Citing her ‘radical views,’ Cornyn says h e will vote against Sotomayor
Citing her ‘radical views,’ Cornyn says he will vote against Sotomayor
McALLEN, July 24 - U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced on the Senate floor Friday that he intends to vote against the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for U.S. Supreme Court.
The news will likely anger the Hispanic civil rights groups that have come out for Sotomayor and argued that she add a diverse viewpoint to the highest court in the land. If she wins support in the Senate, Sotomayor will become the first Latina ever elected to the Supreme Court.
“I will vote against confirmation of Judge Sotomayor to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee that recently quizzed Sotomayor on her views.
“I will vote with the certain knowledge that she will be confirmed despite my vote. I wish her well. I congratulate her on her historic achievement. I know she will be an inspiration to young people – within the Hispanic community and beyond.”
In his floor speech, Cornyn said he found much to admire about Sotomayor’s judicial record. “She is an experienced judge with an excellent academic background,” Cornyn said.
Cornyn said that while Sotomayor’s record was “generally in the mainstream” several of her decisions “demonstrated the kind of liberal judicial activism that has steered the court in the wrong direction over the last few years.”
Cornyn said many of Sotomayor’s public statements reflect a “surprisingly radical view” of the law.
“Now some have said that we can ignore her speeches – and just focus on her decisions as a judge. I disagree. Judges on our lower courts have less room to maneuver that those on the Supreme Court. Supreme Court Justices can more easily ignore precedents or reinterpret them. This is why Judge Sotomayor’s speeches on judicial philosophy matter to me,” Cornyn said.
“And those speeches contain very radical ideas on what the role of a judge is. In her speeches, she said: there is no objectivity in law; courts should change the law to make new policy; and ethnicity and gender can and even should impact a judge’s decision-making.”
Cornyn once served as a judge on the Texas Supreme Court. He said he strongly disagreed with Sotomayor’s “view of the law and what the role of a judge should be. I believe in the rule of law, impartial justice and equal justice under the law.”
Cornyn said the future decisions of the Supreme Court will have great impact on all Americans.
“The Court could weaken the Second Amendment right of Americans to keep and bear arms. The Court could fail to protect the Fifth Amendment private property rights of our people from cities and states that want to condemn their property for non-public uses. The Court could invent new rights that appear nowhere in the Constitution – based on foreign law, a liberal social agenda or the latest intellectual fad,” Cornyn said.
The stakes are simply too high for me to confirm someone who could address all these issues from a liberal, activist perspective.”
Cornyn concluded by saying he hopes Sotomayor proves that his doubts are unfounded.
In a recent guest column in the Guardian, James C. Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, poured scorn on Cornyn’s views about Sotomayor.
Harrington said Cornyn’s rhetorical “daily question” about Sotomayor on his Web site were “usually some self-serving and not always accurate interpretation of a Supreme Court decision.”
Harrington said Cornyn was basically saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.” He said that when Cornyn served on the Texas Supreme Court he was not the “for all of us” justice that the senator wants Sotomayor to be. “One smells the sweet scent of hypocrisy,” Harrington said. “When he was on the state Supreme Court, his ‘for all of us’ record was dismal.”