Friday, July 17, 2009

Senator Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III: Tool

In an interview on NPR Senator Jeff Sessions reiterated his problem with statements Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor made in a 2001 speech.

It was a speech that reflected a judicial philosophy that a person's background, sympathies and prejudices (those were her words) can impact your ruling. She said her background could affect the facts she would chose to see as a judge. That's ... I believe that is a disqualifying thing, frankly.
This is so basic to American law, your justice and the result in a court should not depend on the judge's personal views, background or ethnicity. A judge makes ... takes an oath to be impartial, the oath says, ah, you will do equal justice to the poor and rich alike, and that you put on that robe and it represents a fundamental commitment to put aside all those things and to be fair and objective in the process.

His statement includes direct quotes from Sotomayor's 2001 Berkeley speech which included the now infamous "wise Latina" remark. In fact, they are from passages that expand and explain that remark:

Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which i am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. but I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.

I am reminded each day that I render decisions that affect people concretely and that I owe them constant and complete vigilance in checking my assumptions, presumptions and perspectives and ensuring that to the extent that my limited abilities and capabilities permit me, that i reevaluate them and change as circumstances and cases before me requires. I can and do aspire to be greater than the sum total of my experiences but I accept my limitations. I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.

Notice that taken in context the Sotomayor statements - that according to Sessions represent a disqualification for her appointment, explain the need to ensure impartiality and fairness completely the opposite of what Sessions claims she said.

The fact that Sessions admitted he was directly quoting from those statements proves that he was perfectly aware of what she was actually saying.

His mischaracterizations are nothing less than deliberate lies.

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