Speaking of Justice(s)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer for the New Yorker and legal analyst for CNN, talks about the current--and future--composition of the Supreme Court.


Jeffrey Toobin

Comments [5]


People who enjoy lapping up and regurgitating the effluences of the Right's propaganda machine should know of Alito's testimony during his confirmation hearings, when he said virtually the same thing as Sotomayor:

"ALITO: Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point. … And that’s why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position. . . .

"When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account."

And that wasn't some off-the-cuff panel discussion, but the actual confirmation hearings. And no one had a problem with it then.

You can see the video, and even more of Alito's self-described influences here:

May. 29 2009 12:19 PM
Tony from Brooklyn

If Toobin really believes that elections have consequnces and Presidents get to choose the judges they want then would he agree that if Sotomayor is confirmed along party lines then so what? The same thing happened to Alito he was confirmed on an almost straight party line vote. The nays were unable to challenge his qualifications any more thasn the nays will be able to challenge Sotomayor's quaklifications. The opposition, after clearing away all the droppings to find the pony, will boil down to "Yes you are qualified but I don't like the thinking/philosophy/mindset that informs your decisions". In that at case a yes vote isn't on qualifications but agrrement with outlook and a nay is just disagreement with outlook. If that happens a lot of Republican nays shouldn't be regarded as insults to Hispanic Americans anymore than Democratic nays on Alito were insulting to Italian-Americans. I would hope that at least one Republican would be as insulting and patronizing to Sotomayor as Schumer was to Alito.

By the way if this is really how Justices are selected then in a few more years respect for the Supreme Court will fall to levels normally reserved for Coingress.

May. 29 2009 11:36 AM
Phil from Queens

I have practiced before the US Supreme Court and I have to tell you, you guys have to be kidding. While as a native New Yorker from hard working immigrant stock I love diversity and I appreciate her wonderful story, Judge Sotomayor's comment that, “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,” is racist and sexist! Newt Gingrich correctly points out that if a white male had said, “my experience as a white man makes me better than a Latina woman,” that nominee would have had to resign not only from contention but from the bench. If I had a case before her and it involved a white person or male client, I could get the judge changed in about 10 seconds. She needs to proffer a detailed public apology or withdraw her nomination and consider resigning from the bench. Her comments violate our ideals and her sworn oath as a judge. PS - she does have other problems including being a judicial activist, a supporter of using foreign law to decide US cases and other issues. You guys need to start providing the full “news with context” that you so falsely advertise during your self-congratulatory fund drives instead of the coverage that you have provided for the past few years which has been mostly knee-jerk liberal biased and slobbering. If WNYC walked the walk instead of talking the talk there would be prime time minorities on air on a regular basis instead of just two middle aged White Jewish males. See what a slippery slop looks like? You’ll see it even more when the Fair Comment rules are restored. Maybe someone from ACORN will be taking over your shows.

May. 29 2009 11:26 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Jeffery Toobin says that John Roberts misled the American people at his confirmation hearing. Thank you, Mr Toobin, for speaking the truth.

May. 29 2009 11:20 AM

Toobin's great!

I well remember seeing Justice Thomas on TV, at a High School, and a student asked if some decisions are politically motivated (roughly), and Thomas was _furious_. Not loudly, but you could tell.

He said, "You must _never_ think that."

May. 29 2009 11:19 AM

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