So, if an appeals court makes a ruling, the other courts in that circuit have to take that ruling into consideration in future decisions. If that isn't setting "policy," then I don't know what is.
I apply federal statutes to a set of facts on a daily basis. I see what happens when cases get appealed to the appellate body, who, if you can believe it, make policy based on its interpretation of the statute. Even the dumb lawyers that I work with know this.
Just to add. My husband and I did not speak of this nomination all day yesterday. He got home from work and we started watching Hardball. When he heard the quote you all are going nuts over and Pat Buchanan's same talking points as talloulou, he said, "WTF?" He is a trial attorney, and also has a full understanding of how appellate courts can set policy. He often deals with appeals from the DC Circuit. So not having discussed this, we BOTH came to the same conclusion.
Last edited by aps; 05-27-09 at 11:55 AM.
I would like to make a comment on the New Haven decision. At first blush, I thought it was judicial activism, but after reading on the case, I am not so sure. Rather than dictating quotas to the city of New Haven, Sotomayor was instead was taking a position that the City's jurisdiction was such that the Federal government's intervention would be unconstitutional. It was the city that had made the original decision, and Sotomayor ruled against those challenging that decision. Not sure that it was the right decision, as it allowed the city to set quotas, which IMHO is a Constitutional violation, but she seemed to be deciding on the basis of settled law, in that appellants did not have a valid Title VII claim, and was not creating law. That, of course, is not judicial activism, but I still believe that it was a wrong decision.
Also, Sotomayor does not seem to be making decisions based on color. In Norville v. Staten Island University Hospital, she ruled against a black disabled woman who claimed that white people were given preferential treatment. In Williams v. R H Donnelly and Co, she ruled against a black man claiming racial discrimination.
Last edited by danarhea; 05-27-09 at 12:00 PM.
The ghost of Jack Kevorkian for President's Physician: 2016
But whatever. I guess for some it's easy to straddle two viewpoints simultaneously. Either she's wrong having said it or she was wrong rather hysterically trying to bite it back. How can she be right on both counts is beyond me.
But again, please please please let's talk about her college yearbook where she quotes a famous socialist.
Appellate and Supreme Court Justices should not be in the business of making "POLICY." There role is to properly interpret the laws of the land and the Constitution without prejudice or empathy.
Obama's message by selecting one of the most Liberal nominees he could find to those on the other side of the aisle basically undo the rhetoric he spewed as a candidate suggesting that he wanted to WORK with BOTH sides in a bi-partisan way.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiAnWLUMmYg]YouTube - sonia sotomayor says courts make policy[/ame]