Limbaugh: Obama’s judicial pick a ‘racist’

By Bob Unruh

Focus on the Family Action today expressed alarm that President Obama’s pick to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court disregards “judicial impartiality” and believes her experience as a Latina enables her to reach a better conclusion than a “white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh was a little more direct.

“So here you have a racist,” he said on today’s program about 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor, whose nomination was announced today.

“You might want to soften that and you might want to say a reverse racist,” Limbaugh said. “And the libs of course say that minorities cannot be racists because they don’t have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he’s appointed one. …”

While Obama lauded Sotomayor for her constitutional opinions, Limbaugh noted that she repeatedly has been overturned by the Supreme Court for misinterpreting the law, and then he cited the judge’s statement during a speech at the University of California at Berkeley.

Sotomayor said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Focus on the Family Action had the same concerns.

“She disregards the notion of judicial impartiality,” said
judicial analyst Bruce Hausknecht.

“The president’s professed desire for judges with ’empathy’ rather than impartiality might deny the country what the Founding Fathers intended and wrote into the Constitution – judges who dispense justice without regard for the status of any party that comes before them,” he said.

He cited another controversial statement made by Sotomayor.

In a forum at the Duke University School of Law in 2005, she said, “Court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know – and I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law, I know. OK, I know. I’m not promoting it, and I’m not advocating it, I’m – you know. OK. Having said that, the court of appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating – its interpretation, its application.”

The video of her statement is linked here and is embedded below:

“From what we know about her, though, Judge Sotomayor considers policy-making to be among a judge’s roles, no matter what the law says,” continued Hausknecht.

“With President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the country is again confronted with the question: What type of justices should sit on the court? Americans overwhelmingly support justices who base decisions on the law and the Constitution, practice judicial restraint, and believe judges should never make policy.”

Sotomayor would replace the left-leaning Souter. In his announcement Obama praised her as “the kind of justice we need” on the Supreme Court.

He called her “an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice.”

She is the first candidate of Puerto Rican heritage named to the nation’s highest court. Born in the Bronx, the 54-year-old’s father was a tool-and-die worker who died when she was a child. Her mother, a nurse, raised Sotomayor and her brother.

Sotomayor was married in 1976 but was divorced after seven years.

“Despite 17 years on the bench, Sotomayor has never directly decided whether a law regulating abortion is constitutional,” noted the public-interest legal group Liberty Counsel. “In Center for Reproductive Law & Policy v. Bush, she wrote an opinion that upheld the Mexico City Policy prohibiting federal funding of overseas abortions.”

Liberty Counsel also noted, “Sotomayor does not believe that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applies to individuals.”

“The ghost of George H. W. Bush still continues in the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. He gave us Justice David Souter and he may have given us Sotomayor. No one ever expected President Barack Obama to nominate someone who respects the original intent of the Constitution,” said Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel. “While Sotomayor is not the easiest nomination the president was considering in his short list, she is by far not the most risky either. She has had a mixed history on cases. Her personality is not likely one that will persuade other justices to her point of view. Her nomination does not change the makeup of the United States Supreme Court.”

“This is a very aggressive decision that will trigger a national debate on the issue of judicial activism,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice. “The background and philosophy of Judge Sotomayor clearly puts the Constitution front and center. How will this nominee view the Constitution and the rule of law? Will she embrace past comments when she stated that the ‘court of appeals is where policy is made?’ This nomination raises serious questions about the issue of legislating from the bench.

“We’re hopeful that the members of the Senate will ask the tough questions about her judicial philosophy and temperament when the confirmation hearings get under way this summer,” he said.

But Limbaugh tore her apart, citing New Republic magazine Legal Affairs Editor Jeffrey Rosen, who said her opinions “sometimes miss the forest for the trees.”

“So she’s not the brain that they’re portraying her to be. She’s not a constitutional jurist. She is an affirmative action case extraordinaire, and she has put down white men in favor of Latina women,” the commentary said.

“I doubt that Sotomayor can be stopped,” Limbaugh said. “She should be. She is a horrible pick. She is the antithesis of a judge, by her own admission and in her own words.”

He said when she claims to be making “policy” in the courts, she falls flat.

“She makes light of it and makes jokes about what she determines her purpose to be,” he said. “She is the embodiment of the criticism of a judge or a justice who is all wrong for the highest court in the land.”

“I mean, do I want her to fail? Yeah. Do I want her to fail to get on the court? Yes. She’d be a disaster on the court,” Limbaugh said.

“Do I still want Obama to fail as president? …  He’s gonna fail anyway, but the sooner the better here so that as little damage can be done to the country,” he said.

Limbaugh also cited Sotomayor’s decision to throw out a reverse discrimination complaint by New Haven, Conn., firefighters who scored high on their promotion exams. The results, however, were tossed out because the top performers were Caucasian.

“Sotomayor joined a per curiam opinion that went so far as to bury the white firefighters’ crucial claims of unfair treatment. Judge Jose Cabranes, a Clinton appointee, chastised her in writing for apparently missing the entire host of constitutional issues that were before the court,” he said.

Charmaine Yoest, chief of Americans United for Life, said the nomination torches any statements by Obama he wants “common ground” over the abortion war.

“A vote to confirm Judge Sotomayor as the next Supreme Court Justice is a vote to strip Americans of the ability to choose for themselves how to regulate abortion. Our recent polling data speaks to this point of judicial activism and as a woman, I don’t believe she ‘represents’ American women,” she said.

“The Supreme Court took on the role of the ‘National Abortion Control Board’ in 1973 with Roe vs. Wade, and Judge Sotomayor will further entrench the court’s self-appointed role as the sole arbiter of abortion policy. Based on her judicial philosophy, she will work to elevate unrestricted, unregulated, and taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand to a fundamental constitutional right by reading the sweeping Freedom of Choice Act – also known as FOCA – into the Constitution,” she continued.

According Wendy E. Long, counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network, Sotomayor is “a liberal judicial activist of the first order.”

Long described Sotomayor as thinking “her own personal political agenda is more important tha[n] the law as written,” and a Fox News commentator said she is neither a consensus-builder nor well-liked by her appellate panel co-workers now.

Christian Broadcasting Network commentator David Brody warned that the nomination could rebound on Obama himself.

“He may get her through because he has the numbers in the Senate but his poll numbers showing him as a centrist may take a hit. Keep an eye on Gallup,” he said.

However, because of Souter’s similar leanings, the nomination is unlikely to change the ideological bent of the court immediately.

Democrats have 59 votes in the Senate and would need 60 to clear a Republican filibuster. Also, according to Senate rules, at least one Republican would need to vote for her at the committee level.

Long earlier talked with Greg Corombos of Radio America/WND about why she believes the three women once considered the top of Obama’s list for the court should be scrutinized carefully. The audio of the exchange is embedded here:

Long said Sotomayor’s activism is “exactly what the president has talked about. He likes that. He thinks that liberal judges are so smart and so enlightened and have such great instincts about what policy should be that they should be making the decisions about policy for the rest of us.”

Sotomayor has been on the 2nd Circuit since 1998. She began her legal career as an assistant district attorney in New York County and after graduating from Princeton in 1976 she attended Yale. She’s been active in the special interest New York City Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage and the National Association of Women Judges.


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