Confirmation conversions: Sotomayor, then and now

Who says people can't change (or flip-flop)?  Sotomayor has proven that you certainly can...especially when you get nominated to the Supreme Court and you've got some otherwise inconvenient statements or actions in your past that you need to have people overlook.

For example:

On impartiality, Sotomayor had previously suggested that "there is no objective stance"...

In the hearings she stated: "The process of judging is a process of keeping an open mind.  It's the process of not coming to a decision with a prejudgement ever of an outcome. (7/14/09)

But previously...

"There is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives...aspiration to impartiality...is just that, an aspiration..." (Women in the Judiciary, Women's Bar Association of the State of New York, 4/30/99)

On whether "predjudices" are appropriate, she said "predjudices are appropriate"...

In the hearings, she stated, "[I] Would Not Prejudge Any Question That Came Before Me If I Was A Justice On The Supreme Court."  And, "I Don't Pre-Judge Issues."

But previously...

"I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and gender but attempt...continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate." (Women in the Judiciary, 40th National Conference of Law Reviews. 3/17/94)

On whether or not she reviewed any of the pro-abortion legal briefs filed by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund (while she was on its board):

In the hearings, she said: "I Never Reviewed Those Briefs."

But previously...

"For 12 Years She Was A Top Policy Maker On The Board Of The Puerto Rican Legal Defense And Education Fund." ("A Breakthrough Judge: What She Always Wanted," The New York Times, 9/25/92)

Judge Sotomayor Was A Board Member Of PRLDEF From 1980 To 1992 And "Headed The Board's Litigation Committee." "A Puerto Rican civil rights leader said Tuesday he was ready to start sending a trove of documents from supreme court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's past to the senate panel considering her nomination. Cesar Perales, the head of the legal advocacy group LatinoJustice PRLDEF said he'd send the Judiciary Committee minutes of meetings Sotomayor participated in as a board member of the group from 1980 until 1992, as well as pleadings from cases it handled while Sotomayor headed the board's litigation committee. ... Among the causes it took up while Sotomayor served on the board were bilingual education, support for abortion rights and opposition to the death penalty, which it equated with racism." ("Legal Group Sending Sotomayor Documents To Senate," The Associated Press, 7/1/09)

Sonia Sotomayor "Played An Active Role" On PRLDEF. "And so across her 12 years on the board - she left when she was appointed a federal judge in 1992 - she played an active role as the defense fund staked out aggressive stances on issues like police brutality, the death penalty and voting rights." ("Nominee's Links With Advocates Fuel Her Critics," The New York Times, 5/28/09)

Twice During Sotomayor's Tenure on the Board PRLDEF Argued That Abortion Restrictions Are Analogous to Slavery:

In 1980, PRLDEF Argued That Restrictions On Abortion Are Analogous to Slavery. "Just as Dred Scott v. Sanford refused citizenship to Black people, these opinions strip the poor of meaningful citizenship under the fundamental law." (Brief Of Certain Organizations As Amici And Amicae Curiae In Support Of Petition For Rehearing, Williams v. Zbaras, Harrisv v. McRae (Filed July 1980))

In 1992, PRLDEF Again Argued That Restrictions on Abortion Are Analogous to Slavery. "For poor women, and particularly for poor African American women, the right to privacy in matters of body and reproduction -- a right that was trammeled with state sanction during centuries of slavery -- is fundamental to notions of freedom and liberty." (Brief Of Amici Curiae Of The NAACP Legal Defense And Educational Fund, Inc., And Other Organizations, Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Filed March 1992))

***

I don't see how anyone with any sense could find it credible that she never reviewed any of the briefs put forward by an organization of which she was on its board AND the head of its board's Litigation Committee.  Of course, for Republicans to ask any tough questions would be indelicate at best, or racist at worst.

Nothing to see here...move along...

 

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