Friday, May 29, 2009

More negative NYTimes for Sotomayor

I'm starting to wonder if the New York Times is going after Sonia Sotomayor. The front page today had an article entitled "Nominee's Links With Advocates Fuel Her Critics. The article discussed Sotomayor's position on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund ("PRLDF") in the 1980's. She quit that position when she was appointed to the federal judiciary, according to the article. What's strange about this article is that only one "critic" is quoted, and that quote doesn't even mention the PRLDF:
"Curt Levey, executive director of Committee for Justice, a conservative legal group active in judicial nominations, said that “while it’s fine to let your Puerto Rican heritage influence — or any heritage for that matter — influence your positions when you’re on a board, it’s quite a different story when you’re a judge, and I wonder whether she knows the difference.”

That's it! There's nothing in the article to support the allegation near the beginning that "[H]er critics, including some Republican senators who will vote on her nomination, have questioned whether she has let her ethnicity, life experiences and public advocacy creep into her decisions as a judge." What critics? Cite one. It sounds like the alleged "critics" are actually the Times.

In any case, that assertion, that one's "ethnicity, life experiences and public advocacy" shouldn't effect a judge's decisions, is absurd. Judges are human. They can't slice off their entire life experience and not let it effect their legal analysis. I have no doubt that Chief Justice John Roberts' life experience contributes to his siding consistently with the government, the prosecution, and corporations, as detailed in a recent New Yorker profile. This is exactly why Obama selected Sotomayor - for her life experiences. It's incredibly important to have people of diverse backgrounds interpreting our laws. Each brings a different perspective, just as people from all walks of life come before the Supreme Court to have crucial decisions made about their lives.

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