Look! Up in the Sky! It's Sotomayor!
By J.J. Jackson
June 8, 2009
Liberals are gushing over, and President Obama is praising endlessly, Sonia Sotomayor. Repeatedly we are being barraged by the Left with the personal story of one who could possibly be the first Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court. While such tales are always compelling, what is rather annoying is how any time you want to move beyond that superficial and sugary coating to examine her record the left quickly jumps right back to it. In an attempt to keep your attention away from a debate about who should be sitting on the highest court in the nation, people who do not want to examine anything of substance shout, "Look! Up In the sky!" Then they regale you with tales about how Sotomayor can stop a speeding bullet and leap tall buildings in a single bound.
President Obama claims that Sotomayor is smart. He even claims that she believes in the Constitution. But when one stops following his pointed finger into the sky where his nominee supposedly soars, we see that there is a plethora of evidence on the ground that contradicts the rhetoric. And for Sotomayor, that evidence littering the ground is damning and destroys any credibility those that call her smart and a defender of the Constitution may have.
There is one case in particular that sums this point up so succinctly and makes it impossible to ignore that Sonia Sotomayor is neither smart nor a believer in our Constitution. That case is Maloney vs. Cuomo in which Sotomayor signed onto an opinion that flies so far in the face of the facts that she should not be elected bubblegum sidewalk scraper much less nominated to the Supreme Court.
The case involved one James Maloney who was trying to assert his second amendment right to keep and bear arms but had been arrested for carrying a pair of nun chucks. The opinion with which Sotomayor agreed stated that the arrest was warranted because, now get this, the second amendment, "is a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the national government and not upon that of the state."
Sotomayor did in this decision what liberals always do. She looked for something that she might be able to use to support her opinion and disregarded anything that actually contradicted it. Things like, oh I don't know, say the 14th Amendment? You know that one don't you? It says that, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," which makes it clear that the states must, absolutely must, protect the same rights as the Constitution itself protects.
Sotomayor's opinion does lead to some interesting potential conundrums however. If the second amendment only applies to the federal government as she suggests then what about other rights retained by the people and specifically called out in our Constitution?
Can the states now infringe upon my freedom of religion? How about my freedom of speech? What about my right to petition from redress? After all, unlike the second amendment, the first amendment specifically states that it is Congress that shall make no law regarding such.
Can the states now decide that they do not need a warrant to search my home even though the Constitution forbids such actions? Or can the states now decide to deprive me of a right to due process and a right to jury trial? What about these Constitutional protections written in a similar manner to the second amendment that Sonia Sotomayor believes stops at federal authority only?
Can I now be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment at the whim of the state? Can blacks now be placed back in shackles and shipped off to the plantations again simply for being black? After all, if what is written in the federal constitution only applies to the federal government what is to stop the states from doing any of these things?
Is my right to assemble in jeopardy now because my state legislature might decide that such is not a good idea? Can the state now quarter soldiers in my home without my permission? Can my papers and effects now be seized on the whim of the state alone?
Where does the lunacy of this opinion which Sotomayor agreed with end?
Of course the 14th Amendment renders all of these questions of mine moot. But Sotomayor either never read far enough into the Constitution to find it or is so wedded to ideology that she chose to ignore it. Can we afford to place someone who is obviously a witty illiterate or dangerous ignoramus at best and a treacherous anti-American radical at worst to a court where such opinions of hers would become the norm and perhaps even the law? Will Americans stop looking to the sky for a super woman that does not exist long enough to ask serious questions and soundly reject her?
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at Liberty Reborn.