Friday, May 24, 2024

White House Defends Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

Since the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the White House has been working overtime to retell the 54-year old’s personal story as well as her legal and academic accomplishments.

In the wake of conservative pushback, administration officials acknowledge the need to control the Sotomayor narrative.  Rush Limbaugh and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have attempted to portray the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals judge as a “reverse racist” and “judicial activist” whose goal is to make policy on the bench. Gingrich twittered a reference to Sotomayor’s 2001 statement that a judge’s sex and ethnicity “may and will make a difference in our judging.”

Gingrich wrote, “Imagine a judicial nominee said ‘My experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman.’ New racism is no better than old racism.”

Some Republicans appear ready to wage a fight over the Sotomayor nomination, yet Democrats hold a majority in the Senate making it is unlikely her confirmation will be blocked.

According to Spokesman Robert Gibbs, Sotomayor has made courtesy phone calls to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), and Ranking Member, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Judge Sotomayor will sit down in face to face meetings as soon as the Senate returns to work on June 1st.

Sotomayor’s past Senate confirmation bids also help bolster her credibility which shows bipartisanship support  She was appointed by the first President Bush to the U.S. district court in 1991with the support of former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-NY.

On Wednesday, the White House released 18 quotes from academics, politicians and commentators that included a spectrum of praise for Sotomayor for everything from her qualifications to her pragmatism and non-Ideological approach to the law.

Meanwhile, during his daily news briefing, White House Spokesperson, Robert Gibbs, pointed to Sotomayor’s “richness of experience” during 17 years on federal district and appellate courts and said any reasoned person who examines the opinions she authored will conclude she’s qualified.

Expressing her feelings about the historic nature of the day,  Sotomayor said during her nomination speech, ‘”I hope that as the Senate and American people learn more about me, they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences.”

Congressional Quarterly

Miami Herald