Judge Sotomayor has the enviable advantage of being the nominee of a Democratic President, and an overwhelmingly Democrat Congress. As such, her success has been a foregone conclusion. But simply arguendo, let me outline reasons why this judge should not be elevated to the Supreme Court. 1.) Judicial intellect a. During the Senate hearings, the judge used malaprops such as the following: [foreign law] increased our story of knowledge. The word is store, or storehouse. The judge, in discussing the use of deadly force, used the phrase faced with eminent death. The correct term is imminent. Her use of language seems somewhat below what we have come to expect from a Supreme Court Justice. For comparison, imagine the response if former President Bush had used incorrect terminology. b. Judge Sonia Sotomayor once described herself as "a product of affirmative action" who was admitted to two Ivy League schools despite scoring lower on standardized tests than many classmates, which she attributed to "cultural biases" that are "built into testing." The clips include lengthy remarks about her experiences as an "affirmative action baby" whose lower test scores were overlooked by admissions committees at Princeton University and Yale Law School because, she said, she is Latino and had grown up in poor circumstances. Videotaped remarks shed light on Sotomayor c.The most consistent concern was that Sotomayor, although an able lawyer, was "not that smart and kind of a bully on the bench," as one former Second Circuit clerk for another judge put it. "She has an inflated opinion of herself, and is domineering during oral arguments, but her questions aren't penetrating and don't get to the heart of the issue Her opinions, although competent, are viewed by former prosecutors as not especially clean or tight, and sometimes miss the forest for the trees. The Case Against Sotomayor 2.) Judicial temperament a. Championed racial supremacy, claiming many times that someone of her background, a wise Latina" judge will make better decisions than, say, a white male judge. b. . Judge Sotomayor does not feel that she may be able to put aside personal sympathies or prejudices. This, form a Berkeley speech in 2002, published by La Raza: While recognizing the potential effect of individual experiences on perception, Judge [Miriam] Cedarbaum nevertheless believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on the reason of law. Although I agree with and attempt to work toward Judge Cedarbaum's aspiration, I wonder whether achieving that goal is possible in all or even in most cases. c. Judge Sotomayor feels that she has the right to ignore some facts: .Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. .. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage. (ibid.) d. according to the current Almanac of the Federal Judiciary -- a kind of Zagat's guide to federal judges. The withering evaluation of Judge Sotomayor's temperament stands in stark contrast to reviews of her peers on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Of the 21 judges evaluated, the same lawyers gave 18 positive to glowing reviews and two judges received mixed reviews. Judge Sotomayor was the only one to receive decidedly negative comments. Judge Sotomayor was the only member of the 2nd Circuit to receive a universally negative review of her temperament. "She really lacks judicial temperament. She behaves in an out-of-control manner. She makes inappropriate outbursts," one lawyer told the almanac. Another said she "abuses lawyers." Lawyers tag nominee as 'terror on the bench' - Washington Times d. Although the use of foreign law in judicial consideration has been popular in recent decades, there are many who see marked differences between European civil law, and Anglo-American concepts known as common law. Although space does not allow a full discussion here, their import is very different. Judge Sonia Sotomayor says it is worthwhile to "learn from foreign law and the international community when interpreting our Constitution ..." Letter: Sotomayor's views on international law disturbing - EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA e. Supreme Court reversals i. Ricci decision: all nine Supreme Court Justices criticized her decision, saying that summary judgment was inappropriate, and should have been judged on the facts. All nine justices rejected Sotomayor's holding that different test results alone give the government a green light to engage in race discrimination. Even Justice Ginsburg's opinion for the dissent clearly stated that "an employer could not cast aside a selection method based on a statistical disparity alone." None adopted Sotomayor's position that unequal test results alone prove discrimination. This suggests that a wise Jewess, due to the richness of her life experiences, might come to a better judgment than a Latina judge would. So Much For Wise Latinas - HUMAN EVENTS ii. Three of the five majority opinions written by Judge Sotomayor for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and reviewed by the Supreme Court were reversed, Sotomayor reversed 60% by high court - Washington Times Including the Ricci case, that would be 66%. g. Judical decisions i. Voting rights should not be denied to felons. The guiding case law currently is Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U.S. 24 (1974). In that case, a majority of the Supreme Court found that the 14th Amendment gives the states clear permission to deny the vote to felons. The second part of the amendment essentially reduced ii. Gun rights are not incorporated to the states. In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor signed an opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that said the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from having their right to keep and bear arms restricted by state governments. The opinion said that the Second Amendment only restricted the federal government from infringing on an individual's right to keep and bear arms. As justification for this position, the opinion cited the 1886 Supreme Court case of Presser v. Illinois. Sotomayor, however, said that even though the Heller decision held that the right to keep and bear arms was a natural right--and therefore could not be justly denied to a law-abiding citizen by any government, federal, state or local--the Second Circuit was still bound by the 1886 case, because Heller only dealt indirectly with the issue before her court. CNSNews.com - Sotomayor Ruled That States Do Not Have to Obey Second Amendment And, from the hearings: "When Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma asked her, point blank, "Is there a constitutional right to self-defense?" Sotomayor said that was an "abstract question" and that she couldn't think of a Supreme Court case that addressed that issue." 4 Were some of her actions unethical, bordering on illegal? Now Sotomayor was a prosecutor up until 1984 and started in April of that year with Pavia & Hartcourt, according to the questionnaire. That means she had her private law firm, likely a home office based on her modest description of the practice, that overlapped both her prosecutor's position and her associate's position at Pavia & Hartcourte. So the question here is not whether she had permission to have that private firm, as I suspect she must have, but rather, why she called it "Sotomayor & Associates"? Did she have any associates when she was advertising herself in that manner? My guess is no, given that this was a side business that she says was devoted to consulting for family and friends. And if she had no associates, then it is a no-no to tell the world that you do. That's misleading. From the American Bar Association comes this all-inclusive statement that such conduct is prohibited in every state: Are there any Associates (or "Law Groups") in the House? There are several state bar opinions that address a lawyer's use of terms in a firm name that carry with them the implication that there is more than one lawyer in the firm. Examples of such terms include "X and associates" or "The X law group". Citations to these opinions, along with digests of them as they appear in the ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct follow. All State bar opinions are in agreement that a lawyer may not use the term, "and Associates" if there are in fact no associates in the firm. See, South Carolina Opinion 05-19 (2005) (A lawyer seeking to open a governmental affairs and lobbying firm consisting of the lawyer and two nonlawyer employees may not name the firm "John Doe and Associates, P.A." The name violates Rules 7.1 and 7.5(a) because it misleadingly implies that the firm has more than one lawyer.), Ohio Opinion 95-1 (1995) (A lawyer who is in solo practice may not use the phrase "and Associates" in the firm name to indicate that the lawyer shares space with other lawyers, acts as co-counsel with other lawyers, or has non-lawyer employees. A lawyer who is the sole shareholder in a professional corporation may not use the phrase "and Associates" in the firm name when the lawyer in fact has no employees.) In New York, the conduct would fall under DR 2-102, which bars misleading advertising on a letterhead. [See Comment 2] If in fact Sotomayor had no associates at her firm, it would appear she overstepped the bounds of self-promotion by making her firm seem bigger than it was. New York Personal Injury Law Blog: Did Sotomayor Violate NY Ethics Rules in Private Solo Practice with "& Associates" Name?