Feingold on Sotomayor
I just listened to Russ Feingold’s ten mintues of fame during the Sonia Sotomayor hearings. He’s nuts.
“That is why I suggest to everyone watching today that they be a little wary of a phrase they may hear at these hearings – ‘judicial activism.’ That term really has lost all usefulness, particularly since so many rulings of the conservative majority on the Supreme Court can fairly be described as ‘activist’ in their disregard for precedent and their willingness to ignore or override the intent of Congress. At this point, perhaps we should all accept that the best definition of a ‘judicial activist’ is a judge who decides a case in a way you don’t like. Each of the decisions I mentioned earlier was undoubtedly criticized by someone at the time it was issued, and maybe even today, as being ‘judicial activism.’ Yet some of them are among the most revered Supreme Court decisions in modern times.
Perhaps he should accept that the best definition is the one most widely used:
: the practice in the judiciary of protecting or expanding individual rights through decisions that depart from established precedent or are independent of or in opposition to supposed constitutional or legislative intent —compare JUDICIAL RESTRAINT
That’s not my definition, that’s dictionary.com’s. Or perhaps:
Judicial activism is a critical term used to describe judicial rulings that are viewed as imposing a personal biased interpretation by a given court of what a law means as opposed to what a neutral, unbiased observer would naturally interpret a law to be. The term is most often used to describe left-wing judges.
That’s the definition according to the more fluid wikipedia. The only problem I have with that one is rather than calling it “left-wing”, the word “liberal” should have been used. Defining laws as one sees fit doesn’t get any more liberal than that. You don’t get any more liberal than Russ Feingold. First he tosses out any written definition, then he redefines the word as he wants it to be, then uses that personally re-defined word to attack those that he sees fit. In this case, it’s anyone who prefers the law be enforced as it’s written. If there’s a problem with that law, have the Congress change the law. It’s called sepration of powers. Here’s the written definition for Russ:
the principle or system of vesting in separate branches the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of a government.
Notice that legislative and judicial are two SEPARATE branches. Judicial is not supposed to make laws, legislative is not supposed to enforce laws. Therefore, in very simple text, that is accepted, are the very fundamental roles that keeps our government in balance. A judge that does not get that very fundamental balance doesn’t deserve to be in a position to conflict with the other branches. And quite frankly, a senator who doesn’t understand their role in the government doesn’t deserve to be there either. But, people will keep voting for them anyway.
Then Feingold takes it a little deeper:
“One attack that I find particularly shocking is the suggestion that she will be biased against some litigants because of her racial and ethnic heritage. This charge is not based on anything in her judicial record because there is absolutely nothing in the hundreds of opinions she has written to support it. That long record – which is obviously the most relevant evidence we have to evaluate her – demonstrates a cautious and careful approach to judging. Instead, a few lines from a 2001 speech, taken out of context, have prompted some to charge that she is a racist. I believe that no one who reads the whole Berkeley speech could honestly come to that conclusion. The speech is actually a remarkably thoughtful attempt to grapple with a difficult issue not often discussed by judges – how do a judge’s personal background and experiences affect her judging.
He’ll be even more shocked to find out that not one person has said anything against her racial and ethnic heritage. What we’ve taken exception to is her own words:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,”
I would like to know how Russ Feingold can tell anyone that singling out a class of people solely on their race is anything BUT racism? How singling a class of people based on their gender is anything BUT gender discrimination? I could care less what her ethinicity is, she’s made a point of mine. I could care less what she’s got between her legs, she’s made a point of mine. Come on Russ, do me a favor, explain how I should feel any different about appointing someone who spoken racism and gender discrimination against both my race and my gender.
And, the last lie that I’m going to nail Russ on is this is not about “a few lines from a 2001 speech, taken out of context”. According to many readily available sources:
Sotomayor has used the “wise Latina” phrase repeatedly in speeches dating back to 1994.
That’s from Time magazine. It’s not taken out of context. She doesn’t claim that it is. Feingold just says it is to make his point that people are making stuff up to attack an imaginary issue.
Then he sums it up woth:
how do a judge’s personal background and experiences affect her judging
The answer is, it shouldn’t. If I were to assume it did, and that was OK, then I’d have to assume that as a white male living in Appalachia, she’d have absolutely no clue whatsoever how to deal with my problems. That’s troublesome to me. And, it should be troublesome to a white male living in mostly rural Wisconsin. Do mineral rights mean anything to her? Eminent domain? I mean, there are a lot of issues that aren’t normally dealt with by a “wise Latina” from the Bronx. If she were strictly interpreting the law as it’s written, she wouldn’t have to worry about whether the issue was regarding a white Latina or a wise male living in Mississippi. She’d just apply the law. Everyone would be treated exactly the same. I wouldn’t go to that extreme, but after singling out “white males” in her speech, she overturned a discrimination case involving white males. So, the evidence is there to be questioned.
I have supported my claims through links to sources. I’d like to see Feingold do the same. The fact is Russ Feingold is making stuff up. Given how readily available that information is, that means he’s just flat out lying.
I’m waiting for Keith Olbermann to scoop this story. And, I’m waiting for Nancy Pelosi to condemn Feingold’s actions as more of the same from the Culture of Corruption that is the Democrat Party.
And what’s even more amazing about this farce is that Al Franken should be speaking right about now about the merits of a Supreme Court Justice nominee.