UVA profs: Sotomayor faces smooth confirmation

news-sonia_sotomayorSonia Sotomayor.
GOVERNMENT PHOTO

As President Barack Obama attempts to fill the vacancy on the US Supreme Court soon to be left by the departure of Justice David Souter, a pair of UVA law professors foresee little confirmation trouble for the self-proclaimed "kid from the Bronx," Judge Sonia Sotomayor, whose nomination was made public Tuesday morning.

According to UVA-based Constitutional scholar A.E. Dick Howard, Judge Sotomayor's "simply impeccable legal credentials" and "impressive track record" make her clearly qualified for the job and an obvious choice for President Obama.

Even beyond her qualifications, Howard says, may be her "life story," which includes being of Puerto Rican descent and growing up in a housing project in the Bronx, raised by a single mother after her father died when she was young.

"Sotomayor's own story is different from those who came up from a life of relative privilege," says Howard, who notes that, if confirmed, Sotomayor will bring the "empathy" Obama sought in an appointee.  Howard says that Sotomayor recognizes how decisions by the Court affect ordinary people, and that her background and experiences will allow her to "shed light" on decisions that the other justices cannot.

If confirmed, Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the Supreme Court. But while her Hispanic background will make her "one more entry into the history books" for the Obama administration Howard says, she is actually more similar to her colleagues than a first glance would convey.

She was educated at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and was first appointed to a federal district court in 1991 by Republican President George H.W. Bush.  In addition, Howard notes, by replacing the liberal-leaning Justice Souter, it is unlikely she will change the Court's ideological balance.

Howard claims that some like to make a sport of confirmation hearings and see "blood splattered on the wall."

Critics of Judge Sotomayor have already commented on her possible tendency towards judicial activism. A conservative Constitutional watchdog group has blasted Sotomayor as a judicial activist.

"Judge Sotomayor thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written," says Wendy E. Long, counsel to the group, the Judicial Confirmation Network.

Sotomayor, who as part of a three-judge panel, upheld the dismissal of a reverse-discrimination case in New Haven, Connecticut in which some firefighters alleged that their promotions were denied on the basis of their race.

However, UVA Law Professor Risa Goluboff says that she believes all justices are affected by their background, and that to believe they rule "without their personal experiences affecting them is a false idea."

Goluboff adds that though the Republicans are the current minority, they have sufficient numbers to create a filibuster on the nomination. Goluboff says that Republicans attempting to impede her confirmation, especially those representing states with large Hispanic populations, would be "politically silly."

President Obama in his announcement quoted the late Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, saying "the life of the law has not been logic, it has been experience; experience being tested by obstacles and barriers, by hardship and misfortune."

And as Sotomayor embarks on the next steps toward becoming a Supreme Court Justice, time will tell how much her difficult background and experience has affected her.

Read more on: supreme court

72 comments

Wow Tater, you're kind of all over the place with your comment. How would legislators be forced to do anything if judges ruled the way you wanted? Legislators can make any law they damn well please, as long as they don't violate the constitution. Show me in the constitution where it says that the government can't spend money on pork?

And show me where this judge made law from the bench. Otherwise, your comment is just more hot air from the right wing.

"her background and experiences will allow her to ââ?¬Å?shed light” on decisions that the other justices cannot."

So should she not be allowed to hear cases where rich people are involved? Or do we forget that justice is supposed to be blind, and that justices shouldn't be using life experiences to base rulings on, but rather the actual law?

EAH,
Glad we can agree it is a woman's choice. You don't have to bear the burden nor do I. It is her choice alone. I don't agree but its not my choice nor a doctors, courts, priest, parents, yours or mine. So let's end this once and for all and BUD OUT and move on to more important issues!

Let's talk about the children dying of malaria, leukemia, starvation and countless other health issues that we can do something positive about.

When was the last time you saw a religious group protesting for more funding for children in need?

Vertico: Just last week:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5...

"President Obama has a moral obligation to demonstrate global leadership on behalf of the poorest and most marginalised people of the world, especially in Africa.

"But by turning his back on those needs, the President is betraying the trust of tens of millions of people around the world."

Howard claims that some like to make a sport of confirmation hearings and see ââ?¬Å?blood splattered on the wall.”
Example Dems questioning Estrada, Roberts, Thomas.

She is a racist liberal against everything the constitution stands for, I hope some of you read a little about this woman and her views, then make a determination as to whether or not she is qualified or better yet capable of ruling by the law and not her activist ideology.

Billy Bob.. did you read the reverse discrimination case? It will be one that she may have to recuse herself when it gets to the Supreme court

Sue, the "conservative" judges are simply trying to define when life begins so as to protect the rights of an unborn "child"

If the legislature would simply define when life begins then the court would not even have to decide. Maybe with the democrats in charge of all three legislative branches they can get the value of an unborn child reduced to that of a bowel movement once and for all so that all those women who use it as birth control when they are irresponsible can come out of the closet.

It is a womens choice... but remember.. it is a choice to kill a living thing.

It's great for this article to highlight the views of two U.Va. law professors, including the eminent Dick Howard, but the totality of the coverage is highly biased. Could no one with a U.Va. affiliation be found to criticize Sotomayor? Why was there room to quote Obama's words of praise for her but not her own controversial comments about how her status as a "Latina woman" makes her a better judge than "white men"? And why not give details of the reverse discrimination case, in which she ruled that a promotion test be tossed not because it was biased, but because it didn't yield a desired outcome of a racially diverse promotion pool?

The way this piece is written makes it clear that the author is in favor of Sotomayor's confirmation.

In the interest of accuracy, Balanced Reporting should point out that in the New Haven firefighters case, Sotomayor did not "rule that a promotion test be tossed not because it was biased, but because it didn't yield a desired outcome of a racially diverse promotion pool." What she did instead was, as part of a three-judge panel, release an unsigned opinion that adopted the lower court's ruling (the lower court being the one that made the ruling described above) and that did not add any further analysis to the case. Balanced Reporting's description paints Sotomayor as the dreaded "activist judge," as someone who tries to legislate from the bench. It's harder to paint that picture if you acknowledge what actually happened.

Its interesting that one of the firefigthers in the New Haven, CT case was dyslexic. He put in tremendous efforts to oversome that and scored at the top of those taking the exam, only to have the scores thrown out. The nominee is touted for her empathy, but at least on the surface, she appears selective in how she applies that empathy.

I also think it is ironic that Obama wanted to filibuster Alito's nomination. I don't see how anyone from the democratic side can complain of challenges to this nominee

Seems to me we should thank our Moms and not some fictional imaginary being ("god") for choosing to bear us, Deb. Funny how you acknowledge that our Moms have a choice but don't acknowledge that it is their choice.

The day we start having funerals for miscarriages is the day I start believing the hypocrisy of the "pro-life" movement.

And can someone PLEASE provide an example of an opinion where this judge did not follow the constitution? Consider the very real possibility that such an example doesn't exist. Then consider that your objections to this nominee is rooted firmly hot air.

I'd like to see examples of anyone on the Democratic side who is complaining about anyone looking carefully at Sotomayor's record and drawing reasoned conclusions based on how she has ruled in the past. Methinks Publius is creating a strawman here.

Speaking as someone on the democratic side, I would object to anyone who swallows Rush Limbaugh's talking points whole and proceeds from there to shriek about racism, without having looked at her actual record as a judge. If that's the kind of "challenge" you're talking about, I do see how people can object.

Billy Bob, 60% of her opinions that were presented to the supreme court were overturned, so I imagine there will be quite a few in the next few days for your reading pleasure.

They Do have funerals for miscarriages...

and I wonder how crazy the press would be if a white man had said that "as I white man I am more qualified to make decisions".

I realize she misspoke but if a white guy has said it you would have labeled him a racist before the ink was dry.

Yes, apllecart, 60%--or, for the sake of full and complete information, you might point out that 5 opinions Sotomayor wrote were considered by the SCOTUS, and 3 of them were reversed and 2 were affirmed. So, when you write that "there will be quite a few in the next few days for your reading pleasure," I guess you mean "there will be three."

Also, you might point out that out of the 150 total opinions she wrote, those were the only 5 that were reviewed by the SCOTUS. 145 of them never went up to the SCOTUS, which means either they were never challenged OR the SCOTUS declined to hear a challenge to them.

Unless you live in fantasyland,all judges sit behind those black robes and legislate from the bench in the United States.
Can anyone name me one of the so-called founding fathers that was not a racist or sexist ? The United States of America was conceived in racism,sexism, and classism.
Where in any body of state or federal laws does it say reverse discrimination ? All the various State& Federal Laws governing Civil Rights mentioned the word discrimination,and there is no mention of such terms as Reverse Discrimination. Perhaps the term reverse discrimination came into vogue when white male priviledge was being threaten by people of color and women.

Ugh. @ Ronald.

Speaking of a strawman, or strawpeople to be politically correct, who said anything about Rush Limbaugh Hoolarious?

Here's the hypocrisy----Obama wanted to filibuster a well qualified nominee (highest rating by the American Bar Association), Alito, for nothing other than political partisanship. Now the White House press secretary is saying those raising questions about the current nominee "should be exceedingly careful" about how they do it.

Both sides of the aisle politicize these appointments, and with good reason. Whether we like it or not, the High Court shapes public policy with its decisions and therefore enters the political arena in a way our founders never contemplated. Read the Federalist Papers and you see a court described that barely resembles what exists today.

"white male privelidge" my ass. White males EARNED their way to the top. The only reason that people of color and women have a say now is because we let them. As nasty as that sounds it is the truth. Now that we have let them there are those amongst us who believe that reperations are now due. There are those who think they are not. The Supreme court will decide when they review her reverse discrimination case. After all, that is what it is really all about... making white men pay for the power grab of their ancestors. But don't forget... they just WON the battles.. it wasn't like the other side would not have siezed it had they had the ability.

When setting up this experiment of the United States, we never contemplated the Supreme Court becoming a 9 person oligarchy. It wasn't until much later in our history that it, and more so the Circuit Courts, began to create public policy rather than interpreting the laws. Our good friend Thomas Jefferson even wrote about his concern that this body had the potential to upset the balance of powers contemplated by the founders.

You are so right County Farmer. You failed to mention that we as a nation have become enablers for the lazy American grifters.

Welcome to the lowest common denominator rule. It works only too well. It has ruined our public schools and it is destroying our standard of living. I wonder if all those soldiers that gave their lives in WW1 and WW2 and the other conflicts in order to preserve their way of life would even recognize the country that we live in today. Afraid to leave our kids alone in the mall or trick or treat on their own and suspicious of strangers. Jobs and careers are lost to those in the world that still have the dream that hard work will pay off and the drive to leave their own country which is actually worse off than here to come to America to compete with us, the lazy apathetic Americans that are now always looking for a handout from their own government.

We have a limited Constitution, of enumerated powers, which is not allowed to step on people's rights--and "[l]imitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void." I repeat: "all acts contrary to the manifest tenor," not just the exact words. So said Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 78. Dude. If you are going to be Publius at least re-read what you wrote. Of course, this was before Hamilton went a little power-mad. Talk about oligarchs. He and his federalist party (not-ever-to be confused with federalism itself, or the Federalist Papers) his nutty federalist party lurched to the right trying to turn our Republic into a merchant oligarchy. His buddy Timothy Pickering-- Secretary of State until John Adams fired him--even schemed and plotted and conspired to get New England to secede from the union. Nearly succeeded during my War of 1812 (which I grant was ill-conceived and worse executed). But when those right-wingnut ideologue authoritarian federalists failed, discrediting themselves, the whole party crumbled into nothing. Faded away. Gone. Anybody seen a federalist party bumper sticker lately? A lesson for our time.

Tj said,,,On the questions you have raised there are differences of opinion and the majority rules.

This is the whole reason we need a true Constituitonal Scholar on the Court. The majority does not "rule" in your context. The minority is protected by the Constitution from the majority.

The seperation of church and state is so minintrepted by people and they really need to read it. It does not forbid religion, it forbids the establishment of one religion over the others.

If it is ok to spend taxpayer money on kosher meals and special scheduling for muslim prisoners then it is ok for a city to use taxpayer money for a national Christmans tree.

Good Point rd, I meant majority in terms of votes by Congress, but the Constitution does protect the rights of the Minority and that is why it does matter who is on the Supreme Court which provides a check on Congress and the Executive Branch.

Oh ranger dog, guess what? we DO spend taxpayer money for a national Christmas tree!

you really, really want someone to oppress you, don't you?

here's another newsflash: Christians are the majority in this country. the Constitution protects people like me -- atheists -- as well as members of minority religions from Christians who would like to turn this into a theocracy.

Great Day, this isn't the forum for all this, and I know I probably went off on tangents. I think the World should thank God for it's existence, not just the USA. I believe in being color blind.

I cannot force anyone to believe in God, just pray that you do oneday, and then begin understand the peace to be found in His love.

Hope all have blessed days!

Luckily Deb we live in a country where we have freedom of expression. The right to vote for the candidate of our choice and a representative form of government that makes the laws we live by. On the questions you have raised there are differences of opinion and the majority rules. That is the form of government we have chosen.

There is a three pronged test about the separation of religion and state as it is relevant to the establishment clause of the first amendment:

1) The government act must have a secular purpose.
2)The "act" must not have a PRIMARY effect of advancing or establishing a religion.
3) Must not create excessive entanglement between church and state.

Take the ten commandments posted in a judges courtroom. This dose not fail the test because the judge is enforcing written laws not the bible or ten commandments. The Judge is merely expressing his heritage, no different than an African American having a picture of Malcolm X.

The Judge is not attempting by his actions to force christianity unless you believe that Judism and christianity are the same thing. Anyone with a lick of sense can understand this.

The constituion does not say that Religion cannot factor into decision making, it says that Religion cannot be established as the primary factor. Common sense dictates that we elect people who will make laws within the framework of the constitution. That means that if we pass a law establishing that life begins at conception then the Supreme Court will have to decide if that is or is not a "constitutional" law. If they rule that it is "unconstitutional" then the states are free to atttempt to amend the constituion to overide them. If they chose to overide it they would not change the establishment clause in the first amendment, they would simply make an amendment that states a fetus is given "rights" at conception. This is not a religious issue despite atheist claims to the contrary.

*At worst, she is an abomination.

She went to Yale Law School, not Harvard Law School.

Dick Howard is a political hack. The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Freedom of Expression that he runs at UVA has become synonymous with attacks on George W. Bush and other key Republicans. On the other hand, it ignores anti-free speech actions by Democrats (e.g., Democratic proponents of the "fairness doctrine").

Howard's statements about Sotomayor are comparable to Akhil Amar's ridiculously idealistic statements in late 2008 that compared Obama to Abraham Lincoln. Sotomayor is not God's gift to the judiciary, and in appointing her, Obama engaged in the very sort of affirmative action that he said he would avoid during his presidential campaign. No one seems to be critical of this. Even if you agree with affirmative action as a matter of principle, surely you would not support presidential conduct that is wildly inconsistent with presidential statements. (This was one thing for which Bush was criticized during his term).

Hands down, the best choices to assume Souter's seat were:
1. Pam Karlan
2. Diane Wood
3. Cass Sunstein

Sotomayor is mediocre by every conceivable measure of judicial conduct. Even the note she wrote as a student at Yale Law was decidedly sub-par. (See http://yljtemp.webs.com/119.pdf). At best, Sotomayor is average. At best, she is an abomination.

AAA, just wondering: was Clarence Thomas unequivocally the most qualified pick in the entire nation at the time that he was appointed to the SCOTUS?

It would be someone from UVA who thinks an activist judge is a good thing.

While I have very little concerns about this choice it saddens me that that more and more judges feel like they have the right to legislate from the bench when they disagree with the folks who were ELECTED to do that job.

If they simply followed the constituion and the law then the legislators would be forced to stop spending money on pork and actually write laws that work.

I'd say conservative judges have been doing a lot of legislating from the bench. Look at all the attempts to limit a woman's right to chose.

"She is a racist liberal against everything the constitution stands for"

Should be easy to back up this claim. Please do.

Edgar Allen Hoe, judges recuse themselves all the time. Certainly her ability to hear this one case is not to be the determining factor as to whether or not she can serve the remaining 35 or so years of her life?

re:"Example Dems questioning Estrada, Roberts, Thomas."
Excellent examples. Thomas and Roberts are on the Supreme Court as will be this nominee soon.

The GOP would be smart to employ dignity, grace, class and wisdom in the upcoming confirmation hearings. There is no way they can stop her ascension, and the whole country will be making judgments based on how this shrinking band of senators adapt to their ever diminishing status.

MS,
Read what I said again. Where are the outburst and protest from the religious wackos for not providing funding for the US's pledge?

Vertico, the republicans protested for funding for children in need when they voted against Obama. Republicans want personal accountability so that the people who make the babies pay for the babies. We want to solve the REAL problem which is that without a conservative fiscal policy you cannot sustain a decent standard of living.

All that happens when you tax the rich is that that they sit on their gains and no longer take risks to start new busineses which creates jobs which creates revenue for the government.

V, well, it's possible that they are unaware of the drop in funding (I have no knowledge of it being covered in the US media). However, the religious wackos might argue that it's more important to protest abortion because the fetus/baby/embryo can't speak for them/itself, and that life itself is more important than quality of life.

But you're totally right, people should be upset over stuff like you mention.

Here's a novel thought.......let's have a fair, but robust questioning of the nominee and make the best decision for the country. Anyone appointed to this lifetime position should be questioned thoroughly and be asked to explain her quips about appellate court judges making public policy and that a latino woman would make better decisions than a white male. Most importantly, she should answer questions about her opinions in cases like the New Haven, CT firefighters case. Her comments trouble me, but there may be more context to those statements that what we've heard in snipets on the evening news.

Edgar Allen Hoe, courts have no business "defining" when life begins. They rule on what the constitution says, and it says nothing about when life begins. Any conservative justice who thinks that defining when life begins is his or her job is plenty "activist."

It would be hilarious if some GOP senator decided to filibuster. Then the dems could let this guy just talk for days, knowing they have the votes to invoke cloture. The GOP could alienate latino voters for generations, the dems swoop in to end the debate, she gets her seat, GOP starts losing more seats.......

Life begins at conception. thank G0D your moms did not Choose. All candidates should be questioned, we need to know thier fundmental values, and be assured that they will be fair and just in thier decisions. I am upset about the CT New Haven Firefighter's case, and totally disagree with her ruling, but would like to hear it all and more from her own lips.

Certainly our own life experience, shape our opinions, but we should hold to the constitution when making decisions that will effect the country that was born of this constitution, note, again thank GOD they didn't choose.

Actually, she went to Yale LS and not Harvard.

"Both sides of the aisle politicize these appointments, and with good reason."

so what is your problem, exactly? both sides do it, you think they have good reasons for doing so, and yet you find it "ironic that Obama wanted to filibuster Alito’s nomination"?

Hey-Publius, don't take my pseudonym in vain. When I wrote the Federalist Papers (at least, all the good parts are mine) everybody thought the Federal Government would be too weak to do any serious damage. It was just an alliance of sovereign states, a government of of limited, stated, enumerated, circumscribed powers (it could not for instance, pass any criminal laws. None. Ever. Outside its purview.) Heck, I thought we didn't even need a Bill of Rights--because who could imagine that feeble fragile federal government infringing anybody's rights? Ridiculous. (Also a Bill of Rights is just a parchment barrier, the minute the people get their blood up its forgotten). But in the last 200 years the federal government grew like a cancer, grew beyond recognition, spread its tentacles into every aspect of everybody's life, grew into some quasi-monarchic tyrannical Hamiltonian hydra-headed monster. If there is to be any check on its oppressions, it usurpations, its manic power-grabbing idiocies (torture? give me a break) that'll have to be a Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution--much of which I also wrote. I finally came around on the Bill of Rights thing.

Patrick Henry didn't want Virginia to ratify the Constitution, for fear of the encroaching federal government. I hate to say it but now I think he had a point.

Publius:

Federalist Papers? Where do I find those in the US Constitution? Oh yeah I don't because they aren't there.

As far as filibustering, I say go ahead and filibuster! Ignore Gibbs' advice. Don't be careful, but rather be carefree in your opposition and see what happens to that dwindling minority of senators that self-identify as republicans.

Billy Bob, I will pray to God for you, and hope you see the light!

Did it make you feel good to call God fictionalized, did that make you happy?

Deb, it made me neither happy nor sad but merely truthful. I appreciate your prayers.

ranger dog, I think the word is "forced" not "earned".

It's a funny kind of "earning" when the system is set for years to disbar women and minorities, legally in some cases, from even competing for those positions at the top, leaving the way clear for white males to compete only against other white males, ending up in a situation where white males have all those positions at the top, from which some not-entirely-rational people draw the conclusion that white males earned (fair and square, I presume) their spot at the top...kinda circular, logic-wise, I mean.

Bush was Reagan's VP. Reagan attempted to nominate Bork, who was a former professor and circuit judge. That failed. Reagan then attempted to nominate Ginsburg, a former professor and circuit judge. That also failed. As Reagan's #2 and self-identified successor, these failed appointments had an impact on Bush's ability to make his own appointments after assuming the presidency.

Before Sotomayor, Obama had made a grand total of zero appointments -- meaning that he has not inherited the sort of political liability that Bush had to consider in the Thomas appointment. Obama's approval rating was higher than Bush's was. And Obama has a bigger majority in the Senate than Bush did. Needless to say, Obama was in a better position to nominate the justice of his choosing than Bush was.

And yet, he chose to nominate Sotomayor.

Also be careful in your phrasing. I never said that Thomas was *unqualified* to sit on the Supreme Court. I would contend that Sotomayor was unqualified. According to a recent article by Eric Posner (among others), Sotomayor actually ranks at the bottom of circuit judges in terms of writing influential and cited opinions. Coupled with her blatantly racist statements, that statistic indicates that, not only was Sotomayor not the best choice, but that she wasn't a good choice at all.

2nd a, thank you for that CLASSIC piece of deceitful rumormongering. "hey, i got no evidence, but i saw this headline on michelle malkin's blog and presto, i got a sleazy insinuation for you all!"

It was Justice Department that dropped the charges. Sotomayor does not work for the justice department. She is a judge on the 2nd circuit court of appeals. are you stupid or just evil?

i guess it's heartening that this appears to be all you have.

Did the racist sotomayor have any input on dropping of charges/conviction against the new black panther party followers who were intimidating voters in a philly polling place, standing in the way, tapping his batton, calling out racial slurs while an 80 year old woman try to get past to go in the voting booth.

I think County Farmer and Fedup saw the word "Latina" in the story and that was enough for them: haul out the gripes about enabling, grifters, handouts, etc.!

Well I for one, am tired of being PC for any reason. I believe in God, I belive that we get ahead in life depending on how hard we work, I don't believe that the government owes us a living, or a life for that matter. I believe we need the guts to stand up and say what we really believe. I want to say Merry Christman, Not happy holidays, I want to say God Bless You! I want to say One nation under God, I want marraige to be between a man and a woman, I want gay people to have the right to create a legally joined union. I want no abortions, I want all of us to be color blind. I am sick of Black this and Black that, where is the equality in that? and as far as Sotomayor, I want her to be judged as strictly as any other candidate, not more, not less.

God Bless The United States

forgive the typos! get the message instead.

Forgive my typos, get the message instead.

Well gosh, since we're stating our beliefs: I do not believe in God. I do not believe that this country is for Christians first and everyone else second. I believe we get where we get largely on our own merits but that some people get a boost whereas other people get held back at the starting line. I believe that everyone leans on the government at different points in their lives, even those who congratulate themselves about how self-made they are. I believe that being helped by the government doesn't make you a bad person or disqualify you for consideration as a "real American." I believe that anyone who wants to say Merry Christmas or God bless should stop whining about being oppressed and just say it already, and also to notice how 99% of the people around you won't even raise an eyebrow. I want manufactured controversies to go away. I want churches and the government to be separate. I believe government has no business approving one set of civil unions and calling them "marriages" and not another set--I believe that's the business of a church, not a government. I want people who love each other and want to create a family to have the option to marry. I want everyone to look past skin color, and that includes the people who feel compelled to start talking about "government handouts" on a thread about a Latina citizen that had nothing to do with welfare programs. That also includes people who bristle at hearing someone call him/herself "black" or "latina" as if it would be preferable for all those darker people to just sit quietly and not draw attention to their race. I want there to be fewer abortions and more children who are loved and supported by their families, even the ones who turn out to be gay, to leave the religion of their childhood, or to marry someone from another race.

Deb, would you please tell us which Muslim countries have a death penalty for non-Muslims?

The ones harboring the terrorists, believing they will be rewarded in heaven with virgins, for killing non-believers.

We just want fairness, not special treatment, don't get in line in front of me, because your ancestors rode the back of the bus. I wasn't driving.

Also,Hoolarious, When you get to the other side, God Bless your soul. At least the Christian majority does not condemn you to death for having a different belief, as they do in the muslim countries. What a wonderful country with unlimited possibilities, can we just keep it this way long enough for my son to grow old, and not turn to socialism in his lifetime?

Hoolarious (while I don't agree with everything Deb has written) a few links you might want to read:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/24/world/main1435638.shtml

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/may/09/iran-christia...

I will just close with this, my son, my fears for him grow daily. I am saddened by the way we live today, I am saddened that he cannot know the freedom I knew as a child, the ability to play and trick or treat without fear of abduction, molestation, murder. I will be in constant prayer that all of us can live relatively fear free lives, and would hope that we are all working towards a world where at least some of this is possible. Change starts at home, here in the USA, not the change promised by Obama, but the change we can accomplish as parents, teaching our children to live honorably and without hate, and to be tolerant, and understanding. We all have choices to make, I have made mine, and will try to live by them. God Bless All!

Thank you Deb. I appreciate your courtesy and am grateful for a blog such as this where people of all faiths or none can express themselves and share. Unfortunately our society has gotten so polarized through housing patterns and other choices that people of differing views have fewer and fewer opportunities to interact.

TJ i truly think it is our time to stand up and have our voices heard. Stop being afraid of what others may think. Our beliefs demand that we honor and obey and not be afraid to declare our faith, so I think it is time to stand by our policies and have the strength to defend our opinions, and to change the world we are living in. Who else can speak for us? I for one will not be afraid any longer to state my opinions. Thank you and have a wonderful blessed day!

No Hoolarious the word Latino did not upset me and my response was not directed at any racial group but at the "give me" group as a whole. You are quick to pull the race card while trying to promote your opinions under the guise that you are so open and caring.
I call BS to your manifesto written above and your other posts reenforce that sentiment. You obviously have one agenda to push.

As for this judge. I oppose her based solely that she is considered liberal. I wish her the same treatment the Dems have given past conservative nominees.

Fedup, EXACTLY! and Thank You!

FedUp: can you explain which sentence(s) in the story above about Sotomayor made you think of the "give me" group and "lazy American grifters"? Was it this:

"her ââ?¬Å?life story,” which includes being of Puerto Rican descent and growing up in a housing project in the Bronx, raised by a single mother after her father died when she was young."

Or was it this:

"She was educated at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and was first appointed to a federal district court in 1991 by Republican President George H.W. Bush."

I'm just trying to figure out what was the trigger for your remarks on lazy American grifters, in a story describing a nominee for the Supreme Court. If it had been a story about welfare, public housing, anything like that, I could understand what triggered your comments. But all I see here is a story about an American citizen who was raised by her single mother (not her own fault or choice that her father died when she was young, no doubt), who graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, who got a JD from Yale, and who was nominated by Bush Pere for a federal judgeship.

So she's saying "give me"?

No. I would not have appointed him either. Any more questions?

Keep in mind that Thomas came after Bork and Ginsburg failed for Reagan -- an administration to which Bush (as the VP) was obviously very closely connected. Needless to say, Obama has more political capital than Bush did in the early 90s when he had to rebound from the Bork-Ginsburg-Kennedy fiasco -- making Obama's actions in repudiating his own affirmative action positions even more inexcusable.

Great points, AAA: Bush had NO CHOICE but to nominate someone that even you consider not the most qualified pick in the nation at the time. It was genius of him to choose to rebound from the Bork-Kennedy-Ginsburg fiasco by nominating a moderately (at best?) qualified candidate with an extremely thin resume (very unlike SS), despite GHWB's assertion that CT was the "best qualified [nominee] at the time" (would that be a lie, technically?). GHWB gets a pass! But not Obama. Of course not.

County farmer and fedup, what do your comments have to do with THIS supreme court nominee? It's almost as if ANY political discussion devolves into a mud throwing contest where these right-wingers drag their talking point out of the closet.

Guess what guys, it's going to be ok. It really is! Obama's been in office for a few months and the world hasn't ended yet. I think the republic will survive. Calm down.

Funny, I lived for a year and a half in a country with a very substantial Muslim majority and I didn't once feel threatened as a non-Muslim. I plan to move to another Muslim country and I don't have any hesitation in doing so. If I were to have reason for being fearful in either of those places, it would be because the last president we had gave them good reason to view America as something to fear and attempt to wipe out before it wipes them out. Don't forget that the supposedly christian US funded and helped organize those terrorist organizations when we wanted to manipulate for our own purposes.

Not that any of that pertains to what ought to be the matter being discussed here, but I guess cheerleading for imaginary deities is always on topic, eh Deb? Particularly when we can fear-monger about evil dark people in the process.

Thanks in advance for your prayers. I hope that will eliminate at least one round of follow up ridiculousness on your part.

Good luck with your son too. Remember, it's not enough to just keep your eye on the socialists and Muslims. There are dopers, homos, dreaded evolutionists, and public water fluoriders hiding around every corner just waiting to make their moves.