Wednesday, August 05, 2009

In Praise of Justice Sonia Sotomayor

As we enter the final few hours of Senate debate on the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court Justice, I want to reiterate my strong support for her confirmation.

It appears now she will be confirmed with around seventy votes, including the votes of several Republicans. I could not be more pleased.

As I watched the replay of the debate and "speechifying" by the various Senators I find I support Sotomayor for the very same reasons several Republicans oppose her: she WILL bring her experience and her background and her sense of fairness into the courtroom!

Senator McCain and others decry that she might rule from her heart instead of the law. While there is no real world evidence she has ever failed to follow the law, the FACT is that every Supreme Court Justice brings his or her life experience and sense of fairness, honor and reason to the bench.

I was and remain a strong supporter of Judges Roberts, Alito and Thomas for that very reason. Especially Justice Clarence Thomas, who brings incredible balance to the court.

It is for that exact same reason I support the future Justice Sotomayor. We need her life experience, her wisdom, her intellect and her judgement on the court.

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to create a nine member Supreme Court for that very reason. A single judge would quickly become a despot, a supreme leader, able to overturn laws on a whim. Instead we are fortunate to have a deliberative body of nine judges. For our system to work, we need the balance of experience, learning, wisdom and legal opinions of those nine people.

The Senators ALL know this. If judges only provided the clear robotic implementation of the law, all verdicts would be nine to zero.

So the very key to a great Supreme Court is the mix of the justices. We would be hard pressed to find a better addition to broaden the perspective of our court than Sotomayor.


Lee said...

I still find several of her past statements troubling. It is a given that she will be confirmed, any 11th hour revelation non-withstanding.

MadMike said...

I also find some of her past statements troubling.

Vigilante said...

I thank Wizard for his thoughtful column and I acknowledge that people of wisdom and integrity might not always find themselves in agreement with agreement with a SCOTUS candidate's previous decisions. I think we are accepting of candidates with judicial experience. For that reason, I felt that Judges Roberts & Alito were entitled to and up and down vote. I wasn't sure of Thomas. I was sure Harriet Miers did not measure up to SCOTUS standards.

shoo said...

Very thoughtful response, Vigilante. I find some things troubling about Sotomayor, but as a pick from a very liberal President, I am pretty happy. She clearly is qualified and deserved both her nomination and her confirmation.

Miers didn't measure up? Now you are sounding like a conservative! :P Really, the right was almost united against Miers too. That was arguably the most bone-headed move of Bush's administration.