Jul 29 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, made the following statement on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve as Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.
“I watched Judge Sotomayor's hearings closely, and regrettably, I didn’t hear much to ease my serious concerns about her nomination.
"She still refuses to affirm the clear reading of the Second Amendment as a fundamental right that applies to all Americans. Yet, on the issue of abortion, she speaks of a woman's constitutional right to 'terminate' a child, which is not written in our Constitution and says not a word of legal protections for an innocent unborn child. In fact, when I met with her in June, she said she had never even thought about whether an unborn child has any rights at all.
“Judge Sotomayor continues to defend a court’s ability to cite foreign law in decisions concerning the U.S. Constitution and our domestic laws.
“And while I disagreed with her often-used 'wise Latina' comment and statements that judges cannot truly be impartial, her explanations during her hearings defy common sense. Her repeated statements over many years that her prejudices cannot be set aside and that they influence what she chooses to see in a case cannot be reconciled with her claims in the hearing that she will decide cases based on the law and not her personal views. But, instead of acknowledging the error of her previous statements, she insisted they were consistent with her current views, even though they are completely contradictory.
“I am furthermore concerned about Judge Sotomayor’s repeated claims of reliance on precedent. As a circuit court judge, she is of course bound by precedent, but her own decisions and her answers during the hearings suggest she does not feel similarly bound by the Constitution. Precedent is fine, but the danger of judicial activism is of precedent based on precedent based on precedent, until before long, constitutional law has no discernible relationship to the Constitution itself.
"The American people demand fair, common sense judges that deliver blind justice, not someone who relies on personal views and sympathies to guide their decisions. They expect members of the highest court in the land to have a firm and unwavering allegiance to the Constitution, and a clear understanding of it’s plain meaning and the original intent of our Founders. Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor has not inspired confidence that she will consistently base her decisions on our Constitution and laws. For these reasons, I plan to oppose Judge Sotomayor's nomination, because all Americans deserve fair and equal treatment based on the Constitution and laws as written."