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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Editorials and Opinion


Opinion Type


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Editorial: Sotomayor in character  (Akron Beacon Journal [OH], 07/27/09)
"The judge proved elusive before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She also made evident that she belongs on the Supreme Court "

Editorial: Vapid Senate hearings aside, Sotomayor merits approval  (USA Today, 07/27/09)
"Our view: Nominee's long record shows her to be qualified, impartial."

Editorial: Just politics (Houston Chronicle, 07/27/09)
"Sotomayor's credentials are solid, and she is no more a judicial activist than the current conservatives on the high court. We hope at least one Texas senator can see past politics and vote for this historic nominee."

Editorial: Time for Senate to confirm Sotomayor  (Day [CT] , 07/25/09)
"All the evidence indicates that Judge Sotomayor would be a reasoned and principled justice. ... It was the conservative justices on the Supreme Court who, when siding with the white firefighters, practiced “judicial activism” by striking a blow against a law they didn't like - affirmative action."

Editorial: Cornyn wrong to oppose Sotomayor (Beaumont Enterprise [TX], 07/24/09)

Graham sets the example: His support of Sotomayor (Anniston Star [AL] , 07/23/09)

Editorial: Discourse about judge shows return to civility; Non-partisan high-mindedness necessary to preserve our republic (Palladium-Item [IN] , 07/23/09)
We were pleased but not entirely surprised when our own Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar announced he would vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, calling her "clearly qualified" and praising her "distinguished career" on the bench.

Editorial: Wisdom shown (Intelligencer Journal [PA] , 07/22/09)
"Every justice and every judge sees things through his or her personal prism of experiences. That does not mean they apply the law based on those experiences. But those experiences may offer unique insight into the process, either in the way the judge frames the argument or asks questions of attorneys. Consider Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's comments to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2006. ... If senators wish to affix a label to Sotomayor, they could do no better than to label her a Supreme Court Justice."

Editorial: Confirm Sotomayor (Orlando Sentinel [FL] , 07/21/09)
As the U.S. Senate considers whether to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, we hope a majority will come to the same conclusion as Florida's Republican senator, Mel Martinez. "Given her judicial record, and her testimony this week, it is my determination that Judge Sotomayor is well-qualified to serve as associate justice,"

Editorial: Sotomayor hearings: Emphasis should be on merit, not politics (Patriot-News [Harrisburg, PA] , 07/20/09)
"Judge Sotomayor will almost certainly be confirmed at the end of this process. She deserves to be."

Editorial: The Sotomayor Nomination  (New York Times, 07/20/09)
"As the Senate prepares to act on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, it has learned more than enough about her qualifications to give her a seat on the court. ... At times, she too willingly ceded ground to her conservative questioners. We wish she had spoken out forthrightly in favor of empathy, a quality President Obama has said he is looking for in his judicial nominees. We would have liked to hear her boldly defend the idea of the Constitution as a living document, one that changes with the times. And we would have preferred if she had used the hearings to explain to the public that the much-mentioned distinction between judges making and applying the law has little meaning. That, however, is not what judicial confirmation hearings are now about.:

Editorial: Sotomayor biased? It's a bogus charge (Sacramento Bee [CA] , 07/20/09)
"critics say her decision in the case proves she is biased and unfit for the highest court in the land. Nonsense. At its heart, the New Haven lawsuit was about the validity of a highly questionable written test."

Editorial: No drama in D.C.: Fallout of Sotomayor hearings (Anniston Star [AL] , 07/20/09)
"Unfortunately, some Republican critics flirted with an ugly, race-tinged scenario. In one instance, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, questioned Sotomayor's relationship with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a civil rights advocacy group well within the mainstream of U.S. politics. Sessions and other Republican senators appeared to suggest Sotomayor's race and ethnic background might influence her work on the job, the sort of question left unasked of other recent white males nominated to the Supreme Court. .. Sessions' mid-1980s appointment to the federal bench was derailed in part because of allegations of his racial insensitivity. ... Nothing revealed last week raises doubts that Sotomayor will be an able justice."

Editorial: Confirm Sotomayor (Boston Globe, 07/20/09)
"the hearings did nothing to undermine - and much to underscore - the notion that Sotomayor has the right temperament, intellect, and credentials for the Supreme Court. She should be confirmed."

Editorial: A wise Latina justice for the Supreme Court (Oregonian, 07/19/09)
"Sonia Sotomayor will be and should be confirmed early next month as the first Latina justice on the nation's highest court. She will be confirmed because she held her own, and then some, during four days of grueling, sometimes demeaning questioning last week by Republican critics on the Senate Judiciary Committee."

Our View - Empathy is an essential part of a judge's role (Iowa City Press-Citizen, 07/19/09)
"The Republican senators seemed to imply that judges should be robots -- or in Chief Justice John Roberts' overused phrase, "umpires" -- that mechanistically evaluate cases based on the specific instructions and parameters provided by Congress. But the instructions provided too often prove to be either contradictory or insufficiently specific. A robot can't evaluate how broad Constitutional phrases such as "freedom of speech" should apply to issues ranging from pornography to schools monitoring students' Facebook accounts. And lawmakers themselves often disagree on the intent behind a law.... And no robot could provide assurance to Lindsay Graham and his supporters that she both understands and can empathize with their fears."

Editorial: Confirm Sonia Sotomayor (Washington Post, 07/19/09)
"AFTER FOUR days of often intense confirmation hearings, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor proved herself well-qualified and worthy of confirmation.... life experiences do matter in fairly and thoroughly assessing different situations -- from the impact of regulation on business to the effect of a strip search on a 13-year-old girl to the damage done by discrimination in all facets of life. The key -- as Judge Sotomayor explained and seems to have demonstrated in her life's work -- is never to allow personal prejudices or preferences to trump the clear commands of the law."

Editorial: Sotomayor hearings; Republicans missed opportunity  (Durango Herald [CO], 07/19/09)
"The Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor presented everyone in Washington, D.C. - and every American - with a rare opportunity to get to know a uniquely qualified and uniquely positioned candidate who brings a broad background and collection of experiences to the nation's highest court....Republicans who are trying to find flaws with Sotomayor are focusing their fire on things that are relevant only in what they say about those asking the questions."

Editorial: Sonia Sotomayor is ready for the Supreme Court (St. Louis Post-Dispatch [MO], 07/19/09)
"History will show that Sonia Sotomayor would become the first person of Hispanic heritage to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and only the third woman. But regardless of heritage or gender, what is most important is that Sotomayor is amply qualified to serve as the court's 111th justice. If there had been any doubt, Sotomayor erased them last week in hearings"

Editorial: Confirm Sotomayor (Grand Rapids Press [MI] , 07/19/09)

Editorial: Verdict on Sotomayor (Los Angeles Times, 07/19/09)
" It matters, at this point in U.S. history, that Sotomayor is also (in words that have haunted her) a "wise Latina” -- that is, a woman and a member of a minority whose increasing numbers have been accompanied in many parts of the country by hostility and discrimination. ...Given her record as a judge and her mainstream constitutional views, Sotomayor is entitled to a similarly lopsided "yes"vote. If she falls short of overwhelming confirmation, it will be because of the extreme politicization of judicial selection,"

Editorial: Sonia Sotomayor is ready for the Supreme Court (Spring Hope Enterprise [NC], 07/19/09)
"Ms. Sotomayor is amply qualified to serve as the court's 111th justice. If there had been any doubt, Ms. Sotomayor erased them last week in hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee....We supported Mr. Roberts' nomination, but had reservations about Mr. Alito's extreme positions. Ms. Sotomayor's record is impeccable and puts her squarely in the mainstream. She deserves prompt confirmation."

EDITORIAL: Sotomayor delivers strong performance (Austin American-Statesman [TX] , 07/18/09)
Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Senate's senior Republican, pronounced Sotomayor "clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court," a conclusion easily reached by anybody who watched her even-keeled performance. ...GOP Sens. John Cornyn of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, both of whom aggressively questioned Sotomayor at the hearing, have declared her judicial record "mainstream." That, combined with a solid 17-year record on the federal bench, makes Sotomayor a good choice for the job.

Editorial: Republicans throw in the towel on Sotomayor (Capital Times (WI), 07/18/09)
How well did Judge Sonia Sotomayor do at her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee? Well enough to get Senate Republicans to throw in the towel.

Editorial: Sotomayor deserves confirmation (Kansas City Star, 07/17/09)
"Sotomayor has the makings of a distinguished Supreme Court justice and should be confirmed by the full Senate."

Our view: She won’t be only real person on the court (La Crosse Tribune [WI], 07/17/09)
"Alito was given a pass for testifying that his work is informed by the same kinds of experiences that Sotomayor describes"

Editorial: Confirm Sotomayor; Nothing in the hearings or in her record has emerged to disqualify this supremely qualified nominee. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [WI], 07/17/09)
"Sotomayor is a superb choice.... It's clear from her record and her answers that Sotomayor is a judge with a reverence for the law and the Constitution, albeit one who also can understand the consequences of rulings. This makes her a better nominee, not a lesser one. Critics sought to equate empathy and bias. But from their stilted definitions, it appears that only women and minority nominees can be influenced by who they are and their life experiences. Sotomayor made it clear, in any case, that the law is her compass. We urge Wisconsin's two senators to vote for Sotomayor"

Editorial: Sotomayor deserves confirmation (Dallas Morning News, 07/17/09)
"After days of grilling — some of it monotonous and some spirited — Sonia Sotomayor has proven herself worthy of the Supreme Court’s black robe....Sonia Sotomayor has the legal and intellectual depth to serve well, and we support her confirmation."