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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ten Things About Judge Sonia Sotomayor & the other side

This judge refused to hear an appeal of some white and Hispanic fireman who were passed over for promotions even though they had higher test scores than the black fireman who were promoted. If you believe that people should not be promoted on the basis of merit then you do not believe in the equality of all races and in that process you contribute to the dumbing down of America.

The first Hispanic was Cardozo!

From: Nita Chaudhary, Political Action [m<span>]
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 10:38 PM

Dear MoveOn member,

Today, 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.

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.

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.

Thanks for all you do,

–Nita, Kat, Daniel, Ilyse and the rest of the team

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.

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PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to Molly Brudnick on May 26, 2009. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.


Judge Sotomayor and Five Million Criminal Votes for Obama

Posted: 26 May 2009 06:45 PM PDT BY SULTAN

There are 5.3 million votes for Obama out there, the only problem is that they happen to belong to murderers, rapists, armed robbers and other convicts and ex-convicts.

That golden box of 5+ million votes is being unlocked by Democrats in one of two ways. The first relies on changing state laws that prevent felon voting at the state level. Their greatest success has arguably been Florida, a crucial swing state with over a million ex-felons. When Governor Charlie Crist promised to let criminals vote during the election and then implemented it once in office, the impact on the 2008 Presidential election was quite sizable.

With anywhere from 250,000 to 500,000 new votes available, the Obama campaign ran a "You can Vote Too!" registration drive for ex-felons. And since Obama won Florida by barely 200,000 votes, the newly enfranchised murderers, rapists and pedophiles no doubt did their share to help put him in the White House.

Iowa restored felon voting in 2005, and between 2004 to 2008, swung from Republican to Democratic.

In 2007 Colorado struck down the requirement that ex-felons have to at least complete their parole before becoming eligible to vote, overriding a Colorado Supreme Court ruling. In 2008 Colorado voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate for the first time in 26 years.

Virginia, which also began legalizing felon voters, became another swing state that swung unexpectedly to Obama.

While legalizing felons alone did not swing any of these states, they were part of a larger program to liberalize the voting base, which is why such laws were invariably championed by Democrats and Liberal Republicans. Bringing in millions of new votes changes the game. And that was what happened in 2008.

However giving criminals voting rights on a state by state level has been a long slow process, and that is where the second method comes in, to strike down any bans on felon voting at the Federal level.

The key argument used by felon voting advocates is that barring criminals from voting is a form of racial discrimination, since a disproportionate number of convicted felons are black or members of other minority groups. This brings in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into the picture. Using the VRA, the Supreme Court could potentially strike down any state laws banning criminals from voting. Even convicts still in jail.

This would immediately unlock that golden box of 5 million votes for Obama, even more than local state measures of ACORN's voting fraud, which relied heavily on ex-cons, did.

And the Voting Rights Act is where Judge Sotomayor comes into the picture. While the Supreme Court currently has not chosen to hear any cases involving felon voting, allowing state circuit courts to maintain the ban, Judge Sotomayor is an enthusiastic judicial advocate of applying the VRA to felon voting, treating criminals as a discriminated against group being denied their civic rights.

In Hayden vs Pataki, a case brought by Joseph "Jazz" Hayden, who stabbed a sanitation worker to death, and has since become a campaigner for letting felons vote, Judge Sotomayor dissented from the majority by arguing that the VRA in no way excludes or was meant to exclude felons.

SOTOMAYOR, Circuit Judge, dissenting:

"It is plain to anyone reading the Voting Rights Act that it applies to all “voting
qualification[s].” And it is equally plain that § 5-106 disqualifies a group of people from voting. These two propositions should constitute the entirety of our analysis. Section 2 of the Act by its unambiguous terms subjects felony disenfranchisement and all other voting qualifications to its coverage.

What that means is that Sotomayor believes that any voting qualification, including bans on having convicted murderers and rapists vote, is a violation of the Voting Rights Acts. Felons can be treated as a "group" that has been discriminated against by being banned from the right to vote.

This would allow Obama to "crack" more conservative states where felon voting enfranchisement has not made any headway, by treating felon disenfranchisement as a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

By nominating Sotomayor, Obama is very clearly looking ahead to 2012, by first nominating an Hispanic Woman, secondly a left wing judicial advocate, more specifically one whose views on ballot access will help open up that golden box of millions of votes, and in the case of a Bush vs Gore type Supreme Court case, will always argue on the side of inadequate access.

And of course Sotomayor's ruling in Ford vs McGinnis that Islamic rights for prisoners can be entirely at the whim of the prisoner, can't hurt. Nor her open position that her job is to make policy, rather than rule on the constitutionality of the laws.

Like Obama her nomination is being treated as a "historical nomination", though Justice Benjamin Cardozo was arguably the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice (who naturally doesn't count because he's Jewish), and her judicial advocacy views, her identity politics, will be treated as assets, in the same way that they were for Obama.

But the bigger picture is that Sotomayor is meant to be Obama's ace in the hole for the 2012 election.

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