The testimony of witnesses told me more about Sonia Sotomayor and the effects upon our society of her behaviors than any word-cloud she spun in the three days of her rhetorical floundering: (and though floundered loquaciously), it was rhetorical cacophony like machine parts motoring on without pause and specificity as to what the parts were and how they functioned with anything else, it was rhetoric of words beating like spoons upon a table by disparate if not mysterious forces. Sotomayor continued on with seeming intent to not make any point other than to continue to speak while not making any point.
What the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee proved to me — and I watched the full televised “hearing” and listened intently — was that they will not explore a Supreme Court nominee when the nominee is from a Democratic Party President and is a Liberal him (or her) self. The only contributions to these hearings that the Democrats brought to bear were their steely refusal to illustrate recognition of anything anyone else had to say, including the nominee before them, Sonia Sotomayor, though the testimony of witnesses yesterday who brought critical stories to bear upon Sotomayor’s behaviors and intentions as they experience them were implausibly rewoven by the Democrats present into ‘word stuff’ that didn’t — within the twinkling of the Democrats’ eyes — resemble the points made by the witnesses themselves.
One example among many of these presentations before the Judiciary Committee was the appearance and testimony yesterday by Nick Rosenkranz, Georgetown University Law School Professor, who presented his concerns as to how it was, is and could reasonably be expected (based upon past behaviors) that Sotomayor would interpret the law, specifically as illustrated by a recent speech of Sotomayor’s in which she cited “foreign law” as being inspiring to her “juices flowing” as she worked toward decisions “in interpreting the meaning of the (U.S.) Constitution,” so Rosenkranz summarized.
Rosenkranz asked as to why anyone, in reference to the U.S. Constitution, “would need to even read/consider the laws of…other lands.”
He then gave as example the process in France by which laws are modified (“foreign law…which changes all the time…” contrary to the character of our U.S. Constitution).
His point there being that foreign law is not U.S. law as to process and content; and, therefore, what is the point of any judge referring to “foreign law/s” for purposes of approaching our U.S. Constitution for understanding of what the U.S. Constitution declares and formulates. That foreign law “changes all the time,” then, and that “this contemporary reliance on foreign law, which changes all the time…it follows that one can alter the meaning of the (U.S.) Constitution;” about that, then, Sotomayor’s recent speech about seeking out foreign law for purposes of study and inspiration suggest that she approaches our U.S. Constitution with similar flexibility and/or expectation of the U.S. Constitution being changeable.
All of which were very astute and succinct observations and exceptionally serious concerns as presented by Mr. Rosenkranz, very important to the hearing process by which Sotomayor was being considered for the Supreme Court, as she was just earlier asked a similar question about her understanding of the U.S. Constitution as either “a living, breathing document that can be changed” or whether or not it’s contents are to be respected and understood as inflexible (with the only opportunity to change the Constitution being “by the people” through Amendment to it).
This area of inquiry is key as to the judicial personality of Sotomayor as it is about all those on the Supreme Court because they are not “contained” or limited by legal precedent when on the Supreme Court as judges are in lower courts: the Supreme Court judiciary are required to understand, interpret and apply our Constitution to unresolved issues brought before them as impacted by legal precedent already. That means, the Supreme Court judiciary are there to apply the U.S. Constitution to questions that lower courts have already considered and there yet remains some unresolved legal context as to what the Constitution means when applied to that lower court decision. The Supreme Court judiciary is not “limited to” legal precedent but IS “limited to” what the Constitution has to say about that entire body of legal or lower court decision.
However, judicial activism, the popular practice by, mostly, the Left (certainly a philosophy maintained by Liberal, Leftwing socio-political desires), contends that the Constitution is “living” and can be and should be changed per desires, that issues be “activated by the bench” or that the judiciary — contrary to what the Constitution itself declares — that the judiciary “make law” in modifying the Constitution, that the Constitution, so judicial activism defines, be flexible to the whims of a seated and unelected few on the bench, that the Constitution, thereby, be “rewritten” and modified by the bench, not that the bench be restricted to applying the Constitution as it exists.
Our three branches of government are defined as the Executive Branch (Presidency and Administration), the Judiciary (judges including the Supreme Court) and the Legislative Branch (Congress, comprised of the House of Representatives and the Senate). It is the Legislative Branch and only that Branch that is Constitutionally capable of creating laws; the Constitution is only capable of being changed, modified or altered (“amended”) by process of Amendment and that’s the right and sole right “of the people” and NOT by any one nor all three Branches of the government, and that process is, also, defined by the Constitution, it’s what our nation’s government is as the Constitution defines the structure and function.
In other words, the Judiciary exists to apply the Constitution, not to recreate or rewrite it — any Judiciary presuming to recreate, amend or alter the existing Constitution is thereby engaged in NON Constitutional activity — they are acting in violation of the Constitution.
The job of the Judiciary Branch is to apply the “pre-existing” Constitution, to clarify it, but not to change or modify it.
Sotomayor has already defined herself by her speeches (“off the bench” statements, declarations) that she’s a judicial activist and several times let it slip in these recent hearings that she is, indeed, of the judicial activist mind if one paid close attention to how she did respond and what she refused a response for.
Although Sotomayor did specify, eventually, after a great deal of “rhetorical flourish” if not more floundering, that she recognizes that the Judiciary does not “make law,” and that the Legislative branch, instead, did, when asked by a Republican Senator if she thought the Constitution was “changeable or not,” she declared that it was not, she paused and blurted out, “but society does change.”
That’s a position right there of judicial activism, as also her positions, her state of mind, revealed in her off-the-bench declarations just as Mr. Rosenkranz pointed out and did so succinctly and efficiently, as he also declared it was the purpose of his testimony yesterday to make that concern known.
And what did the Democrat Senator from Minnesota — Amy Klobuchar — then say? She made an initial denial that Sotomayor had applied “the law of France” to legal decisions and even returned later and continued this serious drift of issue (rather, it was a distraction from the greater issue) by again asserting that Sotomayor had “never used” the laws of France in her decisions.
The Democrat Senator, Klobuchar, was obviously smarting. As she was also keenly political in her effort to deride the intelligent observation (and extremely important observation) by Mr. Rosenkranz as also obviously rather vengeful in her need to reassert some sort of reliance on the record by Sotomayor, the record alone, to attempt to erase from awareness the credible concerns as to Sotomayor’s “state of mind” as to the Constitution — which, if she’s confirmed to the Supreme Court, will be of utmost importance and which is far more clearly revealed in her speeches and “off the bench” declarations, not limited to her “record” of “rulings” alone.
It was an odd and oddly emotional retort by this Democrat Senator, as it was also a break from her up-to-that-point exceptionally squishy demeanor (suggesting untrustworthiness in this context).
Obviously, Klobuchar needed to redirect public attention away from the serious and well presented concerns identified by Rosenkranz and back-in a clouded confusion instead as to just what the concerns were as expressed by Rosenkranz and earlier by a few Republicans in their questioning of Sotomayor (which were never well responded to by Sotomayor, so the issue remains clouded as it appears that is what the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee desire).
Mr. Rosenkranz, of course, never suggested nor stated that Sotomayor had “used the laws of France” to arrive at any decision. Unfortunately, the Democrats utterly suppressed the far more significant points that Rosenkranz did make and that was as to Sotomayor’s already well-revealed perspective as a judicial activist: bringing to bear upon her judicial decisions her “culture” (and gender and ethnicity and otherwise, all those subjective personal aspects that are not in the Constitution, that “culture” and one’s definitions of “society” that can and does affect one’s perspectives and in reference to the Constitution, this is unsupportable from any in the Supreme Court, as also should be unsupportable among our society in general, but obviously, isn’t).
Sotomayor’s a judicial activist, the Democrats want a judicial activist and the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee in these hearings have quite clearly shown that they want a judicial activist and all questions about that be damned.
The Second Amendment, the issue of whether or not American citizens as individuals have rights under that Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, these particularly are today under assualt by a politic that seeks to eradicate those rights if not render them so keenly controlled as to be non-existent in any practical sense. They’ll exist but in “words only” — that rhetorical floundering of the Constitution reducing it to old fish on stained newspaper that no one really wants for supper but the Democrats can point at and say, “there, you have a fish for supper.” That it has been mishandled so to spoil it, that it’s spoiled state has become impalatable, is refused to be discussed.
We get a big plate of rhetorical flounder, just like we saw displayed by the Democrats in these hearings and by Sotomayor herself as among them, that can’t nourish, is in bad taste, is impalatable, but is presumed to be the right order so it’s said to be a big deal on the plate.