Accuracy in Media

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has flip-flopped, saying that he regrets calling Judge Sonia Sotomayor a racist. But documents submitted by Obama’s Supreme Court nominee indicate that she is not above throwing around the racist label when it suits her political purposes. Sotomayor is on record as making the inflammatory claim that capital punishment, which purges cop-killers and child-killers from society, is somehow racist.

Sotomayor lists among her policy statements a Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund letter to New York Governor Carey in 1981 “opposing the reinstatement of the death penalty.” 

A recent Associated Press story forced this disclosure. The AP had already uncovered the letter, noting that “As a director of a Puerto Rican advocacy group in the 1980s, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was part of a three-person committee that equated capital punishment with racism. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund argued in a 1981 letter to the governor of New York, Hugh Carey, that ‘capital punishment represents ongoing racism within our society.'”

So Obama’s pick has made her mind up on an issue that will come before the Court. This disclosure alone is enough to sink her nomination.   

The documents submitted by the judge confirm that she has been affiliated with two controversial organizations with racial if not racist agendas. She acknowledges that she has been a member or officer of the National Council of La Raza and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

She describes the Council simply as working to “improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans” when, in fact, if you go to the organization’s website you will currently find on the home page an attack on former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo for daring to challenge the organization’s agenda. “We can stop the nonsense,” the Council says about Tancredo’s comments.

Tancredo had called the Council a Latino KKK because the commonly accepted definition of the term “La Raza,” meaning “the race,” has clear connotations of a racial or racist agenda. The Council insists that “La Raza” has been “mistranslated” and only means “the people” or “community.” But whatever the definition or translation, the term still refers to putting group rights above individual rights. Membership in such a group helps explain why Sotomayor could vote to deny white firefighters their rights in the New Haven case now before the Supreme Court. Sotomayor seems to have not only a racist view that white people should be denied their equal rights but that America is itself a racist society and that judges have a duty to change it.

Sotomayor describes the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund as providing “legal resources for Latinos,” which indicates that it, too, is dedicated to advancing the rights of only one ethnic group. But involvement in an organization promoting “white rights” would automatically be considered as racist and disqualify any nominee associated with it.

That Obama nominated such a candidate demonstrates not only that a double-standard exists but that the President believes that with the media’s help he will get away with it. What’s more, he may also believe there’s a political benefit to nominating such an individual.

A visit to the website of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund discloses that it has filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights alleging that the United States is violating the human rights of Latinos living within the country’s borders. This seems to be a novel use of international or foreign law that Sotomayor could decide to apply on the Supreme Court.

Senate documents that she submitted describe a “Conference on International Law” sponsored by St. John’s Law School at which she “participated on a panel with foreign judges” and “spoke about the permissible use of international law by American courts.”

Only about a month before she was nominated by Obama to the Supreme Court, Sotomayor participated in a forum on the subject of “How Federal Judges Look to International and Foreign Law Under Art. VI of the U.S. Constitution.” This is how she described it in documents given to the Senate.

It is not clear from this brief description what role she sees for foreign law in deciding U.S. court cases. But Sotomayor wrote the foreword for a controversial book entitled The International Judge. According to an analyst on the Foreign Policy magazine website, “Sotomayor took what seems to be a positive view toward the construction of international courts and legal institutions.” And her rulings suggest that “Sotomayor sides with those who believe that foreign case law should at least be considered when applicable.”

Sotomayor acknowledges that she gave her talk on foreign and international law at an event sponsored by the far-left ACLU of Puerto Rico. In line with her stated opposition to the death penalty, the “Action Center” section of the ACLU of Puerto Rico site encourages people to act to save the life of convicted cop-killer Troy Davis. He is on death row in Georgia.

A supporter of independence for Puerto Rico since her college days, when she wrote a 1976 senior thesis on Puerto Rico, Sotomayor lists attendance at an event called the “Puerto Rico Dependence of State Fourth of July Celebration Award.” It is not precisely clear what this was all about, but it seems to suggest that the people of Puerto Rico are somehow oppressed by the U.S. This would fit in precisely with the view she seems to hold that the U.S. is a racist society.

It is also the Fidel Castro view. Castro sponsored a terrorist group called the Puerto Rican FALN as part of a communist campaign to bring about independence for the U.S. territory. 

In another controversy, Sotomayor lists an appearance before the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, a left-wing group funded by the Open Society Institute of George Soros, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, Ted Turner’s Better World Fund, and the Barbra Streisand Foundation. Sponsors of the American Constitution Society have included the ACLU Foundation, the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights, and the National Lesbian & Gay Law Association.  

If there were ever any doubt about Sotomayor’s left-wing credentials, her involvement with the American Constitution Society clears it all up.

Additional evidence of her political approach can be found in the title of one of her speeches-“Being the Change We Need For Our Communities.” She also presented a lecture at an event that was held under the title of “Lawyering for Social Justice.”

Can there be any serious doubt about her liberal political and judicial activist agenda?

If journalists take the time to examine the material submitted to the Senate and explain what is there to the American people, the public will understand that the evidence is in and the case is closed. This is a nominee that wants to use the law, even foreign law, to move America in a left-wing direction.

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