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Sotomayor's record sets off few ideological alarm bells

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posted on May, 27 2009 @ 02:40 AM
Los Angeles Times

Obama's choice for the Supreme Court is like outgoing Justice Souter in many ways, experts say. She has made some controversial remarks, but observers say she's not particularly liberal.

Reporting from Washington -- In nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, President Obama tapped a veteran jurist whose humble upbringing and moderate-to-liberal record is unlikely to trigger an ideological battle in the Senate.

"She is a moderate liberal who often rules in favor of corporations and against civil rights plaintiffs," said Kevin Russell, a Washington lawyer who has studied her writings in recent weeks.

Though Sotomayor has avoided strong rhetoric in her rulings, she has made several controversial statements.

In 2001, she said her Puerto Rican heritage could cause her to see cases differently. "Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences . . . our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. . . .," she said. "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."

But she did not cite examples during the speech at UC Berkeley, and said at one point that she vigilantly checked her "assumptions, presumptions and perspectives" about other people.

Here is some history about Sotomayer.
Former Classmate Recalls Sotomayer

Sonia Sotomayor
Age: 54; Born June 25, 1954, in New York, N.Y.

Experience: Nominated by President Clinton in 1997 as U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the 2nd Circuit, 1998-present; U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of New York, 1992-98; private practice, New York City, 1984-92; assistant district attorney, Manhattan, 1979-84

Education: B.A., Princeton University, 1976; J.D., Yale Law School, 1979.

Quote (from 1997 nomination hearing): "I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it."

And here is some pictures. I just thought some would look..

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