Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is a huge disappointment

27 Jun

On Tuesday, President Obama announced his anticipated nominee to replace the recently retired Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court bench. Soon the Senate will vote on Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who spent six years on New York’s trial court and more than a decade on the Second Circuit. She was raised by a single mother in the South Bronx’s housing projects, grew up with diabetes, and eventually went to Princeton and Yale.

Quite the compelling story, and quite the resume. Oh ya…she’s also Hispanic. On paper, she looks to be quite qualified to sit on the nation’s top Court. But her rhetoric and previous rulings demonstrate that not only is she not fit for the job, but her confirmation will likely have disastrous effects on the future of constitutional law.

The Left is already coming out in favor of her with full and blinding support. Alan Dershowitz claims that Obama’s choice “marks an important step toward a more diverse and representative Supreme Court.” Dylan Loewe at the Huffington Post says this move is also good for Obama politically. Since Hispanics are now the fastest growing demographic of the electorate, Sotomayor will not only be a good “progressive,” but help Obama gain even more Hispanic votes when re-election rolls around.

I’m not surprised that Obama’s choice is filled with language of “empathy,” and that he picked someone who isn’t a “white male,” has darker skin, AND has two x chromosomes! That is just so progressive of him. Erwin Chemerinsky, professor of Law at UC Irvine, is nearly giddy at the feel-goodyness of the prospect of Justice Sotomayor:

“Sotomayor brings to the bench essential diversity. Every justice’s rulings are a product of his or her life experiences. As a woman, a Latina, a person who has faced a life-long serious illness (diabetes), and a person who grew up in modest circumstances, Sotomayor brings experiences that are unrepresented or largely absent from the current court. These certainly will influence her rulings and they also may help in the most important task for a Democratic appointee on the current court: persuading Justice Anthony Kennedy, the key swing justice on almost every closely divided issue. Sotomayor’s background, as well as her intellect and experience, make her ideally suited for this role.”

Am I missing something here? Absent in all this disgusting and pointless talk about “diversity” are the necessary questions that should be asked. How is her constitutional jurisprudence? What do her past decisions tell us? Will she be just another shill for Obama’s wreckless policies, as FDR did trying to pack the court in his favor, and as Justices Roberts and Alito were for George W. Bush?

Let’s take a look. The most infamous incident roaming around the web is a case involving applications for promotion within the New Haven, Connecticut Fire Department. Sotomayor was a member of a judicial panel that objected to tests used to evaluate candidates for promotion when no minorities ranked at the top of the list of those who took the test. Why, the test must be biased! The privileged whites have the advantage, you see, and it is the job of good and noble justices like to her to fix this obvious discrimination; reverse racism at its finest.

I always thought justice was supposed to be neutral and impartial; Lady Justice even wears a blindfold. Sotomayor is the type of judge who should be vehemently opposed by anyone who believes in individual liberty and equality before the law. According to Sotomayor, however, judges need to be like the pigs who run the government in Animal Farm, where everyone is equal, except some or more equal than others. Somewhere George Orwell is laughing (and crying).

Obama’s new pick would be a disaster if she is confirmed, which will likely be the case. All I can say is: Justice Kennedy, Justice Ginsburg…please don’t retire! We might be saved, at least for a few years, from the most radical change in the Supreme Court since Thurgood Marshall and Earl Warren jammed their social-engineering liberalism down our throats.

The Supreme Court finally defends civil liberties

27 Jun

The Supreme Court is now doing what the Executive and Legislative branches have consistently failed to do: defend our precious and ever-eroding civil liberties.

Last week, in Arizona v. Gant, the Supreme Court ruled that police officers may no longer routinely search the vehicles of citizens that they have just arrested. This ruling puts some much needed teeth into the “unreasonable searches and seizures” clause of the 4th Amendment, and makes it harder for the government to fight its immoral and oppressive drug war.

This ruling is a pleasant surprise, given the Court’s recent history of ignoring nearly all of our 4th Amendment protections. Before this case, the Court has ruled that a warrant can be issued from an anonymous informant; that evidence collected without a warrant can be used in court if the officer acted in “good faith”; that police don’t need a warrant to monitor homes and backyards with low-flying helicopters; that police can use dogs to search luggage and cars without probable cause; and that government employees and public school students are allowed to be drug tested.

All of these previous rulings are not only gross violations of our constitutional protections against the misuse and abuse of unchecked state power, but most have come as a result of our government’s insistence in fighting the drug war.

In 1981, a New York police officer pulled a car over, “smelt burning marijuana,” confiscated numerous envelopes thought of containing the weed, searched the driver’s trunk, zippers and eventually his pockets, where he found a bag of cocaine. In 1999, Rodney Gant (the same Gant whose charges were just dropped by Arizona) was pulled over in the driveway in his Tucson, Arizona home for driving with a suspended license. After handcuffing Gant and placing him in the backseat of the police car, “officer” Todd Griffith then searched his car, found cocaine in one of his jacket pockets, and he went to jail.

The Supreme Court ruled that both of these cases were totally constitutional; that police had the power to search a citizen’s car without a search warrant.

Police obviously have the right to act if an arrestee reaches for a weapon or attempts to hide evidence. But in both cases previously mentioned, and thousands of similar cases a year, the arrestees were either properly handcuffed or in the back of a police car. For almost thirty years, police officers have been routinely conducting searches of cars and property without warrants, but now, with this recent Supreme Court ruling, this will (hopefully) come to a screeching halt.

In Arizona, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote the opinion of the Court, stating that police may only search for evidence that is directly connected to the crime that caused the arrest.

Stevens’ opinion, coincidentally, was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, two justices whom liberals hate, but for the most part, are principled civil libertarians. Scalia, in his eloquent concurrence, goes even farther than Justice Stevens in defense of civil liberties. Scalia called routine car searches “plainly unconstitutional,” arguing that these searches are not necessary to protect officers from hidden weapons, which can be done by simply restraining the arrestee.

The Supreme Court has not been perfect on 4th Amendment protections, but this case is a bold defense of necessary restraints on the State (i.e., police), especially as more and more of our liberties are stripped away from the consequences of the drug war.