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Washington Post: "Judge's votes
shows no single political ideology."
The Post clearly needs glasses.
Washington Post writer Jerry Markon, who apparently can't tell the difference between judicial liberalism and corn flakes, argued in a Sunday, June 7 Post A4 article that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is somehow politically impartial because she ruled against a Protestant minister who sued his church for age discrimination when they forced him to retire—and accused her Republican colleagues of judicial activism when they allowed his case to go ahead, and then in a subsequent case, when she ruled that African-American and Latino prison inmates had the right to vote from their prison cells despite laws in almost every State in the Union that strip convicts of the right to vote.

Markon argued that these two cases and six others reflect Sotomayor's complex approach to discrimination. In his mind, these cases refute the conservative pigeonholing of Sotomayor as an anti-white racist simply because in some of the cases Sotomayor supported plaintiffs alleging discrimination, and in other cases she supported the defendant's who allegedly perpetuated racism. Markon failed to examine the substance of the cases, because in every case, Sotomayor's opinion dovetailed with the views of the far left. Among the eight cases were these decisions:

• In 1999, in Gant v Wallingford the Gant family moved from Meriden to Wallingford, Connecticut during the winter of 1993 and enrolled their 6-year old son, Ray Gant, Jr. in the first grade at Cook Hill Elementary. Gant was the only African-American student in the class. Within 3 days of Ray, Jr.'s arrival, his first grade teacher, defendant-appellee Grace Candido, informed Elisa Gant that her son could not do the work in the first grade and that he should be transferred back to kindergarten. The decision to demote Ray had been approved by the school principle, defendant-appellee Patricia Cronin. In their lawsuit, the Gants argued that their son was subject to racial slurs from white students, and that their son was demoted without their consent.

The US District Court dismissed the Gant's case pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.12(b)(6) for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be sought. The Gants alleged racial discrimination without any evidence that discrimination had taken place. On appeal to the 2nd Circuit, Judge Sotomayor argued that the treatment received by the lone black student in his brief stint at Cook Hill Elementary was unprecedented and contrary to the school's policy. And, even though all available evidence indicated that Ray Gant's demotion to kindergarten was appropriate, Sotomayor believed the demotion was racially motivated. The decision of the District Court was vacated and the case was remanded back to the original court for further proceedings.

• In a 2006 case, Joseph Hayden, a former inmate and the Campaign Director of an advocacy group called Unlock The Block, filed suit against the State of New York alleging discrimination against African-Americans and arguing that a New York law prohibiting those convicted of crimes and who were either in prison or on parole from voting violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, in addition to violating the 1st, 14th and 15th Amendments.

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the lawsuit of those who actually wanted the right to vote from within prison. The dismissal was upheld by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals with Sotomayor dissenting, saying that the Voting Rights Act covered felon disenfranchisement. In her dissent, Sotomayor said: "It's plain to anyone reading the Voting Rights Act that it applies to all 'voting qualifications...Section 2 of the Act by its unambiguous terms subjects felony disenfranchisement and all other voting qualifications to its coverage."

• In the case 2001 case of Galarza v Keans, Edwin Galarza was tried before a jury in New York state court on narcotics charges. During jury selection on Valentine's Day, 1989 the prosecutor used her preemptory challenges to strike 11 Hispanics from the jury that would hear the case against Galarza. Galarza's lawyer argued before the judge that the prosecutor systematically challenged every black or Hispanic juror to make sure there were no minority jury members. The court questioned the prosecutor at length for her reasons for excusing potential jurors who were Hispanic, and found no prejudice in her logic. Galarza was found guilty of numerous narcotics charges on May 24, 1989.

Galarza appealed his conviction, claiming inter alia, that he was denied equal protection of the law because the prosecutor used her preemptory challenges in a racially discriminatory manner. Before the case reached the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, four other courts—2 State and 2 federal—rejected Galarza's discrimination claim. The three judge panel in the 2nd Circuit consisted of two Democrats and one Republican. And even though all of the evidence, and all of the trial transcripts prove that Galarza's conviction was not tainted by any racial bias as the result of the prosecutor's discriminatory use of preemptory strikes, the Democrats ruled that the prosecutor's "race-neutral" explanation for using her preemptory challenges to exclude minorities tainted the jury. The sentence was vacated and the case remanded back to the State court for a new trial.

All of the cases sited by Post writer Markon, Sotomayor sided with the extremist views of the left. At first glance in one of those cases, Pappas v Giuliani, Markon would have us think Sotomayor sided with racists against African Americans and Jews to protect the 1st Amendment—something, one might think, a conservative would do. However, hate speech is not, nor ever has been construed to be free speech, just as pornographic material, particularly when it is made available to children, is not free speech.

• In the 2002 case of Pappas v Giuliani. Thomas Pappas was a New York City police department MIS employee. He was a 17-year veteran of the NYPD. At the time of his firing, Pappas worked in the NYPD's Management Information Systems Division. On at least two occasions in 1996 and 1997, Pappas received contribution requests from the Mineola Auxiliary Police Department (where he resided, or at least received his mail). Included with the solicitation request was a reply envelop. Pappas stuffed the envelopes with offensive racial rhetoric conveyed in anti-black and anti-semitic messages. He mailed them anonymously. The Nassau County Police Dept. launched an investigation to find the sender. After drawing a blank, they sent out another mailing with coded envelopes. This time they were able to trace the envelop to Pappas' PO Box 321 in Mineola, NY.

The PO Box was used by The Populist Party in the name of Thomas Pappas. On March 24, 1998 Pappas was interrogated by a NYPD Internal Affairs officer. Ultimately, Pappas confessed to sending the hate mail to Police Auxiliary because they were soliciting his organization for money. The Internal Affairs Division of the NYPD recommended Pappas' termination, and he was fired.

Pappas sued the City of New York for firing him, claiming the materials he sent out were not mailed in his capacity as an employee of the NYPD, but in his capacity of a private citizen from his home, and as the head of his own political advocacy group. The NYPD charged Pappas with a violation of departmental regulation. Pappas said he was fed up with getting donation requests from auxiliary police organizations and sent the inflammatory material in protest. He was terminated. Clearly, had he not included the inflammatory material in the replies to the auxiliary police organizations, he would still be employed, so it's a reasonable stretch to say that he was fired for poor judgment in the way exercised his free speech rights.

The 2nd Circuit upheld his firing in a 2-to-1 decision, with Sotomayor dissenting. In her minority opinion, Sotomayor noted that Pappas had mailed out fliers that ridiculed black and Jewish people. His lawsuit was dismissed by a lower court. The decision was upheld by the 2nd Circuit which ruled that the city had the right to terminate him because he disseminated bigoted diatribes. Sotomayor argued that Pappas' rights had been violated. Sotomayor said: "I find the speech in this case patently offensive, hateful, and insulting. The Court should not, however, gloss over three decades of jurisprudence and the centrality of First Amendment freedoms in our lives because it is confronted with speech it does not like."

The appeal to the 2nd Circuit raised the question of whether the municipal government violated Pappas' 1st Amendment rights by firing him for distributing racist material. The court concluded that a racist diatribe did not constitute free speech and held the City of New York was within its rights to terminate him. The court further ruled that while there are few rights more closely guarded than the right of free speech, the court held that this right is not absolute when it conflicts with the effective function of government—in this case, the trust the citizens must have in their law enforcement agencies, and the need in our society that police are obligated to enforce the law fairly and without bias.

In Sotomayor's view, because Pappas was not a high-ranking official in the NYPD, he did not make policy. Furthermore, since Pappas was a computer geek and not a police officer, his biases would not impair the trust the public must have in the peace officers to feel safe and secure in the community. Sotomayor felt that the City should not have been allowed to discharge Pappas since, absent the City telling the media that a police department employee distributed the offensive material, no one outside the department would have ever known, and the city could have easily swept the whole matter under the rug. (Her opinion.)

When Sotomayor was involved in the panel discussion at Duke University in 2005 where she made her most famous faux pas, saying that it is at the Court of Appeals level where policy (law) is made, she went on to explain that at the District Court level "...you look at the application of the law because facts control the decisions. On the Court of Appeals, you are looking to how the law is developing so that it will then be applied to a broad class of cases. You are always thinking about the ramifications of this ruling on the next step in the development of the law." Which is what Sotomayor was doing in Pappas v Giuliani. She was practicing judicial activism. As offensive as Pappas' brochures were, it was important to leave that door ajar so that racist speech could be protected just down the road and around the corner where there was a whole new cast of racist characters which society would soon be condemning. And, the Constitution needed to clearly define the right of the American people to condemn this sect of bigots in the harshest terms. Who are these racists? Christians, of course.

In all of the instances drawn on by Washington Post reporter Jerry Markon in his June 7 article suggesting that Judge Sotomayor was not tied to a particular ideology, she is marching lockstep to the globalist beat of the Fascist-Marxist Obama Drum Corp. She is a Marxist judicial activist with a liberal strip as wide as all eight lanes of Pennsylvania Avenue leading from Congress to the White House, and from the Oval Office to the Supreme Court on First Street, NE.

When it comes to spin, only the New York Times spins a better fable than the Washington Post. But, then they are even farther to the left, and they've been doing it a lot longer. So, once again, for whatever it's worth, you have my two cents on this matter.

 

 

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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