Confirmation conversions: realism, impartiality & international law
Sotomayor then and now
More flip-floppery by Sotomayor...
The "Realism" school of law:
When questioned about whether or not she subscribes to the "realism" school of legal reasoning, she replied: “I Don’t Apply That Label To Myself At All.” "That’s not quite words that I would use because there are many academics and judges who have talked about being legal realists, but I don’t apply that label to myself at all…”
Lindsey Graham then followed up:“So you would not be a disciple of the legal realism school?” She replied: “No.”
So let's go to the tape!
From her article in the Suffolk University Law Review: “Returning Majesty To the Law and Politics: A Modern Approach,” 30 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 35 (1996) - "Judge Frank, A Founder Of The School Of Legal Realism’s] Thesis, Set Forth In 1930, Should Continue To Attract Examination Today. It Supports A Pride That Lawyers Can Take In What They Do And How They Do It. The Law Can Change Its Direction Entirely…”
On the use of international law in American courts:
On this issue, she tries to pretend she's with Scalia and Thomas. In the hearings she stated that “I Have Actually Agreed With Justice Scalia And Thomas On The Point That One Has To Be Very Cautious Even In Using Foreign Law With Respect To The Things American Law Permits You To.”
“And That Misunderstanding Is Unfortunately Endorsed By Some Of Our Supreme Court Justices . Both Justice Scalia And Justice Thomas Have Written Extensively Criticizing The Use Of Foreign And International Law To [Sic] In Supreme Court Decisions.”(Judge Sotomayor, Remarks To American Civil Liberties Union Of Puerto Rico, 4/28/09)
“... [I]nternational Law And Foreign Law Will Be Very Important In The Discussion Of How We Think About The Unsettled Issues In Our Own Legal System. It is my hope that judges everywhere will continue to do this because ... within the American legal system we’re commanded to interpret our law in the best way we can, and that means looking to what other, anyone has said to see if it has persuasive value.” (Judge Sotomayor, Remarks To American Civil Liberties Union Of Puerto Rico, 4/28/09)
“The law always directs the result in the case. A judge cannot decide cases on the basis of personal feelings, biases or sympathies. To the extent that I’ve ever spoken about those things, it was to make sure that one understood and said that a judge always has to guard against those things affecting the outcome of a case.” (Hearing Of The Senate Judiciary Committee, Nomination Of Sonia Sotomayor, 7/15/09)
"While recognizing the potential effect of individual experiences on perceptions, Judge Cedarbaum nevertheless believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to and 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 aspirations, I wonder whether achieving the goal is possible in all, or even most cases, and I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women, men or people of color, we do a disservice both to the law and society.” (Women as Judges: A Latina Judge’s Voice, Seton Hall, October 2003)