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Ear to the Ground

Sotomayor Makes the Senate Cut

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Posted on Aug 6, 2009
Sotomayor
AP / Ron Edmonds

The U.S. Supreme Court just got a little wiser. On Thursday, the Senate voted 68-31—split largely along party lines—to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latina Supreme Court justice and only the third woman to serve on America’s top court.

The New York Times:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was expected to administer the oath of office to Judge Sotomayor, 55, in the next few days, with a formal ceremony likely in September. She succeeds Justice David H. Souter, who retired in June.

Democrats celebrated the successful nomination and relatively smooth confirmation process as a bright spot in a summer when they have been buffeted by several challenges, including rocky progress on their attempts to overhaul the nation’s health care system, President Obama’s falling approval ratings, the climbing unemployment rate and other lingering economic problems.

Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation was never in much doubt, given Democrats’ numerical advantage in the Senate. But the final vote — 68 to 31 — represented a partisan divide. No Democrat voted against her, while all but 9 of the chamber’s 40 Republicans did so. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, is ailing and did not vote.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

ardee:

All, true. And unlike the right wingers, I’m not afraid she’ll be radicalizing the court since Souter was fairly liberal too.

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By ardee, August 9, 2009 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

rfidler, August 9 at 1:11 pm #

ardee:

I guess I meant it hasn’t changed since the last amendment was passed, and I don’t expect Justice Sotomayor’s creativity to get very far.
..............................

I am aware, as are you I believe, that the previous history of a Justices’ views and rulings cannot always be seen as an arbiter of how that person will rule once donning the lifetime black robe of a Supreme. I would offer Earl Warren as a perfect example of this. Eisenhower once noted that the appointment of Warren was his major mistake.

Creativity is pretty difficult to achieve when ones vote is only 1/9th of the final count. I will await her writings, whether in dissent of a decision or in support thereof, for a true insight.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 9, 2009 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

ardee:

I guess I meant it hasn’t changed since the last amendment was passed, and I don’t expect Justice Sotomayor’s creativity to get very far.

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By ardee, August 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

rfidler, August 7 at 8:23 am #

ardee:
Well, since the constitution hasn’t changed, why would you think decisions based on it would?
....................................

The Constitution has changed , twenty seven times in fact…..It is, I believe, a living, breathing document.

The courts once approved of slavery, now the courts do not…that seems a relevant change….Sorry, what was the point?

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad we’re making sure everybody is in the right “group”. Otherwise, how do we know which line to stand in to file our grievances and demand our pieces of the pie.

Also, I’m sure very few Mexican-Americans would call a native Castillian or Andalusian “brother”. Face it, “Hispanics” are Native Americans, tainted by European blood who happen to speak Spanish. No other Iberian need apply. I doubt seriously whether Benjamin Cardozo would have checked “Hispanic” on a census form.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, August 7, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

The translation of the Roman name for the Iberian peninsula is Hispania which included the area of Portugal.  So technically Portuguese, though they may not like it, are Hispanics.  However, today the label Hispanic is used to denote those people who speak Spanish or derive from countries ruled at one time by Spain, which again includes Portugal.  So technically, Cardozo is Hispanic.  Whether he would today refer to himself as such is open to argument.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 7, 2009 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

ardee:
Well, since the constitution hasn’t changed, why would you think decisions based on it would?

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By ardee, August 7, 2009 at 3:34 am Link to this comment

Much ado about nothing? While appointing the first Hispanic to the high court ( sorry blackspeare, I fear you are incorrect) and the third woman, is an event worthy of noting, I doubt we will see much in the way of revolutionary change in that Court’s decisions.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Most Portuguese or Brazilians I know explicitly DENY they are Hispanic since they don’t descend from Spaniards, and don’t speak Spanish, nor did their forebears. It’s like calling Ukrainians “Russians”.  Different people, different language.

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, August 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3: The corporations obviously had the better cases. Get over it.

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By truedigger3, August 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

Another consumate corporate lawyer/judge is joining the supreme court.
In almost all of her cases where an individual or individuals sued a corporation, the corporaton won.
All that mumbo jumbo about racist/wise/latina and Democrats against Republicans etc.. etc is nothing but bullshitting and theatrics.

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, August 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Sotomayor is not the first Hispanic justice——Benjamin Cardozo was——he was of Portuguese descent.

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