June 30th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

How will SCOTUS reversal on Sotomayor decision affect her confirmation?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Critics of Judge Sonia Sotomayor have some new ammunition... now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a group of white firefighters claiming reverse discrimination in New Haven, Connecticut.

The high court said New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no blacks and only two Hispanic firefighters would have been promoted. It's a case that could change employment practices around the country... and make it harder to prove discrimination.

And it's a bit of an embarrassment for the White House - since President Obama's Supreme Court nominee had earlier ruled against these firefighters.

All this comes just two weeks before Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings... Republicans say the Supreme Court's decision raises issues about her ability to serve on the high court... they say they'll use this ruling, along with her 2001 comment about a "wise Latina woman" to question her views on discrimination.

But supporters of Sotomayor say the ruling actually proves her restraint and unwillingness to go beyond established precedents... that's because the panel on which she sat upheld a district court judge in the case. The Supreme Court's five-to-four ruling also gives the justice cover.

The White House insists there's "little political significance" to the court's decision when it comes to Sotomayor. I guess we'll see in two weeks.

Here’s my question to you: How will the Supreme Court's reversal of a decision by Sonia Sotomayor affect her chances of confirmation?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David from Alexandria, Virginia writes:
I hope that this will provide some allowance for senators on both sides of the aisle to examine the basis for her decision, one which the SCOTUS seemed to feel gave an almost cursory glance on a critical and increasingly complex issue – an issue that will come up more frequently in the years ahead.

Ann from Sulphur, Louisiana writes:
Considering that four justices agreed with her decision, those who would use this to try to keep her off the court will have a hard time. She should still be confirmed.

Richard writes:
This will not affect her confirmation. Short of a major scandal involving a celebrity, the confirmation process will move forward with people aligned on the right or the left as always. Towing the party line is more important to Americans than independent thought and the analysis of a legal career.

Martin from Shoreline, Washington writes:
It will likely result in more intensive questioning about her racist and sexist views, but I doubt it will derail her nomination. Liberals think it is perfectly ok to discriminate against white males. I guess they view it as payback for the sins of history. Hence, they will confirm her.

David from Springfield, Missouri writes:
If she made this decision on something so clear-cut then I am no longer a fan of hers. It’s so obvious how these men were denied; they did absolutely nothing wrong. And if she couldn't see that, or didn't want to see that, it would be a big mistake to put her on the court.

Raoul from New Orleans writes:
"Republicans say the Supreme Court’s decision raises issues about her ability to serve on the high court." This from the gang who allowed Harriet Miers to even get nominated?

Filed under: Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    This was a 5-4 decision down the expected lines. It shows she is neither an activist judge nor out of the mainstream.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. Michael

    Only the GOP will take issue on her overruled decision, the Democrats will sail on with idea that she is the first Latino judge to be elected to the Supreme Court. That's wrong, the first Latino was Benjamin Nathan Carduzo Supreme Court 1932-1938.

    Will anyone overrule that !

    New Marlborough MA

    June 30, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  3. Jay in Texas

    I don't think it will have much effect on her eventual confirmation. It will just give loudmouths like Rush Limbaugh one more point to whine about.
    Brownwood, Texas

    June 30, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  4. Eileen Peabody MA

    I don't see why Jack. Isn't that the case in every situation brought to the Supreme Court? When a case gets to that level, hasn't it been through all the lower levels of the court system? When they overturn a decision, isn't it some lover level Judge who decided for/against it?

    COME ON....after all four of the fives judges currently on the bench agreed with her original findings.

    Isn't that why we have an odd number of Justices on the Supreme Court?????

    June 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Slowmotionwalter

    I'm sure the right will attempt to use it against her for all it's worth. Fortunately it's really not worth much, and they will only look more desperate and pathetic than they already do.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  6. Ralph Nelson

    I don't think it well. It really does not matter who Obama picked the Republicans would raise a stink. That's what stinkers do. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  7. CJ in Atlanta

    The reason we have a judicial system that starts at the lowest local level and works its way up to the Supreme Court by way of appeals is because not every judge gets it "right" every time. I would be very skeptiacl if Sotomayor had a perfect history that made everyone happy. I do not feel this ruling will affect her chances.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    It will have no affect on the process. Republicans have already branded her a racist and the hardest thing to do or change is a mind. Democrats think she did what she considered to be the right thing. Will anything change? Not much. About the only change is that you are a day older and a day funnier.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  9. William Courtland

    To face a discrimination case based upon race: and find any ruling at all...

    To accept dicrimination based upon race: creates discrimination based upon race/endemic adaptation: it provides that a difference truly exists.

    No difference exists: all men are created equal: and all sapients are assumed to be held to the same standard of law and conscience that all sentient life has. Men... Equal: only in the case of status of the method of reproduction.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  10. Anthony....Swedesboro, NJ

    The verdict by the Supreme Court to oveturn the decisions by the lower courts to refuse the New Haven twenty their rightfully earned promotions finally balanced the scales of justice. I'm all for upward mobility and how it has enriched our society. But as in all programs their are parameters that must be met. The fear of discrimination drove New Haven to panic when the test results appeared lobsided and feared endless litigation.
    Diversity should not be achieved at the point of a gun. This will not affect Sotomayor's nomination but will be a big bump in the road.

    An Excellent Credit Score is 750. See Yours in Just 2 Easy Steps!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  11. Evil D

    Please stop saying reverse racism. it is what it is

    June 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  12. Geez

    NO Jack, Sotomayor did NOT right the Law. She just ruled on the law. So the Supreme Court ruled on the LAW that was written. WHY is this an issue? This woman will still be CONFIRMED.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  13. Darrell Wayne

    Jack, it won't affect her at all! Remember that four other justices agreed with her as well. Her confirmation will come through in due time. The Supreme court needs more diversity amongst the group!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  14. Melissa

    I doubt it will effect her one way or the other.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  15. Erma

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. She will not be making opinions solo, but will be a part of a bench in which others will have their own ideas. She can only control decisions as long as she is in the majority.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  16. Veneita

    It shouldn't but republicans will politicize it. If there are other justices on the court who have had decisions overturned before they made it ti the bench, we should kick them off if this disqualifies her.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  17. Erin in Kansas City

    It shouldn't. What SCOTUS candidate hasn't had a decision reversed? It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Her overall body of work will not and should not be ignored because of it.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  18. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    I think they'll confirm her, period. I don't think the reversal will hurt her. Judges get reversed all the time. So what?

    June 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Linda from Long Island, NY

    The reversal by the Supremes, will certainly provide fodder to those who oppose Judge Sotomayor's confirmation, to prolong the process. However, in the long run, she will be confirmed, given that there are a number of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who favor her confirmation.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  20. Justin Wilkerson

    I think that this is just another desperate ploy of the Republicans, to stop President Obama from bringing real change to America. Justin W. Gainesville, FL

    June 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  21. Keith - St. George, Utah

    She is finished. After this decision everyone can see that only white, republican, former fighermen are qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  22. Reggie Henderson

    Considering the addition of Al Franken to make a filibuster proof Senate majority (sort of, who knows about Specter), I think the 5-4 court ruling (same division as decided to over-rule Florida State Election recount law) will reduce her chances from 99.5% to 99%.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  23. Nolen

    Given that this decision was essentially pre-ordained, given the current makeup of the SCOTUS, and given that Sotomayor's ruling was made upholding established law, I can't see how this will be problematic when her nomination hearing comes. If anything, it should take away from her critics' arguments that she will be a judicial activist – here is a perfect example of a lower court upholding established law, only to have that law re-written by the Supreme Court.

    – Nolen
    Washington, DC

    June 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  24. Shirley

    No a bit of difference. The fact the it was a split decision justifies her.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  25. James Carden

    No affect at all. It appears she was upholding "established law" and the five Republican supremes are "legisllating from the bench".

    June 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  26. Sam

    This recent ruling should have no impact at all on Judge Sotomayor's confirmation. Justice Souter, who she will replace, if confirmed, voted to uphold her decision. Further, you cannot say that Jude Sotomayor is not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court just because she was overturned. The vast majority of her decisions have not been overturned. Also, if you say that Judge Sotomayor is unqualified to be on the US Supreme Court just because she got overturned, then that would mean that any justice who has ever been in the minority on that court is also unfit to serve, and since they've all been on the losing side at one point or another, that would mean that none of them are qualified. Pretty stupid, right?


    Vancouver, BC

    June 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  27. Gretchen from Denver

    Its the way Seuter (who she will be replacing) voted. why should there be a problem?

    June 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  28. Scott in California

    Not at all. "Much ado about nothing". When will the conservatives realize they will still have a conservative court for the next 25 to 30 years and get off her case. Once again their picking the wrong fight.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  29. Annie, Atlanta

    It won’t, but the Republicans will definitely be in all out war mode, sadly, making sure to put their rabid and twisted spin on all of this. Remember, they were against her before she was even chosen.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  30. Kerry Diehl

    I rejoice in the decision by our Supreme Court regarding reverse discrimination. These individuals were more deserving than any of the other applicants due to their test scoring and determination to be the best. None of the applicants were denied the opportunity to study hard and prepare for all of the testing. If YOUR house is on fire, who do YOU want to come in to save your family? The best!! ..Not someone who isn’t as qualified but did meet a ‘quota’.
    Frankly, Sotomayor exercised a poor decision in wanting to side with our overly “PC” society and ignore the promotion of the best of the best to merely pacify minorities and avoid any future wrath or bad publicity from the ACLU.
    I doubt it will have a true affect on her confirmation, but it should! She has consistently shown poor judgment in the past and the Supreme Court is NOT the place for POOR JUDGMENTS!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  31. John from Alabama

    Jack: I believe Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be approvaed as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  32. Koko/Massachusetts

    It won't. The Republicans want it to make a difference, but she remained steadfast in her decision. Justice Roberts and every other Justice has had the SCOTUS reject a lower court decision. If the Right thinks this is damaging, they should review their hearings on other justices. She's going to sail through; she's the most over-qualified judge ever to be nominated. I wish her well!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  33. Michael- Rocky Face, GA

    Sotomayer's job as an appellate court judge was to base rulings based on current law, which she did in the fireman's case. The Supreme Courts job is to determine whether current law adhere's to our constitution. In this case the Supreme Court has changed the law. Sotomayer performed her function properly.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  34. tami

    I hope it affects her. I don't want her in.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  35. Terry in Virginia

    It shouldn't affect it at all. How many current Justices when they were in lower courts had their decisions reversed by higher courts including the U.S. Supreme Court? More than one is my guess. Sotomayor will be confirmed in spite of the naysayers.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  36. Keith M.

    If the SCOTUS vote had been anything but 5-4, I'd say it might be a problem. With a vote this close, I'd hate to think this would even be considered a stumbling block.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  37. Brian Bowden

    Opponents fail to mention that Sotomayor was one member of a panel of judges that made the decision, including a conservative judge appointed by a Republican president. Thinking people will know that this decision in no way indicates how she would rule on the high court.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  38. Karen - Missouri

    It shouldn't and it won't. Oh, sure, the Republicans will do their usual whining and pouting, not because of her, but because they want everything to be THEIR way or no way.

    I'm sure she has thousands of decisions and tons of experience...it's not the first nor the last time a decision is overturned. It was also a close vote in the Supreme Court, so there IS dissent amongst themselves on this case.

    No job should depend solely on written tests anyway. Good grief, don't the firefighters get yearly evaluations on their PERFORMANCE???? Anyone can study to pass a test, applying the information to real life is something else.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  39. James Rodgers

    The decision will absolutely be used for political purposes by those who will look for anything to scuttle her confirmation. It is of no importance in real terms, for even justices within the Supreme Court are split on most major decisions. Does that mean that those justices who disagree with conservative political pundits are unfit to serve as well? In my opinion, that is the height of conservative hubris, which is not surprising at all.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  40. Tyrone Pettway

    When it is clear 4 out of 9 Justices sided with Sotomayor. I truly can't see where this reversal affects her ability to be a Supreme Ct. Justice. A 5 to 4 ruling seems to split right down idealogical lines within the court.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  41. Dave Geiger

    Not much, if any. Those that were against her nomination are still against it.This item has already been talked about and decisions made, regardless of the Supreme Court ruling.

    Dave Geiger
    Dothan, Alabama

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  42. Mary, Wisconsin

    So who are the "activist judges" now? The Supremes have overturned case law here and totally thrown out precedent. Judge Ginsburg's opinion is right on. This is going to create havoc and set minority rights back years and years. If it affects Sotomayor at all, it will be a shame. She makes most of the justices on the court right now look like a carload of clowns. But I'm sure the Old White Boys' Club is thrilled to death. They have had it so rough all these years, you know.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  43. Mike

    Jack, I think this is a silly notion. Although 5 of the Supreme Court's justices sided with the white firefighters, 4 of them did not. So if Sotomayor is unfit to be on the court, so are the four who agreed with her previous ruling.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  44. Mr Dean n Seattle

    I would equivocate it similar to Al Franken being elected senator of Minnesota

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  45. Denise

    i am a black american & I agree with the decision. I can understand why New Haven did what it did, but I still happen to feel it was not right! If Affirmative Action gets you in the door, then your own merit ought to keep you there, unless there is none, in which case u should be sent home. Promotions should be given to those who are the most qualified!!!! In the words of the late Michael Jackson, "it doesn't matter if your black or white". Or at least it shouldn't, anyway

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  46. Lulu, Texas

    Jack, it shouldn't. Like you mentioned, it was a 5-4 decision. Justice Souter, whom she would replace, sided with her. No matter how much the Republicans try to paint her as a radical, she is not out of the mainstream. You want to know what is out of the mainstream? Clarence Thomas dissenting in an 8 – 1 decision, against a poor teenage girl who was strip-searched at school.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  47. Larry Shultz

    If the Democrats are smart they will rightfully point out that Ms. Sotomayor's vote was essentially equal to Souter's vote against the five conservative votes. Ms. Sotomayor upheld the decision of the lower courts - it is the jurists in the majority that are now "legislating from the bench" by changing the laws enacted by the People of Massachussetts. It's time to start confronting and publicizing the hyprocrisy of the Republican's once again.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  48. Tom from Sacramento

    The Supreme Court decision is not an embarassment to Sotomayor. The two are distinct. Sotomayor (and a panel of judges she ruled with) decided on an appeal based on the Existing Law. The Supreme Court Decision CHANGED that law (as they do, when they make such decisions) Moreover the SCOTUS decision was NOT unanimous, and 4 out of the 9 disagreed with the decision, including Souter, the Judge she will be replacing. Anyone who thinks otherwise, simply doesn't understand how the Supreme Court works

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  49. Peter

    Sotomayor was one of three opinions. This shouldn't not matter in the end. The sitting Supreme Court Justices have changed their own opinions one an issues if it has come up on another case. Move it along!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  50. Steve


    The decision drafted by Justice Kennedy changed the rule regarding disparate impact. Sotomayor acted with extreme deference to the elected city government of New Haven, a level of judicial minimalism that conservatives should actually applaud.

    But, more to the point, Sotomayor ruled in line with existing law as it was understood when the 2nd circuit issued its decision. Yesterday's decision altered the rules, setting an entirely novel standard of evidence, and one that seems to muddy the waters of civil rights and employment law. But, if it did anything, it eliminated the relevance of any criticism of Sotomayor on this issue. Her ruling was in line with existing law as then understood. That law is now entirely different rendering Sotomoayor's role moot.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  51. vell

    What is stricking and funny is the GOP got the nerves to say this Judge a Racist and call her all kinds of names. Why does it matter that she was overturn first off she wasn't the only Judge on the panel so instead of saying she was overturn say the 2nd district court was overturn. I think it was wrong because if that is the case for as given these firefighter a promotion on a test then the minority will never get a promotion. It is strange how all the white pass and not one black and only one hispanic pass. Or we saying that the minority firefighters or not smart or educated to be doing the job. Why the Hell they are hire then. It raise question on did someone have the answers was there any prep before the test. It just strange that not one black pass and they doing the same job everyday to like the white firefighters. Why isn't the media asking these question.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Whatever the right-wing prophets Limbaugh and Cheney predict, I'll bet on the other happening. Looks like Judge Sotomayor is a shoe in.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  53. Sonnly

    That shouldn't affect her confirmation. What about the for justices who were on her side, should they be removed from the bench?

    June 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  54. Ron from SF

    It won't. What happened was a reversal of existing precedence. She ruled as previous rulings told her, she had to. She didn't try to make new law or interject herself into this thing. But I'm sure Republicans will try and Rush Windbag has even gone so far as to say that 5-4 equals 9-0 against. But we've got 60 Senators and I hope they try to stop her. Then Hispanics will vote against them for the next generation or two and we'll have a 70-30 margin, which means less Republicans than we've have to endure now.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  55. Doug Troutman, Lakeview, Oregon

    It was the unanimous decision of a THREE JUDGE PANEL, not just Sotomayor. This Supremes decision is clearly an effort to give the appearance the decision was hers alone, and cast a negative light on what was actually a pretty sound appeals court ruling. I don't support "affirmative action", but DO support EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. When one of the firefighters quit a second job, and spent $1,000 on books to study for this "test", I question how many questions dealt with acquired firefighting skills.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  56. Big Mike, Montreal

    Not a very surprising decision from a conservative Supreme Court. Support the white man (first class citizen) anyone else is second class (or worse). I suspect most fireman could not pass (the physical that they passed which they were required to pass when they first joined the department) in their subsequent years. I certainly believe that a test or tests are absolutely required and only candidates that pass the tests should be hired or promoted whatever their background, colour or creed.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  57. John in Santa Barbara

    This is the court that elected George Bush, this is the court that probably decided in favor of the white firefighters for political reasons. It's time to put the Supreme Court back into the buisiness of deciding law and not politics. Sotomeyer will be a step in that direction.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Ed

    The reversal of the lower court decision will not effect her becoming a member of the supreme court.

    The republicans, however, will bring up anything and everything as a distraction.

    I am surprised that they have not referred to her wearing of black and dark colored clothing and called her a witch. Or that her Hispanic background links her with the Spanish Inquisition. Guess they are too busy booking flights to Argentina 🙂

    June 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  59. David

    It will only have an effect in the twisted dreams of her detractors. Justice Souter, a Bush 1 appointee and the man Sotomayor is slated to replace, decided exactly the same way. Those who would argue that this 5-4 decision is proof that Sotomayor is out of step with the mainstream are deluding themselves. Judege Sotomayor is firmly in the mainstream as anyone who has looked at her many rulings over the years can clearly see.


    New York

    June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  60. anderson n carolina

    Jack, the Republicans will just whine a little louder and longer, but in the end she will win approval.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  61. Scott Stodden

    Jack I truthfully dont understand this case to the fullest but Im going to try and comment. Why should there be an exam to prove discrimination? Should'nt people be hired for a job based on there credentials and experience? I dont agree that an exam that people take will in anyway prove discrimination. I beleive in the American way that people should be hired for a job based on there credentials & experience not based on there race, sex, or what a person does in there private life and I think as much as I love Sonya that she was wrong to vote against the white firefighters, maybe I dont understand this case but I truthfully no matter what still think she will be confirmed.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Marjorie Harris

    Come on guys, this is ridiculous! Look at Sotomayor's life. She is a testament to how testing is biased. Didn't she test low but end up at the top of her class at Princeton. Does that mean that she wasn't qualified? Each case should be judged on an individual basis and other factors should be taken into account because the tests themselves may not be relevant to the individual. Wake up and smell the coffee!

    Margie from Brockton, Ma

    June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Paul Peterson

    The SCOTUS reversal should not affect Judge Sotomayor's chances
    of confirmation to the Supreme Court. Perhaps if the ruling were an
    8-1 decision or even a 7-2 decision against her position, it might have
    had an effect. The decision was a very predictable 5-4 decision, with
    the conservative justices prevailing. Unfortunately, almost any Supreme Court decision these days can be predicted, because the
    justices always split along conservative/liberal lines.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  64. br

    It shouldn't have any affect. A bigger question in my mind is what kind of test is it that only one race of people can pass it.Who wrote the test ?and what kind of questions were asked.Who did they have in mind when they made the test?

    June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  65. Diane


    Please. It was a 5-4 decision. She's replacing Justice Souter and he agreed with Judge Sotomayor on this case. Does this mean the justice she's replacing is also unfit for the high court? Next, the Republicans will start impeachment hearings for sitting justices they don't agree with.

    Dallas, TX

    June 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  66. phill

    Why do we call it reverse discrimination when it happens to a "white" person, or group of people. That's the major issue surrounding all of this discrimination is discrimination no matter what race is involved. This is clearly discrimination to not allow a group of hardworking men advance because there is not enough diversity in the group. There is such a thing as trying to be too pc.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  67. Karl from SF, CA

    The GOP will be pointing out this splinter of sorts in her eye while ignoring the log in their own. Every judge that has ever been on the Supreme Court has been reversed at swome point except maybe the first nine for obvious reasons. Same old GOP stupidity.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  68. Billie Shaffer

    She followed what was then the law. The Supreme Court changed the law.
    You are trying to manufacture controversary where there is none.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  69. Keeth in California

    Firstly, the decision overturned by SCOTUS was not a Sotomayor solo decision as your question implies. Secondly, Sotomayor and other judges on down the line were following precedent. What SCOTUS did was tell courts how to reinterpret the law, and I personally believe the SCOTUS decision was correct. Sotomayor and other judges were not wrong; they were following the law (as unfair as it was). In the court of radio talkshows, these details will intentionally be lost. In the court of the Senate, Sotomayor will still be confirmed.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  70. Jack

    If this country will return to greatness, each individual of all races must strive for personal greatness and Obama could lead us there. Both Sotomayor and Obama represent such commitment. Who really wants an "edge" in the system when success and victory only matter inside when you rise to the top on your own merits?

    June 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  71. gerry ervin

    Re-Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor-How sad that we overlooked four supreme court judges that agreed with her.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  72. Laura Casas Frier

    The decision should not effect the Sotamayor confirmation because she has the intellectual capacity and experience to be an outstanding supreme court justice.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  73. Mark, Arlington VA

    Probably not. Many of the Supreme Court's decisions are split decisions, especially ones that are tinged with racial or ethnic overtones such as this one. If there were no debate about these issues, this wouldn't be a democracy. I happen to agree with the Supreme Court on this issue, but I wouldn't want to live in a country where the opposition didn't have a chance to dissent.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  74. Roy D, Schickedanz

    The reversal by the Supreme Court only projects the strength of the Constitution and its ability to find a consensus of interpretation.

    Judge Sonia Sotomayer’s is more than qualify to seat on the Supreme Court. The reversal should have no affect, adding to how our system of Government works.

    The Checks and Balances front the flexibility of a government for the People, and by the People.

    Roy D. Schickedanz
    Glenwood, Illinois

    June 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  75. Rox

    Why the stir? The vote was CLOSE: 5-4. That hardly makes Judge Sotomayer an outlier. Not only did nearly half the Supreme Court Justices side with her ruling, an appellate court also ruled in the same vein. But if it flames the media story lead-up to her eventual confirmation, so be it ... the ruling takes nothing away from her stellar credentials.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  76. acs

    The comment she made about a "wise Hispanic woman is better than a white male", should also be looked at when she goes to confirmation hearings. Her actions ( opinions) are racist, and would be classified as such if she weren't an Hispanic woman. Your readers should look at her actions, and let them speak for themselves. You should not say that a promotion test is invalid because it didn't produce the desired result.

    Let's also not forget that the test was devised by an independent organization to eliminate ethnic biases, so the end result was not prejudiced towards/or against any specific ethnicity.

    Her confirmation ( which will probably occur) will set back the objectivity of the court, in my opinion.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  77. bob z, from pa.

    she is a member of la raza which should disqualify her. every body knows but they won't say it

    June 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  78. Storm Wooten

    Who cares? Hurry up and appoint her. I'm tired of these conservatives running our court system.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  79. Richard Green

    Jack, she was part of a 3 judge panel that made a decision upholding an established law. That decision was not upheld by this court. If you're a Republican, I guess you can't have judge's running around upholding established laws. It seems the "activists" they fear may already be on the Supreme Court....and they are their own appointees.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  80. Evelyn

    Split decisions have been the norm at least since Roosevelt. To say this will affect Sodomayor's appointment would be to say that the dissenting judges throughout our history should not have been confirmed.

    Disagreement among Supreme Court judges are why we have an odd number of judges.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  81. Robert - North Port, FL

    The Supreme Court decision will have absolutely no effect on her confirmation. The fact that one's opinions get overturned does not make that judge unqualified. It just means that at this point in time, five out of nine justices disagreed with the remaining four justices. If one of the dissenting votes had gone the other way, would her chances be vastly improved? I think not.

    North Port, Florida

    June 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  82. Jack - Phoenix, Arizona

    If this country will return to greatness, each individual of all races must strive for personal greatness. Obama and Sotomayor could lead us there. Both of them represent such a commitment and role-modeling. Who really wants an "edge" in the system when true success and victory only matter inside when you rise to the top on your own merits?

    June 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  83. Ray in Nashville

    This is nothing new and won't affect her nomination. Most people thought this decision would be overturned and those that oppose her had already thrown it out for discussion, and been rebuked.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  84. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    I don't expect much!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  85. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, not at all. Sotomayor should still be confirmed. The real question should be how will the High Court shift on the next appointment? Assuming Obama gets another opportunity to nominate a second judge.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  86. Geoffrey in Lowell MA

    ]Tempest in a teapot

    Of course it won't have any effect at all. The primary reason for SCOTUS is to review the lower courts ruling as they have done. If they never disagreed, they would not be necessary. While we are at it, neo-con baloney aside, Sotomayor has not been reversed more than anyone else at her level.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  87. Michael McDowell from Ft. Hood Texas

    I don't see any relevance at all in that it was a 5-4 decision. But one has to ask what if the extreme conservative block ruled the way they did, just to sabotage her nomination? That is a more plausible scenario because of the extremism of the Roberts conservative voting block.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  88. mack from michigan

    Jack it will enliven the debate but it will not affect her confirmation at all. All the justices on the court have had decisions overturned in their careers, even the conservatives, but I"ve yet to hear the talking radio heads chirping ad nauseum about that! Sotomayer doesn't pass the republican abortion standard for the supreme court and that is the bottom line here. They lost the election, that is the other bottom line.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  89. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is no more than a slap on the wrist to Sotomayer and she will be confirmed. The real concern is will the Supreme Courts decision create unclear hiring rules.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm |

    I knew what the vote was going to be. There is no doubt that the Republicans were going to show that they are in charge of the Supreme Court. Here's hoping a couple more judges retire. The GOP will have a field day with this one. They better look at the Repub. judges and see how they faired in the lower courts.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  91. Kathy

    This is just a lot of hot air to fill up air time. To think that one case can derail this nomination is one dimensional thinking. First of all, the ruling was a decision by a panel of judges. Secondly, can we look at the body of work. She is probably one of the most qualified candidates to be nominated in quite some time.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  92. Michael McDowell from Ft. Hood Texas

    I am sure all of the justices currently sitting have had a case or two overturned by a higher court when they were sitting in the lower courts, so what relevance does it have? None, except it is another case of GOP whining and crying for Americans fleeing their party in droves!!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  93. PamB

    Shouldn't affect it at all, Jack. The Party of NO, Republican Obstructionists have already indicated they would continue with their lock stepping, and not vote for Sotomayor, so unless we have some renegade Dems, she should still sail through.

    I wonder what kind of test New Haven gives, which tests leadership skills with multiple answer questions. Do a knowledge of math or geography or whatever determine who would be the most effective leader in a crisis? Me thinks the SCOTUS got it wrong, but then they also chose Bush for President back in 2000 and look where that decision got us!
    OH, and how about that Seventh Circuit Court of highly Conservatives who also made a similar decision and said that Sotomayor 'got it right"?

    I am still smiling since November 4, 2008, at 11:00 when Obama was named the winner, but I am still weary of the same ole, same ole out of the Republican Party. Will they ever learn this is what lost them the last 2 elections?????

    June 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  94. C.K.

    Not one bit.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  95. Jim/NC

    The decision by the supreme court will have zero affect. Our country is now bound by all policies that dems want to impose on US citizens. The senate has the magical 60 vote majority. If Sotomayor had affairs with Mark Sanford and John Edwards, guess what?...she would have been confirmed.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  96. Christopher Taylor

    This shows that "Senora" Sotomayor is completely out of touch with reality. Her post-modernist beliefs are complete failures. Affirmative Action is racism against Caucasians. This country should not tolerate racism in government. Sotomayor is a bad decision, but then again, so is Obama for President.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  97. David

    I don't think it matters. The vote was 5-4. Are proponents of this strategy suggesting that the other four justices are also not qualified to sit on the bench? Even if the vote was unaminous, it should not matter–justices apply to cases their understanding of the law and constitution, the applicabiltiy of settled cases, and other factors, and then render their position on the case. It is a crazy argument to suggest that because they disagree with any one or more justices the appointee is fatally flawed

    June 30, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  98. Larry

    It won't affect her confirmation Jack.

    If the Republicans plan on keeping their jobs anytime in the next 50 years they'll back off this Rep vs Dem mentality and see issues for what they really are.

    I expect more housecleaning in 2010 and 2012 after the scandals and all the interference the Republicans have presented to getting this country back on its feet again. I used to be a Republican but these last months have exposed them for what they really are....two-faced lying politicians concerned only about padding their own pockets. They really could care less about our country.

    Sotomayor obviously is very qualified for the Court and a wise decision for President Obama.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  99. joblaw, tricities, washington state

    I wonder how a person of a majority race will be treated by members of a minority race that his race had once enslaved when that minority race is in charge of his job, or placement, or eligibility for something. Would the previous statement be racially prejudiced or is it a valid one considering the nature of human beings regarding their natural tendencies toward vindication? And of course her decision affects her confirmation by keeping the conservatives' yapping pieholes closed, but she'll be confirmed anyway.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  100. Larry Sinsimer

    Had Sandra O'Connor not retired this case would have gone the other way with Breyer writing for the majority.The Supreme Court has held that you can favor one group over another if there is a COMPELLING interest. The fear of a potential law suit was not compelling enough according to the court.Had the city argued that having all white officers and minority rank and file would be detrimental to moral, they might have prevailed. Our military academies admit less qualified minorities because they have a compelling interest to have an officer corp that is reflective and relevant to the enlisted corps.
    In the end she will be confirmed based on a huge volume of main stream decisions in other cases.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  101. AJ, Potsdam, NY


    The SCOTUS decision in Ricci v. DeStefano will have zero impact on Judge Sotomayor's confirmation chances. Indeed, the outcome of the case was preordained the day Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the bench. The decision of the few Republicans who were already expected to vote for her will not be affected; the others don't matter (McConnell and his little band of misanthropic bigots would not DARE filibuster).

    After all, a 5-4 vote of the Supremes cannot be construed as a rebuke by any rational individual – which lets Limbaugh, Coulter and their Fellow Travelers off the hook. The fact is that more judges in this case have sided with the City of New Haven than the plaintiffs, and the SCOTUS decision in fact overturned the intent of Congress and gutted the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    Barring some truly horrendous revelation about her, Judge Sotomayor's next title will be "Madam Justice."

    June 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  102. Carolyn from TN

    "Reverse discrimination" is a farce!! How can there be reverse discrimination when the majority of the firefighters are white? If there were a majority of black firefighters in the position and whites were denied that allowed more blacks to be promoted...that would actually be reverse discrimination. Discrimination cases abound today. This decision makes it even harder for minorities.

    This brings us back to the original reason for the laws to prevent discrimination in the first place. Racism is still prominent in certain professions and in different areas of the country. The Supreme Court got the "Reverse discrimination" is a farce!! How can there be reverse discrimination when the majority of the firefighters are white? If there were a majority of black firefighters in the position and whites were denied that allowed more blacks to be promoted...that would actually be reverse discrimination. Discrimination cases abound today. This decision makes it even harder for minorities.

    This brings us back to the original reason for the laws to prevent discrimination in the first place. Racism is still prominent in certain professions and in different areas of the country. The Supreme Court got Plessy decision wrong and they also got this decision wrong!!!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  103. Missy M

    No. This decision will have no affect. Sotomayor will be confirmed, as expected.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  104. Michael

    Basically Jack it won't effect it that much at all. She just has too many positives for the NEGATIVITY CHOIR of the Republicans to tear at and shoot down. It's like Shakespears Quote; Sound and Fury, signifying nothing. A fly in the ointment. Talking loud and saying nothing. An empty wagon makes the most noise. Well, you get my drift.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  105. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    No. She has no opinion to explain away. It would be different if she laid out a manifesto – instead she followed precedent and can say so. It is not her place or the SCOTUS to say how affirmative action must be done. That is the province of elected officials.

    (By the way, to remove bias, the best way is to randomly chose among those who "passed the test" – which would have likely resulted in a selection that would not have been suspect in either direction).

    June 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  106. Keith

    Why would it matter, Jack? She followed the law as it was written. The conservative wing of the Supreme Court added new requirements. To use one of the Republican phrases, they "legislated frombthe bench". Ironic, huh?

    June 30, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  107. Megan

    Yes, they will try. No it won't matter. The GOP should be thanking their lucky stars that they got such a centrist. NEXT time we'll be giving them Pam Karlen from Stanford. THAT will make their heads spin!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  108. David Jones

    Why would she be denied? The ruling that she provided along with two others followed existing law. Only the Supreme Court can make new laws, which is what they did with their ruling. Talk about judicial activism!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  109. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    The Supreme court did a good ruling on discrimination. This decisionmay be the one that erases the color line,legally. Promotions and admissions should be based on knowledge and performance. However,I do not see how this decision could prevent judge Sotomayor from getting a seat on the high court,she has the knowledge and performance record,with honors. Only the obstructionists will try to make something bad out of they don't really know what is it ?ya'll. Gene

    June 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  110. DawnL,CA

    At first glance, I was for Sotomayor-now I have my doubts. Her vote in the lower court was firmly for affirmative action. Now my question is, did affirmative action help her in her career? Is she as qualified as she appears? Her connection to "La Raza" also raises questions. I'm a former democrat (now independent) who would like these questions answered.

    June 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  111. Megan

    Hey David? The Supremes CANNOT make new laws, just establish precedent. And boy, did they!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm |