief." In a series of tweets after the ruling, Trump raged against the decision, which he called "a disgraceful miscarriage of justice."

Source: Supreme Court case 20-SCOTUS argued on Dec 7, 2020

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Other Justices on Principles & Values: Sonia Sotomayor on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Amy Coney Barrett(since 2020)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Neil Gorsuch(since 2017)
Ketanji Brown Jackson(nominated 2022)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Brett Kavanaugh(since 2018)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

Former Justices:
Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(1993-2020)
Anthony Kennedy(1988-2018)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Mar 21, 2022