As a legal organization litigating cases in federal and state courts, we are keenly focused on the current Senate confirmation process for Judge Sotomayor. For the future of this country on so many essential issues that mark our times and will shape our future, this nomination--President Obama's first for the U.S. Supreme Court--is critical. The nine justices who sit on the Court play a vital constitutional role in upholding and enforcing the constitutional principles and laws upon which our democracy is based. Even a fairly cursory study of our nation's history shows that the protection of minority rights is one of those enduring principles.
I know that many of you are following this closely. There is an enormous volume of material to wade through, more is being generated every day, and it is flowing out from widely varied sources. For those who need to catch up on Judge Sotomayor now that her Senate confirmation hearings have begun, here are some resources from a range of sources (some critical of her, but I am including them because it helps to understand the organized opposition and their arguments) so you can read up on this extremely impressive candidate for the Supreme Court.
We end this list of resources with our assessment of Judge Sotomayor.
- From the White House, Office of the Press Secretary: Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
- From the United States Senate, Committee on the Judiciary: Questionnaire for Judicial Nominees (pdf).
- From Alliance for Justice:
- “Supreme Court Watch: The Sotomayor Record”
- Criminal Justice Report on Sotomayor
- Civil Rights and Constitutional Protections Report on Sotomayor
- Business and Consumer Report on Sotomayor
- Access to Justice Report on Sotomayor
- Preliminary Report on Sotomayor
- Endorsement of Sotomayor Nomination
- From the American Civil Liberties Union: Report on the Nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor (pdf).
- From the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy's National Convention: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s remarks.
- From Art Leonard, Professor of Law, New York Law School: "Judge Sotomayor and LGBT Rights."
- From the Asian American Justice Center: “President Obama Nominates Judge Sonia Sotomayor to Fill Supreme Court Vacancy; AAJC Applauds Historic Pick”.
- From Bloomberg.com: “Sotomayor Firefighter Ruling Fuels Debate over Court Nomination”.
- From the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School: “Judge Sotomayor’s Record in Constitutional Cases”.
- From the Cato Institute: “Sotomayor Pick Not Based on Merit”.
- "Confirm Sotomayor" website.
- From Forbes, Commentary: “Republicans Should Not Oppose Sotomayor”.
- From the Heritage Foundation, Commentary: “Sotomayor and Racial Identity Politics”.
- On the Huffington Post: “Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Nominee: All You Need to Know”.
- From the Human Rights Campaign: “Judge Sonia Sotomayor: Record on LGBT Issues”.
- From the Justice at Stake Campaign: “The Supreme Court Nomination Watch Page”.
- From the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights: “Judge Sonia Sotomayor: Nominee for U.S. Supreme Court”.
- From the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund: “President Obama Makes Historic Choice for America’s Highest Court”.
- From the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: "NAACP Calls for Expeditious Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor”.
- From the National Council of La Raza: “NCLR Lauds Historic Appointment of Sotomayor to Nation’s Highest Court”.
- From the National LGBT Bar Association: Statement by Executive Director D’Arcy Kemnitz.
- From the National Partnership for Women and Families: “Sotomayor is Extremely Qualified, Tough and Fair, Women’s Leader Says”.
- From the National Women’s Law Center:
- Statement on the Nomination of Sotomayor
- “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to the Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings”
- “A New Justice on the Supreme Court: Why This Nomination Matters to Women”
- From New America Media: “Asian Americans Weigh in on Hispanic Supreme Court Nominee”.
- From the New York Times:
- “To Get to Sotomayor’s Core, Start in New York”
- “Judging Sonia Sotomayor”
- "Sotomayor for Justice" website.
- From Time Magazine: “Sonia Sotomayor, A Justice Like No Other”.
- From the Washington Blade: “Praise for Sotomayor: Activists ‘Encouraged’ by Supreme Court Pick, Despite Thin Record on LGBT Issues”.
- From the Washington Post:
- “Uncommon Detail Marks Rulings by Sotomayor”
- “Judge’s Votes Show No Single Ideology”
Our assessment of this nominee as she enters into the Senate confirmation hearings stage is as follows:
"Judge Sonia Sotomayor is eminently qualified, has a classically moderate and restrained judicial temperament, and would bring a keen appreciation for the struggles of ordinary people, including LGBT people, to the bench. She has earned a unanimous "well qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. We are confident she would give our arguments a fair and open minded hearing, which is all we can ask from any judge. Her every writing and recorded utterance has been closely examined, revealing a distinguished record. This potential Supreme Court justice both seeks to understand the potential impact of rulings and respects the rule of law. It is our extremely strong sense that Judge Sotomayor will be, and should be, swiftly confirmed by the Senate."
With that said, Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees always make for fascinating legal theatre. We'll be watching.