Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Quotes of the week:

A shift in consciousness. By replacing thoughts and dwelling on goodness, truth and beauty, one can achieve full-blown miracles.

"Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed."

-Michael Pritchard

"Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape."

"The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness."


WASHINGTON — AP Senator Leahy, who plans to meet Wednesday with Sessions on a schedule for the hearings, said he's eager to give Sotomayor the chance to respond to "unbelievable attacks" by Republican critics like radio host Rush Limbaugh and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who have branded her a racist because of remarks she made in 2001 that her experiences as a "wise Latina" would allow her to make better decisions than a white male.

Leahy called the criticism against Sotomayor "among the most vicious attacks that have been received by anybody," and lamented that as a nominee she's unable to directly answer them.

So he asked the judge whether he could repeat publicly what she told him privately about how her personal experiences -- she is the New York-born daughter of Puerto Rican parents who was reared in a Bronx housing project and went on to Princeton and Yale on her way to the highest echelons of the legal profession -- would shape her rulings.

Leahy quoted Sotomayor as saying, "There's not one law for one race or another; there's not one law for one color or another; there's not one for rich and one for poor; there's only one law."

Leahy is pushing for a swift series of hearings on Sotomayor's confirmation, and has said the harshly worded criticism of her necessitates a quick timetable.

"Because the defacto leader of the Republican Party equated her to the head of the Ku Klux Klan pretty well demands that she have a hearing earlier than later," Leahy told reporters on his way to meet with Sotomayor. He's planning to meet Wednesday with Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Judiciary Committee Republican, to discuss the schedule.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh and former House Speaker New Gingrich have both branded Sotomayor a racist, and Limbaugh went on to compare choosing her for the high court to nominating former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Leahy defended Sotomayor on Tuesday, saying he was proud of his own Irish-Italian background and his wife's French-Canadian background. "Does that make us racist?" he said. "She is not a racist." Read the rest at

Prop 8: The Ban on Gay Marriage

I have a comment on the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold a ban on gay marriages. This is exactly equivalent to Rosa Parks being required by law to sit at the back of the bus because she was black. This is an outrageous violation of the Civil Rights. The rights of a minority should never be determined by the tyranny of the majority. ARE YOU SAYING THAT AN ENTIRE GROUP OF HUMAN BEINGS IS NOT EQUAL TO ANOTHER NON-GAY GROUP OF HUMAN BEINGS? Gays exist; they serve in the military, they pay taxes, they have driver's licenses and gun permits. Why aren't they "allowed" to sanctify their monogamous unions the way other human beings are? THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS. It is illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of color. Why was Prop. 8 even on the ballot? Why do we allow a slight majority of morally intolerant bigots to take away the equal right to happiness of a minority? This is discrimination, plain and simple. Imagine if being gay was a choice, which it isn't. Religious people of all stripes choose their religion no matter how wacky it seems, yet they are protected against discrimination under the constitution. I am deeply ashamed of California for this horribly archaic, bigoted, intolerate bozo of a decision.


May 24, 2009 (ChattahBox) — Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s vocal offensive defending the Bush legacy on the war on terror has raised a lot of eye brows as to what purpose it serves. During his service as VP he worked behind the scenes avoiding the media mostly, where as now he has been front and center criticizing Obama, which has surprised many as a break in protocol and very poor form for a previous administration to speak out against the new President.

Last night on CNN, Liz Cheney, perhaps inadvertently, revealed that part of the reason we’ve seen her dad come out of his bunker to defend the torture regime that he authorized, is that he is anxious to head off any investigation of future prosecution. To me this is not a big revelation, it’s just another instance where Dick Cheney is exercising poor judgment in knowing when NOT to go to war. Apparently though conservative circles are loving what Liz Cheney has to say, as she is becoming so popular some want her to run for office.
President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. Of course, the Right is already fighting against her confirmation—so we need to get the facts out about her impressive qualifications and background.

First, I must clear up the lie that everyone keeps repeating about Sotomayor.
During the May 26 edition of MSNBC Live, NBC News chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd falsely asserted that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor "is on tape saying, I'm not supposed to say this, but guess what, we legislate from the bench." Todd added, "I think that's going to compel a lot of Republicans on principle; that they will actually be sort of -- they would be lying to their own principles if they somehow supported her." In fact, in the "tape" Todd was apparently referring to -- from a February 25, 2005, Duke University School of Lawforum -- Sotomayor did not say that "we legislate from the bench." Rather, responding to a student who asked the panel to contrast the experiences of a district court clerkship and a circuit court clerkship, Sotomayor said that the "court of appeals is where policy is made." Moreover, as NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams noted earlier in the broadcast, "[E]ven some conservatives and followers of strict constructionism have said that [Sotomayor] was only stating the obvious: that trial judges, district court judges, decide only the cases before them, and that appeals courts, because they are the, you know, above the other courts, do set policy; they do make precedent that governs the other courts."

Indeed, the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (2005) notes that federal appellate courts do, in fact, have a "policy-making" role.


SOTOMAYOR: The saw is that if you're going into academia, you're going to teach, or as Judge Lucero just said, public interest law, all of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people with court of appeals experience, because it is -- court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know -- and I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law, I know. OK, I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it, I'm -- you know. OK. Having said that, the court of appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating -- its interpretation, its application. And Judge Lucero is right. I often explain to people, when you're on the district court, you're looking to do justice in the individual case. So you are looking much more to the facts of the case than you are to the application of the law because the application of the law is non-precedential, so the facts control. On the court of appeals, you are looking to how the law is developing, so that it will then be applied to a broad class of cases. And so you're always thinking about the ramifications of this ruling on the next step in the development of the law. From

Below is a list of 10 key things about Sonia Sotomayor that you might not know. Can you check it out and send it to 10 friends today? If each of us forwards the list, we can start to get the word out about Judge Sotomayor, and help to ensure that she gets a speedy and fair confirmation process.

Ten Things To Know About Judge Sonia Sotomayor

1. Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the bench than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years. Over her three-decade career, she has served in a wide variety of legal roles, including as a prosecutor, litigator, and judge.

2. Judge Sotomayor is a trailblazer. She was the first Latina to serve on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was the youngest member of the court when appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed, she will be the first Hispanic to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

3. While on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has consistently protected the rights of working Americans, ruling in favor of health benefits and fair wages for workers in several cases.

4. Judge Sotomayor has shown strong support for First Amendment rights, including in cases of religious expression and the rights to assembly and free speech.

5. Judge Sotomayor has a strong record on civil rights cases, ruling for plaintiffs who had been discriminated against based on disability, sex and race.

6. Judge Sotomayor embodies the American dream. Born to Puerto Rican parents, she grew up in a South Bronx housing project and was raised from age nine by a single mother, excelling in school and working her way to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University and to become an editor of the Law Journal at Yale Law School.

7. In 1995, Judge Sotomayor "saved baseball" when she stopped the owners from illegally changing their bargaining agreement with the players, thereby ending the longest professional sports walk-out in history.

7a. Sotomayor made a ruling allowing the Wall Street Journal to publish Vince Foster's suicide note. In 1997, she was nominated by Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

8. Judge Sotomayor ruled in favor of the environment in a case of protecting aquatic life in the vicinity of power plants in 2007, a decision that was overturned by the Roberts Supreme Court.

9. In 1992, Judge Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate without opposition after being appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush.

10. Judge Sotomayor is a widely respected legal figure, having been described as " outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind," "highly qualified for any position in which wisdom, intelligence, collegiality and good character would be assets," and "a role model of aspiration, discipline, commitment, intellectual prowess and integrity."

Judge Sotomayor is an historic, uniquely qualified nominee to the Supreme Court. Let's get the word out and make sure we get a prompt, fair confirmation on her nomination.

Here’s Blogger Mike's take on this nomination: "I think she is a textbook replacement for Souter and the Far Right Wing should be kissing Obama’s shoes for appointing a moderate cut from the same cloth as Souter and NOT appointing a hardcore liberal to balance out Allito and Scalia who lean so far to the hard Right that they are hanging off the right edge of the earth by their fingernails.

That said I think she is a very good pick with excellent credentials that certainly brings diversity to the court although I don’t think hardcore partisan ideologues from EITHER party should ever have been nominated to the SCOTUS. But unfortunately that door’s already been opened with Alito and Scalia so I feel the far and central lefts pain on this and strongly hope a hardcore liberal IS nominated to balance out the far Right Wing extremist Conservatives we have that are currently dominating the Supreme Court.

One last point I keep hearing the far Right Wing extremists like Rove, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al screech about “liberal activist judges” legislating from the bench or “radical activist liberal judges”
legislating their own personal views from the bench.

Please enlighten me here but isnt that EXACTLY what hardcore far Right Wing radical extremist activists like Scalia and Alito do, how many time do THESE corporatist stooges just legislate from the bench and inject their own personal bias’s by ALWAYS siding with the big corporations or wealthy while they and their Right Wing idealogues constantly accuse the left of siding with the poor or the little guy. It’s hipocrisy plain and simple just like when the Right says ONLY they are patriotic and love their country while the left is treasonous and hates their country. It’s high time we stop letting them lie and frame the issues without being rebutted by THE TRUTH.

* Sources for each of the 10 things:

1. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

2. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

3. Cases: Archie v. Grand Cent. Partnership, 997 F. Supp. 504 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) and Marcella v. Capital Dist. Physicians' Health Plan, Inc., 293 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 2002).

4. Cases: Flamer v. White Plains, 841 F. Supp. 1365 (S.D.N.Y. 1993), Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 382 (2d Cir. 2003), and Campos v. Coughlin, 854 F. Supp. 194 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).

5a. "Sotomayor's Notable Court Opinions and Articles," The New York Times, May 26, 2009.

5b. Cases: Bartlett v. N.Y. State Board, 970 F. Supp. 1094 (S.D.N.Y. 1997), Greenbaum v. Svenska Hendelsbanken, 67 F.Supp.2d 228 (S.D.N.Y. 1999), Raniola v. Bratton, 243 F.3d 610 (2d Cir. 2001), and Gant v. Wallingford Board of Education, 195 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 1999).

6. "Sonia Sotomayor: 10 Things You Should Know," The Huffington Post, May 26, 2009.

7. "How Sotomayor 'Saved' Baseball," Time, May 26, 2009.

8. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

9. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

10a. Judge Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee to the Second Circuit.

10b. "Sotomayor is Highly Qualified," The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2009.

10c. Honorary Degree Citation, Pace University School of Law, 2003 Commencement.