Sotomayor in Review; A Brief on Judicial Radicalism
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The Senate Judiciary Committee today opens hearings on the most radical Supreme Court nominee in memory. Despite her compelling story of personal accomplishment, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has proved by her own words and actions that she is unfit for the nation's highest court.
On gun rights, we learn from U.S. v. Sanchez-Villar that Judge Sotomayor sees no fundamental right at issue. On property rights, we learn from Didden v. Village of Port Chester that she thinks a town can seize land from its owner to give to another private developer for the same basic purpose, without a public hearing. (She also ruled, bizarrely, that the original owner would have had to sue before the land was even seized in order to meet the statute of limitations.)
On abortion, the New York Times describes Judge Sotomayor as an involved and ardent supporter of the legal efforts of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund while serving 12 years on its board - efforts that included repeatedly filing suits arguing that government should not in any way restrict abortion rights. The group argued that the Constitution mandates that public funds must be made available for abortions and that states cannot require parental notification or consent, informed consent or waiting periods. Those radical positions are outside the mainstream of American public opinion, and they put her more in favor of unrestricted abortions than is Justice David H. Souter, whom she would replace on the Supreme Court.
On voting privileges, Judge Sotomayor ruled in Hayden v. Pataki that currently imprisoned murderers and rapists have a constitutional right to vote. On racial discrimination, she ruled in Ricci v. DeStefano that firefighters who earned a promotion can be denied the promotion merely because they are white. On lawsuit abuse, we learn from Merrill Lynch v. Dabit that she can be so biased in favor of jackpot justice that a unanimous Supreme Court - liberals included - slapped her down.
On environmental issues, Judge Sotomayor seems to think deleterious economic effects of regulations should be ignored. The Supreme Court reversed Judge Sotomayor 6-3 in Entergy Corp. v. EPA, when she tried to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ignore the economic costs of superstrict regulation of water use at power plants.
Finally, in several cases, the Supreme Court has unanimously castigated Judge Sotomayor's legal reasoning even when some of the judges have agreed with her results. …