Video: Media loves Sotomayor’s passion

posted at 9:21 pm on April 23, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Antonin Scalia, strangely, is rarely recognized for his passion, though he certainly evinces it in dissents.

Eli Lake, of course, offered the definitive guide for wielding the catch-all term in online conversations. Lake’s usage more accurately reflects my feelings about Sotomayor’s dissent:

Retweet the hater’s tweet, appending the phrase “I love your passion,” or some variation. This may seem counterintuitive. After all, the hater has just insulted you and you respond with a compliment. But “I love your passion” is no compliment at all. It’s what you hear from someone who is about to disappoint you. It’s what you hear when you don’t get the job.

For example, if you have just proposed that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation fund your museum tour and folk concert to raise awareness about the negative portrayal of Eskimos in the Canadian media, you will likely find the phrase baked into a polite rejection. “It is so refreshing to hear someone talk with your energy about the plight of Greenland’s Yupik population. We all love your passion. But right now the foundation is focused on more tangible projects that are closer to home.”

The editors at National Review took the justice to task for her results-oriented decision. The whole thing is well worth reading:

In a perfectly Orwellian dissenting opinion, which she read dramatically from the bench, Justice Sotomayor argued that the decision of the people of Michigan to end racial discrimination is itself an instance of racial discrimination and that the only way to mitigate such racial discrimination is through the mandatory maintenance of racial discrimination. In this opinion she was joined by Justice Ginsburg, with Justice Kagan recusing herself from the case. Justice Sotomayor argued that Michigan’s Proposal 2, which mandates race-neutral state policies, is the sort of legislation used to “oppress minority groups.” By outlawing racial discrimination, she argued, “a majority of the Michigan electorate changed the basic rules of the political process in that State in a manner that uniquely disadvantaged racial minorities.”

Justice Sotomayor is here arguing in effect that if a constitutional referendum doesn’t go the NAACP’s way, then its effects are invalid. This is not an exaggeration: Justice Soyomayor argues explicitly that Michigan’s voters would have been within their rights to, for example, lobby university authorities to adopt race-neutral admissions standards but that by adopting a constitutional amendment insisting on race neutrality, thereby transferring the decision from the education bureaucrats to the people themselves and their constitution, they “changed the rules in the middle of the game.” Her opinion is legally illiterate and logically indefensible, and the still-young career of this self-described “wise Latina” on the Supreme Court already offers a case study in the moral and legal corrosion that inevitably results from elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law. Justice Sotomayor has revealed herself as a naked and bare-knuckled political activist with barely even a pretense of attending to the law, and the years she has left to subvert the law will be a generation-long reminder of the violence the Obama administration has done to our constitutional order.

This is hardly the first time the media has fawned over Sotomayor nor will it be the last. A flashback to her first, big NYT profile upon being named to the Court: “To Get to Sotomayor’s Core, Start in New York: Milestones in Work and Life, Set to a City’s Rhythms”

I wrote about it at the time, comparing it to the treatment other justices received in the same pages:

Such endeavors are naturally fluffy and positive, but you learn almost nothing about her judicial or political philosophies. By contrast, almost the entire first page of John Roberts’ NYT profile, while nominally positive, is devoted to ferreting out just how politically conservative he actually is. The writer does not offer lyrical illustrations of Roberts’ fair mind and goodness in action, but rather testimonies from friends that sound as if they came in response to the question, “So, all his friends are white Republicans, right?”

Samuel Alito’s profile is similarly devoted to assurances from liberal friends that he’s not insane (whew!), and discussion of whether he is now or ever has been a part of the Reagan Revolution. I guess Roberts and Alito can’t expect the same treatment as Sotomayor. Did they set their “milestones in work and life to the rhythms of the city?” I think not.

What’s most aggravating about the profile, however, is the implicit and common liberal conceit that compelling narratives, racial harmony, and helping others are solely the province of liberals, and particularly liberals in the Age of Obama.

If one has the patience to dig through 40 pages of NYT search results about Justice Clarence Thomas’ “anger” and Anita Hill’s accusations against him, one can find two or three sentences about a man who had no indoor plumbing for much of his childhood, lived in a neighborhood called “Blood Bucket” in the Jim Crow South, and was raised by an illiterate grandfather to work hard and overcome segregation to attend Yale Law and become a Supreme Court justice. Not bad, as narratives go. “Only in America” stories of overcoming obstacles to reach improbable heights did not begin with Barack Obama.

The custom of judges advising and mentoring clerks did not begin with Sonia Sotomayor. Christmas parties featuring both lawyers and janitors do not only happen in the nation’s enlightened urban centers.


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That much passion should have been in a 2800+ document so…..

No one would have to read it…

Electrongod on April 23, 2014 at 9:26 PM

They’re made for each other
Bishop!

LeftCoastRight on April 23, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Judges aren’t supposed to have passion. They’re supposed to have a brain.

Mark1971 on April 23, 2014 at 9:26 PM

By contrast, almost the entire first page of John Roberts’ NYT profile, while nominally positive, is devoted to ferreting out just how politically conservative he actually is.

We sure found that one out.

nobar on April 23, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Sotomayor like the Kenyan is a evil racist pig.

Texyank on April 23, 2014 at 9:31 PM

…piss on her passion!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 9:33 PM

I was disappointed when I went to Disneyland and the Great Moments with President Lincoln, and at the end they have photos of great Americans, and they had Sotomaryor’s photo soon after she joined the Supreme Court. They did not recognize other justices in this way. It was almost like giving someone who never accomplished anything a Nobel Peace Prize. It was the last time I went to Disneyland.

redeye on April 23, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Her opinion is legally illiterate and logically indefensible, and the still-young career of this self-described “wise Latina” on the Supreme Court already offers a case study in the moral and legal corrosion that inevitably results from elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law.

It’s “logically indefensible,” but I don’t know if it’s legally illiterate. Haven’t they already decided that “disparate impact” is proof of racism? That if blacks do more poorly on standardized tests than whites, the tests themselves are by definition racist? Her thinking seems to be making for that mire.

Not that I disagree with the rest of it:

Her opinion is legally illiterate and logically indefensible, and the still-young career of this self-described “wise Latina” on the Supreme Court already offers a case study in the moral and legal corrosion that inevitably results from elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law. Justice Sotomayor has revealed herself as a naked and bare-knuckled political activist with barely even a pretense of attending to the law, and the years she has left to subvert the law will be a generation-long reminder of the violence the Obama administration has done to our constitutional order.

. . . and not that she’s not broadly illiterate.

Axe on April 23, 2014 at 9:34 PM

The dominant culture of American journalists love Sotomayor’s POLITICAL IDEOLOGY . . . . . period.

listens2glenn on April 23, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Axe on April 23, 2014 at 9:34 PM

…good point!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 9:37 PM

…good point!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 9:37 PM

I don’t know if it is or not. :) I need my lawyer.

Axe on April 23, 2014 at 9:40 PM

…piss on her passion!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 9:33 PM

.
If she were a conservative ideologue, all of these stupid journalists, and liberal bloggers would “piss on her passion.”
.
They don’t give a rat’s rear-end about her “passion.”

listens2glenn on April 23, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Sotomayor does not belong on the Supreme Court. She does not belong on any court. She wrote a 58 page hate fill screed denouncing the people of Michigan as hideous racists. And why? Because they aren’t in favor of racism. To her being against racism is racist. The woman is not a “wise latina”, she is a moronic loon.

VorDaj on April 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM

It’s “logically indefensible,” but I don’t know if it’s legally illiterate. Haven’t they already decided that “disparate impact” is proof of racism?
Axe on April 23, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Racism or no racism had little to do with the courts decision. This was about whether the voters could decide such an issue. So yes she is way off target and legally illiterate.

CW on April 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Two pee’s in a pot.

Mimzey on April 23, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Racism or no racism had little to do with the courts decision. This was about whether the voters could decide such an issue. So yes she is way off target and legally illiterate.

CW on April 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM

To them, it does. She was joined by Ginsburg.

Axe on April 23, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Hillary/Sotomayor 2016

kcewa on April 23, 2014 at 9:47 PM

listens2glenn on April 23, 2014 at 9:41 PM

…she is supposed to be there to interpret the law…I don’t give a shit about her passions!…so, just put Barbara Streisand on the Supreme Court for gawds sake!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 9:49 PM

just put Barbara Streisand on the Supreme Court for gawds sake!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 9:49 PM

lol — like buttuh

Axe on April 23, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Adolf was passionate….

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Contrary to all other appearances, Justice Sotomayor is obviously a lightweight on the bench and, if not long before, her “wise Latina” remark certainly reached it’s use by expiration date sometime before she composed this dissent.

Dusty on April 23, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Betcha she was passion gas when she wrote that dissent….

loubkk on April 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

“The law is reason, free from passion.”

- Aristotle

faraway on April 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

“The law is reason, free from passion.”

- Aristotle

faraway on April 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

I am impressed.

kcewa on April 23, 2014 at 9:57 PM

Lady Justice may wear a blindfold but “wise latinas” don’t.

In the Service we dealt with this as well.

Say I needed a hammer. Procurment. I had a list of vendors.

1) white dude-$20.
2) black dude-$30.
3) white woman- $50
4) black woman- $100.

Guess which hammer I had to buy?

wolly4321 on April 23, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Stooges Sotomayor, Kagan and Barky are three more reasons to keep Harvard away from government.

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Lindsey Graham voted for Sotomayor.

I keep repeating this because his radio ads breathlessly tell us here in South Carolina how hard Lindsey Graham is fighting to stop Barack’s agenda. No, really.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

That racist heifer needs to go before she does any more damage.

Murphy9 on April 23, 2014 at 10:01 PM

his radio ads breathlessly tell us here in South Carolina how hard Lindsey Graham is fighting to stop Barack’s agenda. No, really.

SouthernGent on April 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

He’s a comedian as well as a Senator? Wow…you guys are sooo lucky.

kcewa on April 23, 2014 at 10:02 PM

To them, it does. She was joined by Ginsburg.

Axe on April 23, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Well if that was his reasoning…he’s an illiterate too.

CW on April 23, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Sotomayor is a flaming ideologue.

RI_Red on April 23, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Miss Lindsey is more joke than comedian….

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 10:05 PM

She is a racist.

CW on April 23, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Miss Lindsey is more joke than comedian….

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 10:05 PM

…I’m looking for a miracle in Carolina!…they have crowned him the Joker already!

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 10:08 PM

Stooges Sotomayor, Kagan and Barky are three more reasons to keep Harvard away from government.

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

I’m sure you will find other Harvard Law School Alumni among those you would want to keep on the Court.

lexhamfox on April 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM

OT/Anyone seen Mary Landrieu’s “Actress Mary” commercials? They’re really good. :)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/17/louisiana-group-hits-back-sen-mary-landrieu-campai/

^ Must see TV

Axe on April 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM

She gives a personal face to the saying “If that’s the law then the law is an a**”

bluesdoc70 on April 23, 2014 at 10:15 PM

I work with pretty much all hispanics, and can declare with authority they aren’t in to the melting pot idea at all.

They might fiegn it.

Assimilation to them is an insult.

And they do feel owed by the gubmint.

wolly4321 on April 23, 2014 at 10:21 PM

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 9:59 PM

I’m sure you will find other Harvard Law School Alumni among those you would want to keep on the Court.

lexhamfox on April 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Maybe… but I’d trust humility from flyover country over elitism from Harvard.

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 10:25 PM

American Idol wanna-be’s for SCOTUS!

Yeah your voice sucks but you show so much passion, sorry you can’t move on.

Bishop on April 23, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Committed racists rarely lack for passion.

forest on April 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Orwellian–absolutely brilliant way to describe the ‘Latina.’

Dear God,

Please, oh please shed your light and knowledge, once again, on our country’s children, for they are being indoctrinated to abuse and misuse of You. Please help us help them. In Christ I pray.

Dear American Children,

Please know, not every person in power (or not) seeks to minimalize your individual freedom (liberties) or even to strip then entirely. But, as is evident by this video, some powerful people strive to do just that.

Do NOT allow it. You were born, reside and are a citizen of the MOST FREE Nation on Planet Earth. Never forget that, or let that slip away from you in the guise of “UN” Powers. The United Nations is NOT your friend. Look up the history of it and decide for yourselves.

I pray you make the right observations about this Nation of ours. I won’t be long here, myself; but I have a son who may; I wish the same for him.

In order to ‘live free’ and ‘prosper’ in this society you need to elect the types of people who will allow you to do so. In order to do that, look beyond a “d” or “r” or “i” after any candidate for office. Find out what they’re for — and if you’re not clear, go to them and demand they answer to you. THAT is the beginning of the ‘American Dream.’

As I’ve said, I haven’t long in this world, I’m good with that. My hope is that you, YOU will make this country, once again, the ‘Shining Beacon’ it once was, to miilions who arrived on our shores legally, who assimilated to our culture, and were glad to do so. Those folks are your great-great-grand parents, your great-grand parents or grand-parents in many cases.

I wiah you not to disappoint any of them. If you wish to live free, you will elect the politicians who allow you to do so. If you elect politicians who promise you “free” things, you will never live free–freedom is never free–the price of it comes due some day. That day, your children will need to pay–for all that the one party promised to you on your children and grand-childrens’ future earnings. Decide wisely.

jersey taxpayer on April 23, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Obama to Sotomayor “I will set you high in my councils ‘Trashcan Woman’ (mujer de bote de basura). I will set you to burning (the Constitution)”.

Sotoomayor. “Que yo obedecere. Mi vida por ti! Mi vida por ti!” (I will obey. My life for you. My life for you.)

MaiDee on April 23, 2014 at 10:39 PM

I can understand being in a position that is way over your head……geez I have been there. What is a fatal flaw is not recognizing that you are in over your head. I read all 58 pages and I don’t know how to say it nice, so I will refrain. I will ask though, did she write it by herself and did she use crayons?

HonestLib on April 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Would be nice if there was some diversity of opinion in the major media ….

Time for some wealthy conservatives to get into the news business.

BD57 on April 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

She’s a disgrace.

jawkneemusic on April 23, 2014 at 10:41 PM

I can understand being in a position that is way over your head……geez I have been there. What is a fatal flaw is not recognizing that you are in over your head. I read all 58 pages and I don’t know how to say it nice, so I will refrain. I will ask though, did she write it by herself and did she use crayons?

HonestLib on April 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

…lol!…and you wonder why we like you!
.
.
.
…the cats must be getting fed late tonight…what do you think the QOTD will be?

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2014 at 10:43 PM

VorDaj on April 23, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Clear, terse and concise.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Newtie and the Beauty on April 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Yep! Here we are stuck with her passion forever. This gal will be a reminder for many years of the destruction that Barack Obama has wrought upon America.

mobydutch on April 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM

I work with pretty much all hispanics, and can declare with authority they aren’t in to the melting pot idea at all.

They might fiegn it.

Assimilation to them is an insult.

And they do feel owed by the gubmint.

wolly4321 on April 23, 2014 at 10:21 PM

I’m old and can tell you the melting pot has been a myth since 1950. Maybe earlier, but I ain’t that old. Chuckle.

HonestLib on April 23, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Benjamin N. Cardozo : First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice ( Iberian decent, Portuguese grandparents).

Sotomayer is called the “First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice”. Justice Cordozo was of Iberian decent, making him ‘Hispanic’ in every definition of the word. Portugal sits on the Iberian Peninsula right next to Spain.

thatsafactjack on April 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM

Sotomayor must live in constant fear of being out-shilled by freak Kagan.

viking01 on April 23, 2014 at 11:25 PM

Media loves Sotomayor’s passion stupidity and blind racism.

Jaibones on April 23, 2014 at 11:47 PM

I will ask though, did she write it by herself and did she use crayons?

HonestLib on April 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Ouch.

Jaibones on April 23, 2014 at 11:48 PM

She could have read from “Green Eggs and Ham” and as long as it began and ended with an accusation of racism you know the main stream talking heads were gonna love it.

MostlySouthern on April 24, 2014 at 12:25 AM

I will ask though, did she write it by herself and did she use crayons?

HonestLib on April 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Sheila Jackson Lee wrote it for her.

slickwillie2001 on April 24, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Well here goes.
In the ‘military business’ there is a saying that if you cannot explain your plans (or needs) simply and CLEARLY in a few pages then you don’t understand your problem and certainly have no clue how to solve it.
For the ‘Wise Latina’ to take nearly 60 pages to put forth her dissention in the Michigan Affirmative Action case then she is just grandstanding. And again she obviously doesn’t understand the issue … at all. Nor how the CONSTITUTION ignores Affirmative Action and thereby may not be used as a TOOL to fabricate Affirmative Action actions on behalf of selected members of society. E Plurbis Unum my azz.

Missilengr on April 24, 2014 at 2:31 AM

The Wise Latina’s tantrum is proof that affirmative action produces inferior results. She is so out of her depth even among the other liberal judges that even they were embarrassed and distanced themselves from her ignorant screed. I like the direction MI has taken with this R governor. Maybe with the downfall of Detroit, we finally have a chance of being heard out here in the provinces.

Boudica on April 24, 2014 at 3:38 AM

“The law is reason, free from passion.”

- Aristotle

faraway on April 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

This was the first thing I thought of when I read this post’s headline. Passion from the bench is not something we want to encourage.

NavyMustang on April 24, 2014 at 6:50 AM

Judges are supposed to be dispassionate.

zoyclem on April 24, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Does this guy with Sotomayor have a grin that he rents and pops on when needed?

avagreen on April 24, 2014 at 9:02 AM

“The law is reason, free from passion.”
- Aristotle
faraway on April 23, 2014 at 9:52 PM

The law is reason, free from passion except when it is used for social engineering. Fixed it for Aristotle.

The Texican on April 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM

The media love her passion for tyranny. Her 58 page dissent is a manifesto for forced reverse discrimination. The Supreme Court got this one completely right. The will of the people expressed at the ballot box is the foundation of the democratic process.

HueMoss on April 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM

The dominant culture of American journalists love Sodomaizor’s POLITICAL IDIOCEOLOGY . . . . . period.

listens2glenn on April 23, 2014 at 9:37 PM
FIXED

cableguy615 on April 24, 2014 at 8:36 PM