Sotomayor’s Opinions in Race Cases Put the ‘Racist’ Claim to Rest
Not content with the right-wing pundits’ method of evaluating Judge Sonia Sotomayor by hurling epithets and baseless accusations against her, Tom Goldstein, the eminent Supreme Court litigator and editor of SCOTUSblog, has actually done the hard work of reading Sotomayor’s opinions in cases involving race. Here’s what he found:
Of the 96 cases, Judge Sotomayor and the panel rejected the claim of discrimination roughly 78 times and agreed with the claim of discrimination 10 times; the remaining 8 involved other kinds of claims or dispositions.Of the 10 cases favoring claims of discrimination, 9 were unanimous.(Many, by the way, were procedural victories rather than judgments that discrimination had occurred.)Of those 9, in 7, the unanimous panel included at least one Republican-appointed judge.In the one divided panel opinion, the dissent’s point dealt only with the technical question of whether the criminal defendant in that case had forfeited his challenge to the jury selection in his case. So Judge Sotomayor rejected discrimination-related claims by a margin of roughly 8 to 1.
“Given that record,” writes Goldstein, “it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decisionmaking.”