Sonia Sotomayor Overruled (again) by SCOTUS

by Sal on June 29, 2009

in Judicial Watch,Law,Politics

Sonia Sotomayor was overruled today by the Supreme Court, yet again.  In a 5-4 decision, the court held that the City of New Haven was not allowed to throw out the results of a test that was used to qualify firefighters for promotion.  The city threw out the test results because they felt that they did not get enough Hispanics to pass the test.  Sotomayor had upheld a lower court’s summary judgment to dismiss the case without trial, thus not giving the New Haven firefighters a day in court.  The Supreme Court has now ruled that it is a violation of the Civil Rights Act, and found in favor of the firefighters. Even more telling, although the decision was 5-4, it is worth noting that not a single member of the court agreed with Sotomayor’s decision; in fact, the four liberal justices who dissented felt that the case should be remanded to lower court for trial, thus invalidating Sotomayor’s decision.

This is both a victory for the rule of law and a stinging defeat for Obama’s nominee.  It is a case that is bound to become fodder for the confirmation hearings.  At issue is whether or not Sotomayor’s race and her views as a “wise Latina” colored her decision to ignore the rule of law.  In reading this case, it is fairly obvious that it did.  At the same time, the fact that all nine justices believed her summary judgement to be inappropriate exhibits just how far outside the mainstream Sotomayor is.  This decision could end up being a public realations problem for Sotomayor.  I still believe that she will be confirmed, but this has about as much potential of derailing her nomination as anything else.

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