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Old 05-27-2009, 09:07 PM   #31
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The republicans are shooting themselves in the foot...

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Old 05-27-2009, 11:28 PM   #32
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Even for them, the manner of their nonsupport is disappointing. I'd have some respect for them if they could disagree with her judicial decisions.
Is poor Newt confused? Is he thinking it's 1995, and he's relevant again?
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:40 AM   #33
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Roe v Wade is on thin ice?

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On Sotomayor, Some Abortion Rights Backers Show Unease
By CHARLIE SAVAGE

WASHINGTON — In nearly 11 years as a federal appeals court judge, President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, has never directly ruled on whether the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. But when she has written opinions that touched tangentially on abortion disputes, she has reached outcomes in some cases that were favorable to abortion opponents.

Now, some abortion rights advocates are quietly expressing unease that Judge Sotomayor may not be a reliable vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion rights decision. In a letter, Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, urged supporters to press senators to demand that Judge Sotomayor reveal her views on privacy rights before any confirmation vote.

“Discussion about Roe v. Wade will — and must — be part of this nomination process,” Ms. Keenan wrote. “As you know, choice hangs in the balance on the Supreme Court as the last two major choice-related cases were decided by a 5-to-4 margin.”

Because Judge Sotomayor is the choice of a president who supports abortion rights at a time when Democrats hold a substantial majority in the Senate, both sides in the debate have tended to assume she could be counted on to preserve the Roe decision.

Immediately after Mr. Obama announced his selection on Tuesday, leaders of several other abortion rights groups spoke out in support of Judge Sotomayor, and several conservative groups opposed to abortion rights attacked her, saying they were convinced that the president would not nominate someone who opposed abortion rights.

But in his briefing to reporters on Tuesday, the White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs, was asked whether Mr. Obama had asked Judge Sotomayor about abortion or privacy rights. Mr. Gibbs replied that Mr. Obama “did not ask that specifically.”
“Everyone is just assuming that because Obama appointed her, she must be a die-hard pro-choice activist,” Mr. Waldman said, “but it’s really quite amazing how little we know about her views on abortion.”

None of the cases in Judge Sotomayor’s record dealt directly with the legal theory underlying Roe v. Wade — that the Constitution contains an unwritten right to privacy in reproductive decisions as a matter of so-called substantive due process. Several of her opinions invoke substantive due process in other areas, however, like the rights of parents and prisoners.

She has also had several cases involving abortion-related disputes that turned on other legal issues. While those cases cannot be taken as a proxy for her views on the constitutionality of abortion, she often reached results favorable to abortion opponents.

In a 2002 case, she wrote an opinion upholding the Bush administration policy of withholding aid from international groups that provide or promote abortion services overseas.

“The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position,” she wrote, “and can do so with public funds.”

In a 2004 case, she largely sided with some anti-abortion protesters who wanted to sue some police officers for allegedly violating their constitutional rights by using excessive force to break up demonstrations at an abortion clinic. Judge Sotomayor said the protesters deserved a day in court.

Judge Sotomayor has also ruled on several immigration cases involving people fighting deportation orders to China on the grounds that its population-control policy of forcible abortions and birth control constituted persecution.

In a 2007 case, she strongly criticized colleagues on the court who said that only women, and not their husbands, could seek asylum based on China’s abortion policy. “The termination of a wanted pregnancy under a coercive population control program can only be devastating to any couple, akin, no doubt, to the killing of a child,” she wrote, also taking note of “the unique biological nature of pregnancy and special reverence every civilization has accorded to child-rearing and parenthood in marriage.”

And in a 2008 case, she wrote an opinion vacating a deportation order for a woman who had worked in an abortion clinic in China. Although Judge Sotomayor’s decision turned on a technicality, her opinion described in detail the woman’s account of how she would be persecuted in China because she had once permitted the escape of a woman who was seven months pregnant and scheduled for a forced abortion. In China, to allow such an escape was a crime, the woman said.

Phillip Jauregui, president of the conservative Judicial Action Group, said he was not convinced by any anti-abortion overtones to such rulings because, he said, even “the most radical feminist” would object to forcing women to abort wanted pregnancies.

Mr. Waldman of BeliefNet.com also noted that Judge Sotomayor was raised Roman Catholic, although there are many judges who do not follow the church’s dogma — like opposing abortion and the death penalty — in their jurisprudence.

Moreover, he said, it is significant that as a group, Hispanics include a higher percentage of abortion opponents than many other parts of the Democratic Party’s coalition. Judge Sotomayor’s parents moved from Puerto Rico.

“At the very least, she grew up in a culture that didn’t hold the pro-life position in contempt,” Mr. Waldman said.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:34 AM   #34
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When I saw that video of her talking about "making policy" I thought...there it is! They'll be pounding on that over and over.

All of a sudden, it's been taken over by this racial B.S.
I guess it's just more sensationalist and fear based.

It doesn't make any difference, she's 'defacto' confirmed by virtue of the numbers in Congress.

It is interesting to see how the Reps will react in the hearings. If they let this one slide (it wouldn't make any difference anyhow) but the next appointment could be a big fight.
Which I think is what Bluer White was alluding to.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:55 AM   #35
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I think Republicans would like to vote against her.

If some issues are raised during the hearings, they may have cover to vote no.

The GOP needs to keep its base fired up. Right now they are raising more money than the Democrats.

I do expect her to be confirmed with about the same number of votes Roberts got.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:29 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Bluer White View Post
Soto does seem to be a good combination of identity politics and competence. Smart choice by the president.

80 votes maybe?


this is the other thing that's impressing me about this pick. she's certainly as qualified as anyone else at her level -- and graduating, what, #2 at Princeton certainly speaks volumes -- and the combination of her personal story, her gender, her ethnicity, her (i assume) fluency in Spanish, and her ever-so-slightly eyebrow raising comments on the nature of race and gender are red meat to conservatives like Limbaugh and Gingrich.

so with this pick, Obama is tempting them to say something in regards to race and gender that will reconfirm, again, that the GOP is the party of resentful white christian southern males. he's done an expert job at coaxing out the most cartoonish elements of the GOP and getting them to speak for the party as a whole, and this then pushes them farther and farther into the woods and makes them a totally unacceptable political choice for anyone who isn't a white southern christian male. Obama is just daring them to say something about Sotomayor, and when they do, the exploding Latino population will become an even more solidly Democratic voting block.

people talked about how brilliant the Clintons were politically. so far, i think Obama is the more clever, and lethal.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:10 PM   #37
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but here is a question

do we need 6 Catholics on the Court?

We will only have one Christian and two Jews, who knew?
I would hope that a wise Catholic with the richness of their experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Protestant or Jew who hasn't lived that life.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:14 PM   #38
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That was almost clever.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:19 PM   #39
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That was almost clever.
Real Texans don't say almost, they say pert-near.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:19 PM   #40
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I am starting to think Roe v Wade is slipping away.

Would some Dems like to see it become a 'State' issue?
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:15 PM   #41
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he's done an expert job at coaxing out the most cartoonish elements of the GOP and getting them to speak for the party as a whole, and this then pushes them farther and farther into the woods and makes them a totally unacceptable political choice for anyone who isn't a white southern christian male. Obama is just daring them to say something about Sotomayor, and when they do, the exploding Latino population will become an even more solidly Democratic voting block.
Nail on the head.

I think I saw this on Olbermann's show...Secretary Gibbs was on and basically said with a big grin that he didn't want to dissuade the Rush/Newt types from speaking out on anything.

The White House has been playing them like a fiddle. If the Republicans can't find a real leader, Barack and Rahm will do it for them.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:18 PM   #42
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Posted on Thu, May. 28, 2009

Sotomayor's diabetes helps shape views on discrimination
Michael Doyle | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: May 28, 2009 04:24:41 PM

WASHINGTON — Judge Sonia Sotomayor must inject herself regularly with insulin, a regime that keeps her diabetes at bay and that also could help shape her approach to discrimination issues, among others, as a potential Supreme Court justice.

Far from being a secret, Sotomayor's medical condition — first identified when she was 7 — is part of her larger narrative. It's both a burden and a life experience she carries with her when judging cases.

"When she was diagnosed . . . she was informed that people with diabetes can't grow up to be police officers or private investigators like Nancy Drew," President Barack Obama said in introducing Sotomayor this week. "In essence she was told she'd have to scale back her dreams. "

Instead, Obama said, Sotomayor's perseverance in the face of the disease shows that "no dream is beyond reach in the United States of America."

Sotomayor has had to make her diabetes part of the public record while undergoing previous Senate confirmation scrutiny.

"My condition is permanent and subject to continuing treatment," Sotomayor said in a 1997 Senate questionnaire. "It does not impair my work or personal life."

Arguably though, it influences the way she considers discrimination disputes, among others. Although William Marshall, a law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said Wednesday that Sotomayor "has been on both sides of discrimination cases," she's certainly been sympathetic to plaintiffs with disabilities.

In 2001, for instance, Sotomayor ruled in favor of Marilyn Bartlett, a dyslexic woman who'd failed the New York state bar exam five times. Sotomayor agreed that Bartlett should get four days instead of the usual two to take the rigorous test.

Bartlett's experts "have convinced me that the extra time provided to learning-disabled applicants merely levels the playing field and allows these individuals to be tested on their knowledge; it does not provide them with an unfair advantage," Sotomayor reasoned.

Two years earlier, Sotomayor ruled in favor of a native of the Dominican Republic named Ysabel Rosa. Rosa had been injured when a refrigerator door fell against her while she working in a kitchen. Though skeptical Social Security officials denied her benefits, Sotomayor noted that there were "numerous gaps in the administrative record" concerning the "non-English speaking claimant."

Stevedore Victor Marinelli, likewise, won full disability compensation under a Sotomayor ruling in 2000. The next year, however, Sotomayor sided with other 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges in agreeing that the Franklin Covey Co. hadn't discriminated against a store manager named Rochelle Saks by denying her insurance coverage for infertility treatments.

If the Senate confirms Sotomayor, she won't be the only Supreme Court justice to cope with a significant health condition. Chief Justice John G. Roberts has suffered seizures. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has survived bouts of colon and pancreatic cancer. Justice John Paul Stevens, who's 89, underwent radiation therapy for prostate cancer in 1992.

Diabetes renders the 54-year-old Sotomayor more susceptible to heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and kidney damage. An estimated 23 million Americans — 8 percent of the population — have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

"The advancements in the management of . . . diabetes have been just amazing over the last two decades and the ability of people to manage their diabetes successfully has been proven," association President R. Paul Robertson said in a statement.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:23 PM   #43
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what's interesting is how Newt is so quickly and completely outsmarted whenever he's in the news. i remember Clinton doing the same thing to him circa 1995 -- it started with him being disgruntled about his seat in the back on Air Force One, maybe?

i think Gingrich is very bad for the GOP. he's way, way too easily self-impressed, and he lacks the self-awareness to realize that he's being played for a fool. shocking for someone with presidential ambitions, but yet, that's probably why he has presidential ambitions.

i don't know who the GOP turns to right now.

it certainly shouldn't be people who are suspicious of all the preferential treatment that's lavished on poor Puerto Rican girls from the Bronx, or the fact that Sotomayor seems to like Puerto Rican food, or that she insists on the Spanish-sounding pronunciation of her name. when some bring these up as "troubling" issues, which appear to be nothing more than generalized skepticism against Latinos in general (and that terrible TNR article from a few weeks back by Rosen who printed tales from anonymous sources that Sotomayor was, like, loud and combative and not as smart as her credentials would suggest). what else is the white house going to do but wait for the bombs to explode as the GOP declares war on a minority group that's going to be 30% of the population by 2050?
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:38 PM   #44
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only a closet racist would bring this up. and then agree with it.
By your logic, opposition to the nomination of Clarence Thomas was due to racism.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:41 PM   #45
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it certainly shouldn't be people who are suspicious of all the preferential treatment that's lavished on poor Puerto Rican girls from the Bronx, or the fact that Sotomayor seems to like Puerto Rican food, or that she insists on the Spanish-sounding pronunciation of her name. when some bring these up as "troubling" issues, which appear to be nothing more than generalized skepticism against Latinos in general (by 2050?
She's seeking a very high office in an English speaking country. If she really does insist on the Spanish-sounding pronunciation of her name, that is an entirely valid issue for opponents of her nomination to raise. Certainly, a presidential candidate who insisted on something similar would be held up for scrutiny.
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