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Sonia Sotomayor Hearings Day 2 (Hour 2)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The hearings continue, as does the analysis. Guests include: Jami Floyd, host of "Best Defense" on In Session and part of the Clinton White house; Burt Neuborne, legal director at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU; Erica Gonzalez, opinion page editor for El Diario-La Prensa, who is at the hearings; and Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent. What's your take on the hearings? Post your real-time reactions below!

Guests:

Jami Floyd, Erica Gonzalez, Burt Neuborne and Todd Zwillich

Comments [19]

Grad STudent at McGill from Montreal

When two sounds in a language are allowed to refer to the same phoneme, linguists call the two to be allophones in that phoneme

Jul. 14 2009 12:05 PM
hjs from 11211

Chicago
i think it's orrin hatch.
if he bores me to death he should be held accountable

Jul. 14 2009 11:58 AM
HMI from Brooklyn

Both pronunciations of "disparate" are acceptable.

Jul. 14 2009 11:57 AM
Chicago Listener

He's trying to smear her. I dislike his tactics. Stay strong, Judge.

Jul. 14 2009 11:55 AM
hjs from 11211

wake me when leonard comes on the air

Jul. 14 2009 11:55 AM
Chicago Listener

You know, the Senator talking at 11:49am sounds awfully dismissive and quite a bit condescending toward Judge Sotomayor.

It would be nice if he would let her finish a sentence.

She seems pretty level-headed to me.

Jul. 14 2009 11:52 AM
Sandra from Astoria, Queens

HA, I love how she just subtly corrected his pronunciation of "disparate." It was bothering me.

Jul. 14 2009 11:52 AM
Grad in McGill who is an admitted atty in NY from montreal

All positivism says [Austin] is that law is a "command" from a sovereign. the sovrgn cld be a kng or cld be the people.

HLA Hart expanded on it by requiring qu'il est necessaire pour il ya le pouvoir de punir

Jul. 14 2009 11:47 AM
Grad in McGill who is an admitted atty in NY from montreal

Wow, 14th Amendment incorporation doctrine.

Jul. 14 2009 11:39 AM
ceolaf from brooklyn

Sotomayor's position might be at odds with a basic assumption of our judicial system.

**Is there always/necessarily an objective reality and single true telling of events, and if so can we reliably/assuredly figure out what that is?**

(I point out that the second half of the question is really where the trouble comes in.)

Some believe that the answer to that question is an strong "Yes!" Others -- like Sotomayor -- cast quite a bit of doubt. Some take a positivist position on this, and other a more post-modern position. This is the issue in Rashomon.

Does our justice system assume that trial courts can reliably access what is true and objective reality? Does it assume that through trials and appeals and the rest that judges and justices may rest assured that they have The Truth in front of them?

I think that Sotomayor does not rest assured on this issue, and works hard to make her own thinking explicit in order to overcome her own the barriers to finding truth, and to help others to better ascertain whether she might have been successful.

Jul. 14 2009 11:37 AM
Grad STudent at McGill from Montreal

For the record, the Founders did not believe in a "natural" right to bear arms.

Jul. 14 2009 11:35 AM
hjs from 11211

Jennifer
that's what i don't get. it's like duh we are all shaped by experience, but i guess because she said it, on videotape...

Jul. 14 2009 11:32 AM
Grad STudent at McGill from Montreal

The text of the Constitution states:

Article III: The Judicial Branch

"The Judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish...."

Nothing on the number of Justices, the number of inferior courts. This is all the power of Congress to decide. This was what Roosevelt's court packing was about. If Congress had passed a bill to increase the number of Justices, ok. The size of the Court has in fact changed in the History of this nation.

Therefore the woman on the air was factually incorrect n saying that the "Founders" were wise to pick NINE Justices.

Jul. 14 2009 11:27 AM
Jennifer from Jersey City

This idea that experience doesn't or shouldn't enter into a judges thinking is ludicrous. ALL of us are shaped by our experiences, and it informs our thinking about everything, consciously or not.

I ask you, if this were not so, why have any discussion of diversity at all? Why would we need diversity if our different life experiences didn't shape our perspectives?

Can anyone really say that a court with an all white male perspective didn't have implications for other citizens of this country who don't fit that description? Their experiences as white males in this culture often truly rendered justice blind--in the worst possibly way.

Jul. 14 2009 11:25 AM
tom from nyc

re lindsey: A question from my wife from SC: Was LG's "meltdown" comment sexist? Would that term have been used with white male candidate?

Jul. 14 2009 11:24 AM
superf88@gmail.com

Glad you pulled that quote Brian -- I was awestruck when Sessions asserted that justice usually is doled out NOT by laws, which according to him rarely dole out "Justice," but by judges. I always assumed the opposite -- that written down laws absolutely create a climate of justice, with the supreme court calling the hardest shots. If many other Americans agree with Sessions' perspective (or for that matter any religion-run government I can think of) then it is quite illuminating, if chilling and underreported.

Jul. 14 2009 11:23 AM
HMI from Brooklyn

The discussion presumes that Sotomayor by virtue of her minority perspective(s) makes up for some defect of "privileged white males." Could someone please specify just what the others are missing that she can supply. And presumably the converse must be true: Sotomayor must be in need of supplementation by, say, Scalia. What exactly ought she to be learning from the perspective of privileged white males?

Jul. 14 2009 11:19 AM
JJ

I agree, its like the whole argument on whether a media outlet has a bias. The person making the charge is assuming that he/she is objective.

Does it occur to a white man who has had more advantages in this society than others, that he has benefited from an "objectivity" that has been defined by white men?

Jul. 14 2009 11:14 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

watching Jeff Sessions (the Alabama republican senator that once called a black federal attorney "boy") try to paint Sotomayor as a racist, is a classic case of projection. Sort of like those who criticized Clinton's infidelity. Amazing psychology at work.

Jul. 14 2009 11:01 AM

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