Sotomayor Reversed Again…

New Haven FD PatchThe news seemed to be dominated today with the ruling from the Supreme Court in the case of Ricci v. DeStefano. This case, which originated in New Haven Connecticut, pitted a group of firefighters from New Haven against the city in the city’s decision to throw out the results of the promotion examination because of the lack of black firefighters who took the test that were able to gain the necessary score. The Supreme Court’s decision overturned the decision of the lower courts, including Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Republican lawmakers are pouncing on this decision as proof that she is an activist judge on the bench and not fit to become a member of the highest Court in the land.

Frank Ricci

Frank Ricci

First a bit of quick history. Frank Ricci is part of a group of 20 firefighters—19 of them white and one Hispanic—who challenged in court New Haven’s decision to throw out the results of a 2003 exam for 15 captain and lieutenant promotions. The 15 positions would have been awarded based on the scoring results of the test. The test results would have given 13 of the promotions to white candidates, perhaps two to Hispanics, and none to African-Americans; because of that racial imbalance, the city withdrew the test. The Ricci plaintiffs said that amounted to denying them the promotions because they are white. The city argued its action was prompted by concern that disgruntled black firefighters would sue. But that reasoning didn’t hold sway with the court’s majority.

Lawsuits over race in hiring is not new in the ranks of firefighters. Black firefighters first brought a suit over discrimination in New Haven in 1973. They won. So did minority firefighters who sued Cleveland, Birmingham, St. Louis, New York City, Newark, Bridgeport, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Massachusetts (statewide), San Francisco, Baltimore, and Minneapolis, according to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. More recently, white firefighters have begun to fight back in court. In 2001, four white men sued the Boston Fire Department for hiring minority candidates who had scored lower than the plaintiffs on a civil-service exam. They were the first to challenge the Boston department’s affirmative-action policy since it had been upheld by the Supreme Court in 1989. In 2004, they won. Last year, a Los Angeles jury awarded two white fire captains $1.6 million in damages in a suit claiming that they had been punished more severely than a minority officer for participating in the same prank. The New Haven suit, meanwhile, has spurred a similar one by white firefighters, also over promotional exams and test scores, in nearby Bridgeport, Connecticut.

New Haven CartoonThe United States Supreme Court decided to hear the case and, today, finally rendered its decision. In a 5-4 vote, which went strictly down the liberal/conservative ideology of the members of the court, reversed the decision of the lower court. The ruling essentially stated that the city did not have the right, under the premises brought forth to the court, to throw out the results to the test. Specifically, the court offered that the city’s reasoning that the results were being thrown out based on the possibility of blacks in New Haven filing lawsuits against the fire department was a violation of law. “Fear of litigation alone cannot justify the city’s reliance of race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions,” the court ruled. The court further added that the decision being based on race at all was a violation of law.

As a result of this decision, GOP legislators are going on the offensive, insisting that this is proof that Sotomayor is an activist judge from the bench. They also are quick to point out that this is the 4th decision of Sotomayor’s that the court has overturned. This now means that the Supreme Court has heard 6 cases that Sotomayor helped write an opinion. Of those 6, the Supreme Court has overturned 4, meaning that they felt as the the lower court made the wrong legal judgement in rendering their decisions. The court essentially said that these firemen were unfairly denied promotions because of their race.

Sotomayor and ObamaSo now the tough questions. Does this mean anything in terms of Sotomayor’s ability to be an effective justice in the Supreme Court? While the world seems to taking the sheeple facts and opinions without looking, I decided to dig a bit and see what I could find.

First let me say that a 66% reversal rate is an inaccurate way to look at this incident as it pertains to Sotomayor. First, they are only offering up the number or statistic that does not represent her true body of work. Perhaps a better way to add to this would be the fact that she issued over 400 verdicts as a judge, and only 6 of those decisions were deemed possibly wrong enough for the Supreme Court. Of only 6 that were deemed improperly decided, 4 of those the Supreme decided to overturn. So let’s get a more accurate number with that factored in. Of the 400+ decisions rendered by Sotomayor, only 4 have been overturned by the Supreme Court. That is about 1%. Doesn’t seem like she is doing so badly with these numbers, does it? Interesting how the same numbers show a completely different picture when they are presented a bit more honestly.

Second, another thing that seems to get lost on these talks about 66% of her decisions being overturned by the Supreme Court is the reality of how OTHER judges do in this situation. Going back through recent history, The Supreme Court overturns roughly 70% of the rulings in the lower courts. So not only is Sotomayor’s history with the Supreme Court not uncommon, it would seem that she actually has a lower rate of reversals than other judges in the Federal courts. So perhaps people should be congratulating her on the fact that she seems to make solid rulings that are less likely to be reversed than the average.

So the bottom line for me is that the Supreme Court got this case correct in their ruling. It also seems to me that all this conservative bluster about how this shows her to be an activist judge and how this could severely damage her chances of being confirmed are bullshit. Nothing but hot air. I personally don’t like her, and I do think that she has the wrong attitude, history, and agenda for someone who is going to be serving in a position that she cannot be taken out of once she gets in. It isn’t like if we see her acting up as an activist judge, we can do anything about it. She would become untouchable. But I don’t see how this ruling shows anything other than the highest court in the land having the final say in determining interpretation of the law.

Court StatueSo that brings me to the real question that I have for this post this evening. Sotomayor has been accused of being an activist judge, making social policy through liberal decisions. What does anyone else think on this claim? Anyone who has taken the time to look further into the past decisions and ruling from Sotomayor, what have you found? Have you found her to be an activist judge? If so please provide some backup to your claim. I don’t know the answer, but I am hoping that some other folks will teach me more about this possible Supreme Court Justice.

How should we handle activist judges? Whether Sotomayor is one or not, there are certainly many out there who are activist judges, legislating from the bench. California’s 9th Circuit is famous for being an activist court. Vermont is filled with decisions showing activist judges. That is not what a judge is supposed to be, but that has not stopped them from doing so and flaunting it in many cases. What recourse does the public have against a judge that is out of control and who is abusing the power granted them as a judge in a court of law? After all, we argue that the difference in America is that we are a society based on law. What can we do about judges who seem to not be interested in law, but instead are only interested in using the law to further an agenda?

The bigger question comes in the form of affirmative action. Many speaking out today considered this a blow to affirmative action in the United States. I often argue that affirmative action has no place in today’s workplace. We have come to the point where all workers are treated equally bad. I have NEVER been a fan of affirmative action. I am a believer in getting what you earn and what you deserve. So the idea that you get something just because of your skin color completely goes against everything I believe in. I believe businesses should be hiring the best people available for what position needs filled, regardless of skin color, gender, or any other factor. But even if I had ever liked the idea of affirmative action, I would not see the need for it now. The Jim Crowe laws no longer exist. Blacks are not discriminated against in the workplace any more or any less than any other person these days.

Smells Like BullshitWe will always see claims that the discrimination is still there. But I have learned these days to simply chalk it up as those folks who are unwilling to take any responsibility for who they are. I have had claims of discrimination leveled against me several times over the years. In every single case, the person leveling those claims was a poor worker and an even bigger pain in the ass. When their performance reached a point where they were terminated, the simply claimed it was all about race. After all, that is a lot easier than telling people that you were simply a piece of shit employee. And I really do think that a vast majority of racial discrimination claims in the workforce fall into this exact type of situation.

The other big question is what is the answer to solving the problem that New Haven faced? They came up with an exam that was intended to test the candidates to find out who was most prepared to be promoted. The unbiased scoring of knowledge and ability resulted in no black candidates being awarded promotions. It seems to me that this was a test designed to find the best candidates, with absolutely no race playing into the equation. But when the results were there, the city found that no black candidates made the cut. This really did put the city in a bind in today’s environment where black activists make every single issue into one of racial discrimination. The city had two choices:

  1. negative-reactionFollow the results and ensure that the best candidates get the job in a position where the job performance can literally mean life and death. In this case black activists sue the city and claim that they don’t hire or promote enough blacks in New Haven.
  2. Don’t follow the results and ensure that the right racial mix occurs in the promotions. In this case, someone making the decisions in the dangerous everyday life of a firefighter is not the person best suited for making the decisions.

Either way the city was screwed. Personally, if I have a fire at my house, I want the best candidate available to have the spots. I don’t give a crap what their race is. What I care about is that you put out the fire and save my wife and my cat from the flames. Imagine this scenario in a Special Forces A-Team. We have a sniper assigned to the team that is white and can shoot the wings off a fly at 1000 yards. But we can’t use him as our sniper because we need to have a black sniper to avoid lawsuits. So we end up with the guy who finished 16th best in Sniper school instead of the guy at the top of the class. Which one do you think the rest of the team wants overseeing their movements?

Bottom line…… Screw Affirmative Action. It is old and outdated, and certainly no longer needed in a country where the President of the United States, the Attorney General, the former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and countless other high level positions are held by black Americans.

So what do the rest of you think?

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Comments

  1. joeland7 says:

    Things will change when she is confirm. The court has been too bias for too long. Eight white men and only one woman. Things will change.

    • Check your facts. Or did you forget about Clarence Thomas…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Thomas

    • Bama dad says:

      joeland7 said
      “The court has been too bias for too long.”
      Please provide examples, so we can debate.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Things won’t change much when she is confirmed, she is replacing Souter, who generally votes with Ginsberg anyway. So for the most part, you won’t see many changes in the rulings of the Supremes unless Obama gets to pick a Justice to replace one on the “conservative” side of the court.

      Also, you fail to provide any examples of your allegation of the court being “too bias for too long” and you don’t specify which direction you think it has been biased in, nor do you say which direction you think the court will go, or why you want it to go in that direction…

      Care to expound on any of that?

      • Alan F. says:

        Awaiting an accident, bad burrito or some such bad “luck” befalling one of the remaining conservative judges.

        • I wouldn’t wish ill on anyone, conservative or liberal. I hope the same can be said of anyone on this site…

    • Has joeland7 posted before? If not obviously a driveby Acorn employee !

  2. So here are my humble opinions.

    The Supreme Court got it right with this decision. From what I’ve been able to find, there was no cause for anyone to cry racist in this case from the beginning. There were black people on the panel that oversaw the test and I believe even black people who took part in creating the test. It is a disservice to people who are actually discriminated against to claim discrimination in this case. I can’t for the life of me see why anyone (let alone 4 SCOTUS justices) would not see that. I think they want to see it, which brings me to my next point.

    Affirmative action is still alive and well in this country. While I think that racism and discrimination still exists in this country (Chicago housing for one thing), I think that AA will actually hurt those it is trying to help. Rather than teach them to work hard and achieve, it tells them that they can’t succeed without help. If you want to help inner city students, base it on that, not race. I had two friends in high school both wishing to go to the same high ranking college. The white guy, who had better grades, extracurriculars, etc, didn’t get in, while the asian girl did. Not fair, no matter how you spin it. I could rant more on this, but I have work to do.

    Sotomayor is an ok judge. I don’t agree with her on some things, but I’ve looked at her past cases and don’t think she is an activist (any more than any judge). There were a few questionable cases (the firefighters and 2nd Amendment cases), but there always will be. That being said, I think the claims (mostly by liberals) that she is being unfairly scrutinized are total BS. For this position there should be the highest level of scrutiny possible. This is a lifetime position on the highest court in the country. The biggest problem I have with her is the Hispanic female quote that is all over the news. This was not a “mistake” and she did not “misspeak.” Read the speech this quote came from, that was her overall tone. That is a problem.

    • I think technically that the senate can only turn her down if there is gross misconduct or she is unqualified for the job. So far neither of these two things are the case. 60 years ago there weren’t even hearings on Supreme Court nominees. From what I read FDR stacked the bench with “activist” judges when he was in office that it changed and the Senate decided to take some interest in it.

      • Oh, I’m not saying that they should block her based on the fact that they don’t like her. All I’m saying is ask all the questions, then make a decision, don’t push her through because she is a Latina.

      • Technically Edward the Senate can reject any nominee for any reason they want.

        The Senate set up internal rules of conduct and decorum many moons ago to prevent arbitrary rejections. And in the historical nature of the Senate, to maintain civil debate and statesmanship.

        These rules have been eroding ever since the Robert Bork nomination. Outside lobbyists/activist organizations are able to muster enough force to push Senators into political positions during the confirmation process. This holds for all appointments not just the Supremes.

        FDR did not so much stack the existing court with nominees. He tried to increase the size of the court so he could stack it with his own folks. He backed off after an ugly battle with Repubs and traditionalists on the Dem side. But the standing Supremes got the message and starting reversing themselves on challenges to FDR’s policies. Some scholars believe that some of the Supremes feared FDR would eliminate or revamp the Supreme Court. They feared he had enough popular support to amend the constitution if needed to get this done.

        This of course shows the danger of one party rule supported by a populist president and uneducated population.

      • JayDickB says:

        Seems to me that the Dems/liberals changed the rules starting with Bork and extending to Roberts and Alito. (What they did to Bork is why we ended up with Souter.)

        Are you saying that these new rules no longer apply now that the Dems are nominating the judges?

    • The thing I don’t like is that both she and Obama believe a judge should be compassionate. That seems to me that it is contrary to the concept of the rule of law and leaves you wide open to abuses.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Sort of like the dispassionate Justice Clarence Thomas who thinks schools should have the right to strip search students eh?

        • Ray, your linkage between supposed “dispassionate” and Mr. Thomas’ “legal” opinion is not correct in my view.

          It was not “compassion” that caused others to oppose strip search, it was their “legal” opinion. Because Thomas has a different view has nothing to do with compassion in this decision. At least as far as I can tell.

          You were simply taking a cheap shot at Thomas which is a popular thing to do by many. By linking compassion to what you consider faulty legal logic you are trying to argue that “compassion” is required for “sound legal reasoning”. Sorry, but that is a false connection.

          And given that prior courts had authorized searches of students, what would prevent the eventual progression to strip searches? Nothing but common sense by the school administrators. But we all know that commodity is in rare supply these days.

          Hope all is well at your house this AM
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            JAC – we’ll have to disagree on this one – I would suggest any interpretation of the Fourth Amendment in the context of this case would require some level of compassion.

            http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/08-479.pdf

            • Perhaps you are viewing the use of compassion in some other way than I?

              There is no “compassion” involved in the ruling itself. It is a matter of law. Now the problems stems from previous bad law, in my humble opinion. And the lack of common sense used by the school. They could have just called the parent in to discuss the serious issues at hand.

              Prior courts have given schools the ability to search students without a warrant. The strip search is a forseeable outcome of this kind of legal interpretations. Much the same as the eventual abuses under Partiot Act rulings. All of which could be viewed as “conservative” activism by the way.

              Now for the record, and in opposition for some here, there is a place for “compassion” in the law. We forget that the judiciary must also rule on “equity” in decisions, not just the facts and legal interpretation. Equity here means fair compensation for injustice or injury. It also means sentencing the guilty. The use of extenuating circumstances, etc. etc..

              When we use the term “blind” we need to make sure we mean without regard to any social or racial factors. We are all equal under the law, but we may not get equal compensation if our situations differ. That is both the blessing and bane of our legal system.

        • I don’t get you guys. Either racism IS A BIG DEAL or its not. You can’t pick and choose when an act is socially reprehensible or when it has the court’s blessings based upon skin color EVER. Keep this double standard up and plastic surgery to widen your nose and a lot of tanning hours could be a bigger pay off than actually hitting the books for you guys… be a lot cheaper than actually attending college too.

          • Alan:

            I don’t understand your comment. Where is anyone saying racism IS NOT a big deal?

            JAC

            • Alan F. says:

              Sorry, been reading a lot of American blogs on the left and right. The Fireman issue was as blatant as anything I ever saw regarding race discrimination. If anyone is going to condone it in this case then they lose the right to condemn it elsewhere is my interpretation and that learned people in positions of high authority in America can’t comprehend this just astounds me.

              As a Canadian I’ve seen what affording “special status” to one group over another does for a nation. Its generated hatred for Quebecois in Western Canada where none existed before and is starting to do the same with regard to First Nations through serious crime and the racial light sentencing involved.

              • I agree and am also familiar with the examples you used.

                Although I was hoping the hatred of Quebecois would spur Alberta and B.C. to seceed a few years ago. That would have formed the based for the N.W. USA and Alaska to join in forming a new outfit. In the late 80’s and early 90’s there were alot of folks on both side of the line that liked that concept.

      • Right you are Michelle. Justice is blind. The law is the law, and no compassion is necessary. It just helps to humanize the faces behind the Constitution.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I think the concern is that the konservatives are looking for ANYTHING at this point to latch onto a fight to the death on. There is lower hanging fruit, I suggest they try that first.

      • JayDickB says:

        You are correct that the Reps are looking for reasons to oppose Sotomayer. Of course, the Dems never did that, did they? Remember Bork? Roberts? Alito? I do.

    • Historically her writings that I have read clearly show her bias and its at least equal to the next Republican president appointing the judicial version of Bill O`Reilly.

  3. I believe that yes racism is still alive and well here in America. But I also believe that we need to come to a put that AA should not be the basis of why we are picking people. When I go to a any kind of professional I want to know that they are there because they are the best for that job. I could care less about race, creed, religion or anything else. I do believe that when we are picking a person strictly to fill a spot on the race card, everyone is losing.

    • Ellen, I think reverse racism is becoming more of a problem. I think her comment “a wise, Latina woman” would come to better conclusions more often than a white man.”, is a good indicator of her bias.

      Feeling lazy this am, so copied something similar to what I wanted to post.
      http://orient.bowdoin.edu/orient/article.php?date=2009-05-01&section=2&id=6

      Attempts to eliminate racism from our society using the legal system may have been justified in their day, but now they have led to the institutionalization of policy based on race. In fact, race-based policies have even created a new form of racism: reverse racism.

      look around any college campus and you are bound to see posters for the Asian Students Association, the Latin American Students Organization, and the African-American society. Absent from this collection of race-based assemblies is a White American Students Organization. Even the thought of such a group seems frivolous, laughable, and even racist. But why?

      The idea of a WASO is ridiculous because any group which is predicated on racial divisions is itself racist. Every one of these race-based institutions is dedicated to reinforcing the idea that students should feel more comfortable associating with people of their own race. By encouraging racial divisions within our community we are actively preventing the realization of a post-racial society.

      That race helps to determine an individual’s acceptance to a college is not affirmative action, it is discrimination in action.

      Even the justice system of the United States acts as an agent of reverse racism. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was the first law passed to prevent race-based violent crimes. If a white man murders another white man, then that is just ordinary homicide. But under this law, if a white man kills a black man, he is guilty of a hate crime and will receive harsher punishment than if his victim had been white.

      Even though all violent crimes involve some form of hatred, in the United States only interracial violence merits the title of “hate crime”. The American justice system uses racial discrimination in order to prevent racial discrimination. What bizarre and savage hypocrisy!

      There are those who believe that America must go above and beyond in its efforts to enforce racial equality. But when will this stop? Must we have a congress whose racial composition is equal to that of our nation? Must we have the wealth of this nation distributed equitably along racial lines? Or perhaps the quest for multiculturalism will necessitate race-based population control to ensure that no neighborhood becomes too culturally or ethnically homogenous? I understand the old argument that the pendulum must swing both ways, but racism is one instance where society cannot fight fire with fire.

      Bottom line, any hint of stigma should render her unsuitable, this is supposed to be the highest court in the land. Only the best should be considered, and should be based on merit.

  4. Ray Hawkins says:

    Can a conservative judge be considered an activist judge? Why and why not?

    From WIKI: “Activism, in a general sense, can be described as intentional action to bring about social change, political change, economic justice, or environmental wellbeing. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.”

    At least under this definition I do not see her as activist. I know the konservative kooks have defined her as such (Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, etc) – would need to true up an analysis of her overall opinions to make that leap.

    “The unbiased scoring of knowledge and ability resulted in no black candidates being awarded promotions. It seems to me that this was a test designed to find the best candidates, with absolutely no race playing into the equation.”

    Not sure how you are asserting this? I’d read that was alleged to be part of the issue – that the test was engineered such that not everyone had an equal opportunity to pass it (similar to inner-city students ttrying to take the SAT). I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with you – simply wondering how you know the test to be un-biased?

    Was the purpose of the test to test their ability as fire fighters, or their ability to lead and manage fire fighting operations? I would think there is a difference no?

    Seemingly conflicting statements:

    “I personally don’t like her, and I do think that she has the wrong attitude, history, and agenda for someone who is going to be serving in a position that she cannot be taken out of once she gets in.”

    &

    “Have you found her to be an activist judge? If so please provide some backup to your claim. I don’t know the answer, but I am hoping that some other folks will teach me more about this possible Supreme Court Justice.”

    Um – what is there to teach? I think you already have your mind made up USW?

    • In answer to your question, yes, a conservative Justice could be considered an activist. It depends on what action he has taken to truly determine that. The Justices are there to interprit the law as it applies to the constitution, any deviance from that can be construed as activism of some sort, and I believe it should be.

    • JayDickB says:

      Her activism in the area of race is manifest in her statements (wise latina, etc.) and the Ricci decision she participated in. I have not heard of any other areas in which she has made activist comments or decisions.

      Actually, I think we could (and might) get much worse nominees out of Obama.

    • From Webster’s

      Activism: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue

      The Wiki version contains, you guessed it, bias. That “meaning” portrays activism as big old bundle of gosh golly great goody goodness. So what you then pitch is “can a conservative judge be good”. Nice try.

    • USWeapon says:

      Seemingly conflicting statements:

      “I personally don’t like her, and I do think that she has the wrong attitude, history, and agenda for someone who is going to be serving in a position that she cannot be taken out of once she gets in.”

      &

      “Have you found her to be an activist judge? If so please provide some backup to your claim. I don’t know the answer, but I am hoping that some other folks will teach me more about this possible Supreme Court Justice.”

      Um – what is there to teach? I think you already have your mind made up USW?

      Must we keep playing these games? Is there anything that I could possibly say that you wouldn’t attempt to tie together into a possible degradation of my position?

      “I personally don’t like her, and I do think that she has the wrong attitude, history, and agenda for someone who is going to be serving in a position that she cannot be taken out of once she gets in.”

      I personally don’t like her for her “wise latina woman” comment. The second she made a statement that she can come to a better conclusion than a white man, I was somewhat offended. More important, it showed her to be someone who thinks it is OK to speak in generalizations about a group of people such as “white men”. This is the highest court in the land, I don’t want bigots on the court. I don’t want a latina woman with the attitude that she is simply smarter than white men on the court either.

      She has a history of making statements like this Ray. She also has a history with a questionable latina advocacy group. And because of that, it shows me a wrong attitude for the court, and it shows me that she pursues an agenda. Whether she has allowed that attitude to enter into her decisions is a whole other question. Hence:

      “Have you found her to be an activist judge? If so please provide some backup to your claim. I don’t know the answer, but I am hoping that some other folks will teach me more about this possible Supreme Court Justice.”

      Now this is a different question altogether isn’t it? Now I am asking for information as to whether she has allowed her agenda or her bias or her feeling of superior intellect over white men influence her rulings on the bench. Because I don’t know the answer to that question, I asked for thoughts from anyone who has taken the time to study her rulings from the bench. I did not accuse her at any time of being an activist judge.

      On a side to this, I don’t ask questions for shits and giggles Ray. I offered above an honest and I felt very fair assessment of this situation. I pointed out that I felt that the GOP response was, in my opinion, unwarranted. I defended her record of reversals. I stated my opinion of her personally based on what I do know. And I asked for help in finding out what I don’t know. Your attempt to paint my two very different statements as contradictory to each other was frustrating and, in my opinion, either petty or intentionally misleading in order to discredit me. If you are going to be this critical of me, read what I say a little closer, as I have taken more time writing it than you apparently did reading it. And now I have taken another 20 minutes defending it, when it shouldn’t have needed defending in the first place.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        An agenda has nothing to do with activism? Dios mio! I pointed this out USw because I felt like you were baiting me (it worked). That’s ok – the debate on her looks lively which is not a bad thing.

        • USWeapon says:

          An agenda or bias may be similar or even the same thing. I believe she has bias and an agenda and is an activist. But I am not sure that she has allowed that to permeate her rulings as a judge. That was why I asked the question.

    • USWeapon says:

      “The unbiased scoring of knowledge and ability resulted in no black candidates being awarded promotions. It seems to me that this was a test designed to find the best candidates, with absolutely no race playing into the equation.”

      Not sure how you are asserting this? I’d read that was alleged to be part of the issue – that the test was engineered such that not everyone had an equal opportunity to pass it (similar to inner-city students ttrying to take the SAT). I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with you – simply wondering how you know the test to be un-biased?

      I guess I don’t know the test to be unbiased since I haven’t seen it myself. I know that there are black members of the board that wrote the test. So I would assume that they wouldn’t have written a test that would be biased against their own race. What I have not seen is a lawsuit from the black men who didn’t pass the test alledging that the test was engineered that way. I have heard that claim from several NAACP (and we know that they find race discrimination in the fact that milk is white) folks who have nothing what-so-ever to do with the case, but they were speaking in hypotheticals like you are doing.

      But let’s not kid ourselves here, Ray. Whether it is a test of firefighting skills, or firefighting leadership and decision-making, the bottom line is that it is a firefighting test. What about firefighting could possibly be asked on a test that would make it racially exclusive? Can you give me a single hypothetical question that would be racially unfair to the firemen taking a firefighters promotion test? And if you can think of one (I can’t), would you want the person who couldn’t answer that question leading the charge to save your family from a fire?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        As to the test – add the smiley face here. I wonder as well why any test such as the SAT is seen as biased (I’d assume based on past posts here that most are vehemently opposed to the SAT). I searched and could find squat on exactly what in the test created an unfair advantage. There is nothing either though to suggest it did not.

        • Linked to Ray but for everyone:

          And therein lies the problem.

          The mere fact that one group does poorly in an exam has become “defacto” legal proof that the exam is “descriminatory”. Now this new definition of “descrimination” includes those who were raised in areas with crappy schools. So if you go to a bad school and you don’t learn and later you fail an exam, the exam is the problem. That is how the SAT has become viewed as “biased”.

          That, in a nutshell, was the legal standard which Sotomayor and her fellow Circuit judges had to work with here. She and her compadre’s could have cowboyed up and overturned the lower court but they chose to follow precedent. The Supreme’s decided it was time to go back to something more reasonable. Like maybe someone needs to actually prove the test was designed to descriminate.

          Believe it or not, everyone made the right decsion. The lower courts should follow prior Supreme decisions. It would take unbelievable brass not to, and of course you would be ridiculed if ever considered for a higher court job. It is up to the Supreme to overturn prior BAD Supreme decisions.

          Ray: I do not oppose the SAT, ACT or anyother form of testing. I would say that any institution that relies “entirely” on such tests deserves the result of their decision however. No single test can absolutely predict the abilities or potential success of any given person. What they do predict is the statistical probabilities of larger groups. Quite frankly I don’t know why colleges use them. Whats wrong with a large Freshman class and all their money? If only 20% make it to Sophmore or Junior so be it. The higher classes are more expensive to operate anyway. Realy good schools and employers go much deeper than these types of tests.

          By the way. How many here knew that back in the 70’s the Ivy League Schools were actually providing affirmative action (quotas) for kids from “rural western areas”? If you happened to be of “Native” blood all the better but “white ranch kids” were recruited. Seems they recognized at the time that they were becoming a little “inbred”.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        In the NYT Justice Ginsburg was quoted from the dissenting opinion as the majority “ignores substantial evidence of multiple flaws in the tests New Haven used. The Court similarly fails to acknowledge the better tests used in other cities, which have yielded less skewed results.”

        In looking up the dissent (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-1428.ZD.html) and reading it, I am not left with the impression that the testing process in New Haven is clean – it appears even worse if the offered history and context are true.

        Thoughts? USW?

        • I do. Justice Ginsburg is applying the standard that the results are proof of the flaw. And that because other tests get better results they must not be flawed. As I discussed above this was the standard. It is a bad standard. The supposed offended should have to prove that the test or other measure was designed to “descriminate”. That is how good law should be made and applied. A clear and distinct attack on our rights or powers retained.

          Ginsburg is being consistent with her “activist” view of law in the way she reaches out for examples that may or may not be applicable to the “legal issue” before the court.

          And as has been asked once today, where does the Constitution give the federal govt the power to make such laws in the first place?

        • USWeapon says:

          The dissenting opinion is an interesting read. There are lots of facts there. I have to say that it seems that the court is saying that the results are proof that the test is flawed. To me that is like saying that all the sprinters at the 100 meters in the Olympics are black, so obviously the 100 meters is a flawed racial test of speed.

          I don’t know if the test is flawed or not. It seems that no one can say that it is, only that the results were not what they would have liked.

          The only troubling thing that I find in the things they talk about is the access to study materials claim. If blacks were kept from obtaining the study materials then there is a definite issue here. If the only claim is that “Bob had an advantage because his father was a firefighter and he gave Bob the study materials he had from when he took the exam,” then I have to throw the bullshit flag.

          I also grow weary of the court relying on this false logic that says the percentage of blacks in job x must be equal to the percentage of blacks in the overall population. Because if that is the case, I want more whites in professional sports. I want $15 million a year to play for the Celtics. It doesn’t matter if I am only 5’10”, this is racial discrimination.

          • JayDickB says:

            The city was requested to “validate” the test to look for any biases that would result in blacks not passing. They refused to do so. To me, this means the test is probably fine.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Agree on all points – interesting read but not a smoking gun.

    • I vaguely recall the original verdict and conflict. I expect that what I read then wouldn’t be influenced by rt or left bias. Also sense that heard about it on Imus, as if that makes a difference! Whether it was then of when she rejected the appeal, I understood that NH went out of its way to make sure that the test was created by outside (unbiased) professionals. Who knows.

      I hope USW is correct that she will work out ok, but my sense is that as a person she will be influenced by this controversy and she will hold a grudge, thus she will be even more empathetic than legal. Over many years I tend to be fairly accurate on these things. (even if I dont express myself as well all of you)

      OMG – for 20 yrs the only way that I could get rid of an employee was to make their life miserable (and mine at the same time) because we couldn’t fire them, without being threatened that they would sue, no matter what race or religion! (unless they were Irish, then they had no chance LOL)

      BTW – Miserable status was just to hold them to the same level as my other better employees, not anything more. I

  5. There is a reason that the lady holding the scales of justice is blindfolded…justice is SUPPOSED to be blind. The job of the Supreme Court Justices is to interprit the law as it relates to the constitution. If Sotomayor is proved to be possibly prejudiced toward any group, she should be disqualified…if she is proven not to be prejudiced within reasonable doubt, she should be confirmed.

    Personally, from her past statements, I believe her to be prejudiced so I do not believe her to be a sound pick for this lofty position.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Terry:

      “Personally, from her past statements, I believe her to be prejudiced so I do not believe her to be a sound pick for this lofty position.”

      Which statements are you referring to and what was the context of those statements?

      • “a wise, Latina woman” would come to better conclusions more often than a white man.”

        This is the one in particular, which has been repeated in several different venues…

        • Ray Hawkins says:
          • Uh, I’ve read the speech from which the comment came. She certainly meant it for how it sounded. The whole speech is about how great Hispanic people are and how they need to be empowered and the same for women. She didn’t misspeak.

          • “The hapless White House press secretary Robert Gibbs at first refused to address Sotomayor’s words. By the end of the week though he declared, “I think she’d say
            that her word choice in 2001 was poor.” Sotomayor herself, according to Senator Dianne Feinstein, said that “if you read on and read the rest of my speech you wouldn’t be concerned with it but it was a poor choice of words.”

            The above quote was taken from the link you posted. IF that were a one time occurance, I could let it go, but it was repeated in several different venues, so I cannot give her a pass on it.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              Gibbs is a hack playing to the idiocy of the konservative pundits – the same pundits who didn’t question references made by Samuel Alito to his ancestors. In black and white do you think a white man can appreciate or understand what trials/tribulations this Hispanic woman has been through? I have not walked in her shoes so how I can presume. Her word choices were poor for the point she was trying to convey on how her experiences can provide a depth that others may not. Again, there is lower hanging fruit for the konservatives – this one isn’t it.

              • Sorry Ray, we had been agreeing so much lately. But I am throwing the BS flag on this one.

                Your arguments are identical to those being put out by the Dem’s and their surrogates to support her for this job.

                I to have read the entire speech and this was not an attempt to share her family experience nor was it anything like the comment made by Alito. In my opinion she said what she meant and meant what she said.

                You really need to back up a bit and not jump to the defensive, just because the conservative hacks are on attack. And by the way she never used the words to provide a depth others may not share, she said to make better decisions. This reveals an opinion that white men have made the “wrong” decisions.

                Now with that said, we never know how a justice will act once appointed. Will she continue to harbor what appear to be Latino activist views or will she feel the weight of the office and assume a more “blind” view of the law? What have we to go on besides her words to help us judge?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I moved Ray’s reply below for readability… USW

              • To answer your question “In black and white do you think a white man can appreciate or understand what trials/tribulations this Hispanic woman has been through?”:

                In black and white, it does not matter whether a white man could appreciate what she has been through. It only matters that decisions rendered should be blind to all…and supported by the Constitution of the United States of America.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Ray,

                Is there a reason that your K key has replaced your C key this morning when you type the word conservative?

                I think your typing skills have markedly deteriorated… either that or someone has messed with your ceyboard.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                konservative just looks more intimidating. 🙂

              • You know, using that Konservative thing, like why don’t you go all the way and call them KKKonservatives. makes you look as bright as those who used to use AMERIKA. Get some sleep Ray.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                That would be impolite of me SK

  6. I want to hear and do more research on Sotomayor before I make my mind up on her. I think it should be a long process-its a life appointment. Some of her statements have me very troubled, but my jury is still out.
    I believe any judge who uses their own views when making decisions on cases is a activist judge, no matter which side they might stand on.

  7. Sotomayor’s comments, involvement in LaRaza, and some of her decisions, including this one means she should be questioned thoroughly. She is a product of Affirmative Action (as is the President and First Lady, I believe), so I doubt we will see AA go away during this administration.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      What do you mean “she is a product of affirmative action”? Please explain less I call BS

      • Videos are probably out there as well, but this is from The New York Times, writing about the video:

        “Judge Sonia Sotomayor once described herself as “a product of affirmative action” who was admitted to two Ivy League schools despite scoring lower on standardized tests than many classmates, which she attributed to “cultural biases” that are “built into testing.”

        Those comments were among a trove of videos dating back nearly 25 years that shed new light on Judge Sotomayor’s views. She provided the videos to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week as it prepares for her Supreme Court confirmation hearing next month.

        The clips include lengthy remarks about her experiences as an “affirmative action baby” whose lower test scores were overlooked by admissions committees at Princeton University and Yale Law School because, she said, she is Hispanic and had grown up in poor circumstances.

        “If we had gone through the traditional numbers route of those institutions, it would have been highly questionable if I would have been accepted,” she said on a panel of three female judges from New York who were discussing women in the judiciary. The video is dated “early 1990s” in Senate records.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Sorry – I’d rather see the video and the context of what Savage is insinuating (am watching some video now). It is dubious whether AA was completely in play or not. Her performance at both schools may suggest otherwise and does nothing to affirm that she would interpret the law as such regardless of circumstance.

          • Ray, the persons performance once accepted is not the same as the fact that Affirmative Action may hve been what got them accepted.

            Another good case in point. Collin Powell stated he was a product of AA in terms of the chances he received. Obviously his talent had to keep him there once he arrived. And, Mr. Powell stated that he supports AA because of the chances it gave him.

            So do you really think that our Supreme candidate would not support quotas or placing lower score candidates ahead of higher scorers as a part of AA?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              “So do you really think that our Supreme candidate would not support quotas or placing lower score candidates ahead of higher scorers as a part of AA?”

              JAC – I doubt it – but I want this question asked in her hearings.

              FTR I do not support AA – it is inherently flawed and built for abuse.

              • Thats because “Affirmative Action” became “descriminatory action”.

                I actually support Affirmative Action as originally supported by the higher court. As such quotas and any other biased selection would have been prohibited.

                Outreach and special training/education programs to help up those who were either descriminated against or unlucky in their family situations.

                I also want these and other tough questions asked in the hearings. The problem is that the hearings have become orchestrated and well coached events designed to Not Answer any tough questions.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        Judge Sotomayor REFERS TO HERSELF as an “affirmative action baby”. To call BS on this statement would be to call BS on her own words.

        Feel free to do so, however, since most of her words probably are BS anyway…

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      In re: Sotomayor involvement in the NCLR – what are your issues with this? What konservative hype vehicles have led you astray on this? Have you read the NCLR platforms? Do you agree or disagree with any one them? Do you believe Sotomayor sets policy at the NCLR?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        La Raza is a racist organization. It is a Latin Supremicist Group essentially. (This doesn’t bring up cries of derision the way “White Supremicist Group” does, but that is another story).

        Whether or not she “makes policy” for this group is not relevant. The fact that she is associated with this group IS relevant.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          The NCLR is the National Council for La Raza, and is not to be confused with La Raza Unida. The NCLR is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting better educational and employment opportunities for hispanics.

          Assuming that what they say on the website is true and that NCLR has nothing to do with La Raza Unida, I stand corrected on the above statement.

          I do believe that the NCLR should perhaps change it’s name or do something to further differentiate itself from La Raza Unida simply because both demokrats and conservatives could be konfused by misleading association of the two groups, which supposedly are not associated in any way.

          • The problem is that it not only supports but depends on “ethnic identity” that is separate from “American identity”.

            They claim to support transition but in their activism they perpetuate separtness. If this were not true they would not have an influential lobby.

            Concentration of followers = POWER

            I know of no special interest group who’s mission is to reduce the number of members who identify with and depend on that group. So while they may in fact do great things, they also cause damage.

            Perhaps it is time we simply re-evaluated what we consider to be “not for profit” organizations? Why do we give preferred tax status to any group that acts as an “activist” or “advocate” for a single groups position or condition?

            • Amazed1 says:

              I really do not understand why it is important to some groups to be African American, Native AMerican, Mexican American or what ever…..what ever happened to I am an American….it means you uphold to American values. Good grief….what happens when I add all the titles to my heritage we’d have to have a book….most people in America are the same way, not a whole lot of prue blood lines around.

  8. All;

    As I indicated in my guest commentory “My Mantra going Forward” it is just another cog in the current regimes plan to further render ‘citizen rule’ useless and surpressed. Barry and his regime are executing a well thought out plan to seize control, while accomplishing tasks that ensure that plans continued growth. Each of these acts/bills/appointments are individual efforts designed to remove our freedoms, surpress our historical liberty, and elliminate our voice of disagreement.

    Stimulus Bill, Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade, Fairness Doctrin, Sotomayor Appointment, etc, etc are well calculated battles to win an overall war; a war to instill some form of Facsist/Socialist government.

    As I indicated in my commentarty it is not about promoting their ideal of fairness and unity around a common etopia, it’s about garnering control and power. Control and Power return money and influence, and further promotes their belief that they are superior.

    This regime has enacted more legislation in the past six months than any other past regime. They did so because they have the influence and power to do so, and because it has been the Far-Left’s plan and plot for a long, long time. FDR appointed activist Judges, Nixon elliminated the Gold Standard, Carter…well he was just a peanut pick’en moron, Bush started the Stimulus Bill effort, Clinton…well I think that Billy just wanted everything to stay status quo so he could chase tail and gorge himself on MacDonalds, his handlers enacted the foundation for today’s universal mindset, and Barry now has the plan and enfluence to put the icing on the cake.

    It really isn’t going to make much difference what we say (as a population) about Sotomayor’s approval or disaproval, she will be confirmed. As a people, especially at this late stage in the game, we don’t have ANY influence.

    Now, we might be able to influence the Senate’s vote on the Cap and Trade Bill provided we all contact our Senator’s and let them know our wishes. Maybe a focal point for the 4th of July Tea Parties should be the Cap and Trade Senate Vote. It is a critical issue and one that will gravely effect our lives. We have a real chance to win a battle if we speak out and let those making the final decision to say “NO”!!!!!! Battles don’t win the overall war, but sometimes they can turn the progress.

    I encourage everyone to write, call and email their Senator’s over and over again, so they know the Cap and Trade Bill is a Constitutional violation of our rights, you work for us and voting YES could very well get you removed from your current job down the road. I would also encourage everyone to suggest they focus on the Cap and Trade Bill as central theme at the 4th of July Tea Parties. Encourage your local news to come out and cover the rallies (chose your local FOX channel to ensure favorable coverage).

    Let’s put our energy’s toward an area that can make a immediate difference; it might work.

    CM

  9. Good morning everyone!

    I don’t know if she is an activist judge or not, but what I think on that promotion is this. If you qualify for it, then you should get it, if you pass the test, you should get it. I don’t think what they did is fair at all, just because of one person who happens to be black complained about it. It doesn’t matter what the job is. If you qualify, and are the best person for the job, then it should go to that person, black, white, or whatever. It’s just like with the business we’re in, the analytical business of testing drinking water, soil, metals, sand/oil separators,and a whole lot of other things. People come in, and apply for a job, doesn’t matter what color they are, if they don’t have the qualifications, they don’t get the job. You have to have a degree in chemistry in order to know what you are doing. We don’t hire people people just because. We only have 2 people at our place of business who happen to have a degree in chemistry anyway, my brother in law, who owns the place, and our cousin who works there. My brother in law has had his degree for over 35 years anyway. Our cousin has had his for over 15. My brother in law can’t just hire some Joe Blow because because of race, the person has to be qualified first.

    Good day to all.

    Judy

  10. Black Flag says:

    For the Constitutionalists out there:

    Where in the Constitution is “Affirmative Action”?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ummm…

      Sorry BF… I looked REALLY HARD, and I couldn’t find affirmative action anywhere in there.

      I DID find some stuff about EQUAL PROTECTION; however, that seems to not jive with this affirmative action stuff much.

    • See my Response at 21.

  11. Black Flag says:

    Deficit forces California to issue IOUs
    By Matthew Garrahan in Los Angeles

    California is preparing to issue IOUs to its creditors this week as it grapples with an unprecedented cash crunch and prepares to begin its new fiscal year deep in the red.
    Once the US’s richest state, California now has the dubious distinction of having the worst credit rating in the country.

    It is facing a budget deficit of $24bn (€17bn, £14.5bn) yet Arnold Schwarzenegger, its governor, and the state assembly cannot agree on a budget that would address the shortfall.
    California’s fiscal year ends on Wednesday but as the state’s cash reserves are empty, IOUs will be issued to a range of creditors, including contractors, such as information technology companies and the food service groups that cater for prisons.

  12. Ok, Ray, the print is getting to squished ;). I read that bit you posted from Sotomayor’s speech before, but I read it again now. Here is what I hear:

    People’s decisions are based on their experiences.
    A “person of color” has different experiences than white people.
    Women have different experiences than men.
    The only way to properly administer the law is to have people of all types.
    White men have made some good decisions, but they are responsible for lots of bad stuff.

    Seems to me that these are exactly the points that people opposed to Sotomayor have been making. I’m not sure why you posted it, though.

    Let me put it plain. I don’t give a flying monkey’s crap what race or gender a person is. If they are nominated for the supreme court, they had better be the BEST there is. They must NEVER benefit people of their own culture over others (wasn’t that the problem with white men for so long?). Sotomayor doesn’t seem to pass this test, but then again, I could be wrong.

    • Danak13 says:

      JB…..gotta go with flying monkey crap……still laughing. May I use it something…..

      D13

  13. Bama dad says:

    What I know about Sotomayor is she is somewhat left of center. She tends to run (rule) with the left of center pack and has not jumped out with any controversial decrees from the bench. Because she stays mixed with the pack it is hard to determine what kind of SC judge she will be. She was first nominated by President George H. W. Bush, which gives her some brownie points with me. She thinks highly of her Latino heritage and has been a activist for Latino causes, which causes me to wonder if she sees herself as an American or as a Latino. My concerns are some of her statements she has made through the years (and I have listened to more than the sound bites). It is difficult to really read what kind of SC judge she will be, definitely more left of center I believe. Because she is replacing a liberal I view her appointment as a even swap that will not change the current makeup. The next appointment will be the big one. As far as the Senate hearings go, ask the questions, look in all the closets, then vote how the people you represent tell you to vote. Don’t play politics.
    Now affirmative action I have some real problems with. There was a time when this might have been needed but now it keeps the most qualified from filling a position. In my profession when we contract to work on a project with public money we are required by law to subcontract to minority owned firms for X% of work. Mind you we get the work because of our expertise and performance; they get it because of minority status. Because they are a sub of ours, any delays or mistakes are ours to bear. In our area there used to be 3 DBE (minority owned firms) that we worked with. One did good work (not great but good); unfortunately he (owner) passed away 4 years ago. Eight years ago a new firm set up shop to do work as a DBE. The Department of Transportation gave (notice I said gave) them a small project to work on with the requirement that they hire us as a sub to “show them the ropes”. To say the least the project was a disaster. We completed our part of the assignment, part of theirs while we were on site and then went our merry way. Six years later they finally closed up shop and dissolved without finishing their first assignment with the DOT. Now guess who got to cleanup this mess? We did. I don’t know how much money was spent on this fiasco but it had to be a lot. Your tax dollars at work, makes you feel good doesn’t it. If that had been our firm, we would have never worked again. We now have one DBE firm to choose from and he has the system all figured out to work for him. It’s him, one other guy and a secretary. When he is the DBE firm used, he signs the contract, then subcontracts to another firm for less money, then takes his share to the bank. No work just a money conduit for him and his company. I could list many more examples of misuse but I think all of you get my point.

  14. Switching tracks here, did the S.C. decide to hear this case at this time to influence her nomination? Fox opinion said:

    “The Supreme Court’s decision in the New Haven Firefighters’ case shows that the Court–and the nation–are at a turning point in racial preferences. This could not come at a worse time for President Obama’s nominee, as Judge Sotomayor apparently holds a view of race that the country rejects and the Constitution doesn’t allow.”

    This could not come at a worse time, so was the timing deliberate?

    • http://www.scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=Ricci%2C_et_al._v._DeStefano%2C_et_al.

      On Wednesday, April 22, in Ricci v. DeStefano (07-1428 & 08-328), the Court will consider questions relating to the operation and constitutionality of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They include whether an employer’s actions to prevent disparate impact violates Title VII’s prohibition on disparate treatment and whether an employer’s failure to “certify the result of” an employment test, for fear of disparate impact, violates the Equal Protection Clause. The Court’s answers have the potential to fundamentally alter workplace civil rights protections.

      Sotomayer was nominated May 26…

    • USWeapon says:

      The court agreed to hear this case before Souter announced his retirement and way before she was nominated as his replacement.

  15. Concerned in Michigan says:

    Having grown up after the Civil Rights marches and after the Women’s Liberation movements (I’m 38), I’m a little turned off by both now. In their original forms both were about people not being judged based on something they can’t help – race or gender. Both seemed to be about helping people receive equal treatment so that former barriers to equality would be removed. But fast forward 3 or 4 decades and you have militancy in both groups that IMHO undermines their original goals. If the law is the only way a person can get a job (AA), then that devalues that person and immediately judges them inferior. If a woman has to “do it all” – job, family, community, etc. – in order to be a “real woman,” then that eliminates the idea of a woman being able to make choices about what she wants to do. Either way, both groups end up devalued.

    For the record, I think the Supreme Court got this one right.

  16. Ray Hawkins says:

    Ray Hawkins said
    June 30, 2009 at 10:51 am e

    No it does not reveal that white men have made the wrong decisions – re-read the two paragraphs following her statement – I read a Judge who has tremendous awareness and curiosity of how origin and makeup can have some influence. To suggest otherwise is to suggest they are not human.

    “That same point can be made with respect to people of color. No one person, judge or nominee will speak in a female or people of color voice. I need not remind you that Justice Clarence Thomas represents a part but not the whole of African-American thought on many subjects. Yet, because I accept the proposition that, as Judge Resnik describes it, “to judge is an exercise of power” and because as, another former law school classmate, Professor Martha Minnow of Harvard Law School, states “there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives — no neutrality, no escape from choice in judging,” I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that — it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others. Not all women or people of color, in all or some circumstances or indeed in any particular case or circumstance but enough people of color in enough cases, will make a difference in the process of judging. The Minnesota Supreme Court has given an example of this. As reported by Judge Patricia Wald formerly of the D.C. Circuit Court, three women on the Minnesota Court with two men dissenting agreed to grant a protective order against a father’s visitation rights when the father abused his child. The Judicature Journal has at least two excellent studies on how women on the courts of appeal and state supreme courts have tended to vote more often than their male counterpart to uphold women’s claims in sex discrimination cases and criminal defendants’ claims in search and seizure cases. As recognized by legal scholars, whatever the reason, not one woman or person of color in any one position but as a group we will have an effect on the development of the law and on judging.

    In our private conversations, Judge Cedarbaum has pointed out to me that seminal decisions in race and sex discrimination cases have come from Supreme Courts composed exclusively of white males. I agree that this is significant but I also choose to emphasize that the people who argued those cases before the Supreme Court which changed the legal landscape ultimately were largely people of color and women. I recall that Justice Thurgood Marshall, Judge Connie Baker Motley, the first black woman appointed to the federal bench, and others of the NAACP argued Brown v. Board of Education. Similarly, Justice Ginsburg, with other women attorneys, was instrumental in advocating and convincing the Court that equality of work required equality in terms and conditions of employment.

    Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

    Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.

    However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. 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.”

    • Your right in that she’s no monster but I believe the rub here is that in this statement of your own “how origin and makeup can have some influence” she’s leaning far closer to “will” than “can”.

  17. Black Flag says:

    Interesting stat:

    The U.S. has 93 million houses, condos, and co-ops. Over 20 million of these are now underwater: worth less than the mortgages.

    • Isn’t Barney Frank looking to help the Condo developers, something along the lines of the help we provided to those that couldn’t afford mortgages a few years back? I believe he was looking to get Fannie (Mae, not his)involved (again). I know history repeats itself, but that is a quick repeat.

      • Danak13 says:

        Kathy….you have made the assumption that they stopped. History cannot repeat was is not finished….

        Have a nice one.

        D13

  18. Black Flag says:

    From a blog:

    “Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Alabama Retirement Systems, the 43rd largest investment fund in America, spoke at Rotary Club here yesterday. He is one of the most respected fund controllers in the United States today by his peers.

    Bronner had the following to say:

    1) Next month, July, California hits the wall financially, that will send a ripple effect across the US economy, AND over the next two years one state after the other will fall to it’s knees financially as the federal government stimulus package ends by 2011. It has helped various states at different levels comparative to their economic condition. He says the stimulus package is what’s been keeping the states alive for now…except for California which was in such terrible shape the stimulus package wasn’t enough to really help them. “They go first” He said Alabama would hit the wall in February of 2011, late in the game as Alabama is in better shape than other states.Bronner says Alabama might dodge the bullet if the economy revives enough by then. But, he doesn’t really think things will improve enough by then to avoid a crisis…”It will be the largest economic crisis in the history of the State of Alabama”

    Bronner says Alabama will experience such significant shortfalls by 2011 that taxes will have to be raised substantially to avoid collapse…probably on property. And that practically all states will face a similar fate.

    2) Within 120 to 150 days from now the commercial real estate market nationally begins to collapse as stores, malls, and shopping strips, and industrial plant have enough closures (store and plant) and loss of rental revenue to make them unable to pay their mortgages. They will start going into foreclosure unable to pay their mortgages in a significant way at that time creating a second wave of economic disaster starting three to four months from now.

    3) Unless oil stays above $70 a barrel Russian and Mexican economics will begin to unravel as countries (“socio-economic collapse) economies require that much from oil to have an adequate revenue stream to feed their people and economies. AND, the only other big revenue stream for Mexico is illegal drugs sold in the US…so their economy will intensify their focus on selling drugs in America as a result in order to survive if oil doesn’t stay above $70…he said $90 would be better for them.

    4) The US economy (according to Bronner) is today like a patient in the emergency room in the process of having a heart attack. He said people tend to think of it as being in the hospital for cancer or chronic disease. Without the huge Bush stimulus, and then the huge Obama stimulus, the economy would have already flat lined…(i.e. we’d be experiencing a Great Depression style economic collapse heading toward 25% unemployment or so as the tumble would have continued and intensified at an increasing rate, with the stock market hitting around 2,000) Bronner said the depth of the crisis was greater than ANYONE realized and agrees today, after learning the extent of the crisis, that the federal government simply had to start “shoveling” money at it to prevent a true and complete collapse of our economy. He said he, at first, was mad at this shoveling of money until he learned the truth about the amount of money necessary to prevent a total collapse which he believes would have happened.

    5) Inflation will not arrive for 3 to 5 years as the economy is in a deflationary stage due to the economic plummet…and will not experience inflation until people start “buying things” again, and that’s going to take while! He also believes 3 to 5 years is probably the term until true economic recovery establishes in the US and world economy.

    6) China must start selling their products to people in their own country and paying their workers enough to buy them. This would increase their products prices, reducing their exports (and “besides they will lose interest in having more US dollars anyway”) and enabling other countries (US) to compete with them.

    7) The greatest threat to the US economy is one of around 9 world events that could heap misery on top of misfortune at exactly the wrong time. A nuclear incident with N Korea, a plague, Israel attacking Iran (oil shock), or such could still throw the US economy into a Great Depression style situation. He said the greatest risk of this is anytime from now until the world economy gets somewhat back on it’s feet…in 3 to 5 years.

  19. Love the debate. It helps solidify or quandrify(is that a word?) one’s sense of what’s really right and fair. Lady Justice is up there working her Lats(sides) big time. Poor thing! I, see, at this time AA not getting Justice for this country correctly done. It allows cheating one’s way up a ladder instead of reaching the stars against all odds.Standards of highest achievement and excellence, as we all know, or woefully gone missing. I rest my case.

  20. Kristian says:

    I don’t think affirmative action is something that I have ever personally experienced but I’ve seen what the effects have been on my mother. My mom works for a hospital and it’s one of the larger hospitals in our city. She has been there for almost thirty years and doesn’t even make 15 dollars and hour. My mom holds several positions within her department. She is a monitor tech, meaning that she watches and reads the heart monitors at her station. She is a phlebotomist, she is the unit secretary and she fixes things when they are broken. Sounds like I am making this up doesn’t it? My mom is an extrordinary(sp?)woman! She has seen people hired to do only one of the jobs that she does for 3 or 4 dollars more an hour than what she makes. It makes her angry and it makes her feel descriminated against. Can she do anything about? No, because to do so would have her accused of being racist and possibly losing her job. So please tell me what is right about promoting someone or hiring someone based on the color of their skin?

    • Amazed1 says:

      There is nothing right about hiring a person based on the color of their skin. There is nothing right about paying a man more to do a job than a woman. Giving concessions to people for doing poor work is not right. What need does a person have to fight to succeed when they know it will be handed to them.
      Why would a test be biased? I have not figured that out? Lots of “scientist” say that mens brains work more toward math and science, and womens more toward reading and writing. So if I am taking a test to be a journalist and I am a man does that mean the test is biased if it doesn’t contain 50% math and science? That is just plain crazy. We work so hard at making things better we make them worse by holding people to a lesser standard. As a general rule people give you just exactly what you expect of them….you expect less you general get less.
      What will our new Latino judge do to America? I don’t really know….but I fear the first thing is to make it impossible to punish illegals or refuse them a job, health care ect. it will be ruled unconsitutional. (just my opinion). I am glad the reversal of the lower court decision came before she took the bench…she may have had a hard time over ruling her own decision.

  21. Ray Hawkins says:

    Thoughts on the Conservative wing of the SCOTUS legislating from the bench in the Ricci case?

    • Ray: I am not sure you could say they “legislated” as much as overturned prior court precedent. The older rulings had created standards beyond those included in legislation, and thus were in a sense creating rules or legislation.

      This whole thing creates an odd argument for either side. One that is captured in the Lanny Davis article that I think Chris D. cited yesterday or the day before. Once a court establishes a decision, regardless of good or bad, it becomes precident. Therefore any “conservative” court would uphold it on legal precident basis. To overturn it would be considered as “activist”.

      But the arguments are very misleading because they misuse terms like “conservative” and “activist” and “liberal”, flopping back and forth from new age to traditional meanings, depending on which best fits the argument. We must also recognize that what we consider as “activist” courts are supported by “activist” or “modern liberal” legislatures. If you write broad law you are going to get broad court opinion based on who is on the court. If you don’t have the brass to deal with issues directly, you let the court deal with it and then blame it on them. But you don’t take action to remand the courts decision.

      As for your question regarding Ricci and as more response to Ginsberg I offer you the following link. Recognizing it has a bit of a bend but I think it is a good summary of the legal and social dilemna we face today with regard to Affirmative Action and other such programs.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/06/30/left_dodges_moral_debate_on_ricci_case.html

      Best Wishes
      JAC

    • Danak13 says:

      Ray……top o’ th’ morn to ya….

      I have been reading several interpretations of the SCOTUS decision and legislating from the bench. Most (90%) of the interpretations seemed to be centered around the use of a test that has a disparate impact. It appears that the Court has made it tougher to use that argument as a sole criteria, now. I think I have to agree. To simply throw out test results because no minority passed it is not right and has violated the rights of the firefighters. I think the Court has said so…given that there is no proof that the test itself was not flawed and intentionally discriminatory. All had the same chance to study and pass.

      I know that this is overly simplified… but I think that is what it boils down to. So, legislating from the bench…isn’t that what courts do? I do not see any re-written of the law…I do see them saying..it takes more to prove discrimination.

      D13

      • I barely have time to skim these posts, but I was sure that I read once that New Haven knew that there may be an issue re: the test so they went outside to get a new or review the test. I believe that was part of the original trial but I guess not introduced in the appeals? Anyone know?

        • Danak13 says:

          Frank….you are partially correct. They took the test to the “outside” and it was discovered that the originators of the test were primarily black ( pretty much defeating the argument that it was derived by whites ) and that the test would be certified in most states and municipalities.

    • Ray:

      I am putting this here instead of above, in order to keep the thoughts together. Regarding Title VII as the basis, the law did not create the standard for descrimination overturned by Ricci. The prior Court did that. I also thought everyone would find the following of interest, from Wikki:

      “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment. Conceived to help African Americans, the bill was amended prior to passage to protect women, and explicitly included white people for the first time. It also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

      In order to circumvent limitations on congressional power to enforce the Equal Protection Clause imposed by the Supreme Court in the Civil Rights Cases, the law was passed under the Commerce Clause, which had been interpreted by the courts as a broad grant of congressional power. Once the Act was implemented, its effects were far reaching and had tremendous long-term impacts on the whole country. It prohibited discrimination in public facilities, in government, and in employment, invalidating the Jim Crow laws in the southern U.S. It became illegal to compel segregation of the races in schools, housing, or hiring. Powers given to enforce the bill were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years.”

      PLEASE NOTE THE CONGRESS RELIED ON THE “COMMERCE CLAUSE” AS IT’S AUTHORITY. WITHOUT FDR’S COURT CHANGING THE MEANING OF THIS CLAUSE THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT WOULD HAVE HAD NO CONSTITUTIONAL BASIS. ALONG WITH MOST OF THE LAWS PASSED TO CONTROL OUR BEHAVIOR.

    • And one more addition on the topic, also from the same Wikki entry:

      “[edit] Desegregation
      One of the most “damaging” arguments by the bill’s opponents was that once passed, the bill would require forced busing to achieve certain racial quotas in schools.[16] Proponents of the bill, such as Emanuel Celler and Jacob Javits, said that the bill would not authorize such measures. Leading sponsor Hubert Humphrey wrote two amendments specifically designed to outlaw busing.[16] Humphrey said “if the bill were to compel it, it would be a violation [of the Constitution], because it would be handling the matter on the basis of race and we would be transporting children because of race.”[16] While Javits said any government official who sought to use the bill for busing purposes “would be making a fool of himself,” two years later the Department of Health, Education and Welfare said that Southern school districts would be required to meet mathematical ratios of students by busing.[16]”

      NOTE HOW THE LAW AS WRITTEN AND THE LAW AS IMPLEMENTED BECOME TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. THE COURT LATER UPHOLDS BUSING, DESPITE THE OPEN AND WELL KNOWN CLAIMS BY THE LAWS AUTHOR’S THAT IS WOULD NOT EVER BE DEEMED CONSTITUTIONAL.

      Now back to the original question. A court later overturns the original courts ruling that overturned the intent of congress. Which court is “conservative” and which is “activist”?

      Is it no wonder the population of this country is confused and thus chooses to just ignore all this B.S. most of the time?

  22. Danak13 says:

    USW….I go away for the weekend to play consultant to the army at Fort Hood and look what you have done. Another topic that resembles a firing line line at night with no range officer present. What a topic. Whew!!!

    Was the Courts decision the proper one? Yes. I do not need to qualify that any decision based on race is wrong. It simply is. Discrimination based on race is simply not correct….no matter the race.

    Now, this brings us to Sotomayor and issues you brought up about affirmative action. Do I think that her Latina background will influence her decision? Yes sir…I think it will. Does any judge’s background influence their decision… Yes sir…that is the sad part…I think it does. It does not matter if they are conservative or liberal. This last decision was on party line… that, in itself, indicates bias. If not, the decision would be 9-0. Ok..that was a simple answer.

    Affirmative Action…whoa! Being brought into this world in 1948, I did see race discrimination on several levels. I do recall blacks (negroes) having to ride the back of the bus. I do recall separate water fountains and bathrooms labeled white and “colored”. I do recall restaurants that had separate eating areas labeled white and “colored”. I also recall religious discrimination that singled out whites. I also recall job discrimination against whites. I do recall whites not being able to get hotel rooms and meals because of their last name. I do recall whites not being able to sit at counters “labeled” whites because of their name and not being able to sit with the “colored” because of their name and religion. So to say that discrimination did not exist in the 50’s and 60’s….it did and I saw it. More so in the 60’s because I was old enough to understand it.

    Affirmative Action was a social experiment that went awry. This is where the dumbing down of America started. Political Correctness and all that BS. I personally feel, as I have lived through it, that Affirmative Action programs have done more to segregate this country that any slave trader, politician, or hate group has ever done. Affirmative Action, pitted class against class, in the name of justice. It might have taken a generation, maybe two, to correct discriminatory practice BUT that is the way it should have happened. To base jobs, appointments, salaries, etc. on artificial quotas because they ( whomever ) were “held” back was just wrong. Change the law…yes. Change it and let it take place…do not force it. We always talk of let the market place decide…then let it decide. Any one who is discriminatory is still going to do so. I can still hire whom I please for whatever reason I wish. Just keep it to yourself. If I choose NOT to hire someone, I owe no explanation to anyone why I did not. I simply make my choice and go down the road. Technically, can’t the professional basketball teams be guilty of race based inequality? Are they not 90% black? Or am I going to hear that the basketball teams are staffed with players who are simply better. Perhaps affirmative action should give white or Hispanic players a “hand” up because they are not athletic enough and changed the rules to make it more equal. Where the hell does this all end.

    I believe that the laws are very clear now and Affirmative Action is a buzz word that is still used by the “disadvantaged” (yes, it is in quotes because I do not believe there is still a disadvantaged class out there – unless reverse discrimination is really alive.) To assume that a test is biased simply because no minority can pass it, is hogwash and unsupportable. Perhaps they should study more. The city was not in a no win situation because of the test…it was in a no win situation because of political correctness and fear.

    What was not mentioned in your article unless I missed it, Sotomayors decision was not based on the facts anyway…her decisions was in the form of a summary judgment. There was no rendering or written opinion, she exercised her authority in a summary judgment. Crap….this is where I take exception. I don’t give, as some one previously said, “a flying monkey crap” (I like that) whether or not she is a Latina. Issuing a summary judgment without considering facts was racist as I see it. A test did not qualify blacks, and only whites, she ruled it wrong n summary. Not a damned word written to justify. A FRIGGIN’ SUMMARY JUDGMENT. Holy crap batman, THAT IS WRONG as an appeals court justice.

    Ok (drinking my Dr. Pepper) I am calmed down now. I am not a conservative by definition and I am certainly not a Liberal, by definition. I am fiscally conservative and a social moderate…so label me what you want. As a military man, I look at things on a scale. I do not look at empathy, sympathy, social justice or any other adjective… Is it right or is it wrong. She was wrong, this time, and the Supreme Court right…this time.

    As a Justice, I have read several of her decisions. If I had to make a decision, she is no better or worse than the one she is replacing. She will be confirmed. If I were the repubs…I would be focusing on changing the 2010 Congress. THAT is the only thing that is going to bring this nonsense into reality. Have a true two party system.

    D13

    • Danak13 says:

      Uh oh,,,,last paragraph indicates that I am a Justice…of course, I am not. I think you will get the gist.

      • But you do appear to be a fellow Radical Right Wing Liberal and potential Justice candidate for the VDLG party.

        Justice Danak, I like the sound of that.

        Hope all is well in the Republic today.
        Best Wishes
        JAC

        • Danak13 says:

          Why in the world would I want to be a Justice…especially Supreme Court…what would I do with a lifetime job protection, unlimited medical, and more power than God….after all I am a COLONEL.

          🙂

          D13

          • Everyone must suffer a downgrade once in their life. It is a character building experience. Besides, we need your weathered wisdom.

            LOL

            JAC

            • Danak13 says:

              Ahhhh…..JAC….weathered wisdom….you mean to say that I am old with experience??

              Have a great day.

          • and all your decisions are correct sir….I mean Colonel Sir….can I just call you Danak and leave off the Justice, Sir and Colonel…ROFL

            • Danak13 says:

              Certainly…..How about just shorten it to D13. Appreciate everyone’s comment….big head time.

  23. Danak13 says:

    Off subject here…can someone tell me how to get an icon on here?

  24. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    It is impossible for anything our government does to ever be truly progressive, because the opposite of progress is congress.

    Sorry, just had to throw that out there.

  25. Judy S. says:

    >

    Hey everybody, I thought this would be a good time to lighten things up here for a change. Here, have a few laughs courtesy of my son.

    Hope they bring a smile to your face. I know it has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but just the same, I thought I’d share these with you. I have another one, but more realistic that I would like to put on later, if USW doesn’t mind. Hope you don’t mind me putting these ones up USW. Just wanted to share a few giggles with everybody, thought these were very funny.

    Judy

    > good laughs
    >

    >
    >
    > Have
    > you ever spoken and wished that you could immediately take
    > the words back or that you could crawl into a hole?

    >
    > Here
    > are the testimonials of a few people who
    > did…

    >
    > *I
    > walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in
    > tow and asked loudly, “How much do you charge for a
    > shampoo and a blow job?” I turned around and walked
    > back out and never went back. My husband didn’t say
    > a word.
    >
    >
    > He knew
    > better.

    >
    > *I was
    > at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls.
    > I was unhappy with the women’s type I had been using.
    > After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one
    > of the good- looking gentlemen who works at the store. He
    > asked if he could help me. Without thinking, I looked at
    > him and said, “I think I like playing with men’s
    > balls.”
    >

    >
    > *My
    > sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store that
    > sold a variety of candy and nuts. As we were looking at
    > the display case, the boy behind the counter asked if we
    > needed any help. I replied, “No, I’m just looking
    > at your nuts.” My sister started to laugh
    > hysterically, the boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and
    > walked away. To this day, my sister has never let me
    > forget.

    >
    > *Have
    > you ever asked your child a question too many times? My
    > three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty training
    > and I was on him constantly. One day we stopped at Taco
    > Bell for a quick lunch in between errands. It was very
    > busy, with a full dining room. While enjoying my taco, I
    > smelled something funny, so of course I checked my
    > seven-month-old daughter, and she was clean. Then I
    > realized that Danny had not asked to go potty in a while, so
    > I asked him if he needed to go, and he said, “No.”
    > I kept thinking, “Oh Lord, that child has had an
    > accident, and I don’t have any clothes with me.”
    > Then I said, “Danny, are you SURE you didn’t have
    > an accident?” “No,” he replied. I just
    > KNEW that he must have had an accident, because the smell
    > was getting worse. Soooooo, I asked one more time,
    > “Danny, did you have an accident?” This time he
    > jumped up, yanked down his pants, bent over and spread his
    > cheeks and yelled. “SEE MOM, IT’S JUST
    > FARTS!!” While 30 people nearly choked to death on
    > their tacos laughing, he calmly pulled up his pants and sat
    > down. An old couple made me feel better by thanking me for
    > the best laugh they’d ever had!

    > *This
    > had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a
    > very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future,
    > likely think before she speaks. What happens when you
    > predict snow but don’t get any? A true story. We had
    > a female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to
    > have snowed and didn’t, turned to the weatherman and
    > asked: “So Bob, where’s that 8 inches you promised
    > me last night?” Not only did HE have to leave the
    > set, but half the crew did too!

    > While
    > on a flight from New
    > York , the Stewardess was busy passing out peanuts
    > and cokes to everyone. There were about sixteen flights
    > lined up waiting to get clearance to take off. Then the
    > other Stewardess got a message from the Pilot that the tower
    > said the wind had changed 180 degrees and they were first in
    > line to take off, and to have everyone buckle up.
    > Without thinking she just announced “Please buckle up,
    > grab your drinks and hold your nuts, we’re taking
    > off.” No one saw her for the rest of the flight to
    > Houston , and all the other Stewardesses were laughing all
    > the way and half of the passengers.

    >
    > Now,
    > didn’t that feel good ?
    >
    >
    >
    > Pass
    > it on to someone you know who needs a good laugh
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
    Caveats: NONE

  26. Thanks – I thought I’d re-format it if someone wanted to copy over.. Took a little longer than I expected !! LOL

    good laughs

    Have you ever spoken and wished that you could immediately take the words back or that you could crawl into a hole?

    Here are the testimonials of a few people who did…

    *I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in tow and asked loudly, “How much do you charge for a shampoo and a blow job?” I turned around and walked back out and ever went back. My husband didn’t say a word.

    He knew better.

    *I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls. I was unhappy with the women’s type I had been using. After browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the good- looking gentlemen who works at the store. He asked if he could help me. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, “I think I like playing with men’s balls.”

    *My sister and I were at the mall and passed by a store that sold a variety of candy and nuts. As we were looking at the display case, the boy behind the counter asked if we needed any help. I replied, “No, I’m just looking at your nuts.” My sister started to laugh hysterically, the boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and walked away. To this day, my sister has never let me forget.

    *Have you ever asked your child a question too many times? My three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty training and I was on him constantly. One day we stopped at Taco Bell for a quick lunch in between errands. It was very busy, with a full dining room. While enjoying my taco, I smelled something funny, so of course I checked my seven-month-old daughter, and she was clean. Then I realized that Danny had not asked to go potty in a while, so I asked him if he needed to go, and he said, “No.” I kept thinking, “Oh Lord, that child has had an accident, and I don’t have any clothes with me.” Then I said, “Danny, are you SURE you didn’t have an accident?” “No,” he replied. I just KNEW that he must have had an accident, because the smell was getting worse. Soooooo, I asked one more time, “Danny, did you have an accident?” This time he jumped up, yanked down his pants, bent over and spread his cheeks and yelled. “SEE MOM, IT’S JUST FARTS!!” While 30 people nearly choked to death on their tacos laughing, he calmly pulled up his pants and sat down. An old couple made me feel better by thanking me for the best laugh they’d ever had!

    *This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will, in the future, likely think before she speaks. What happens when you predict snow but don’t get any? A true story. We had a female news anchor who, the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn’t, turned to the weatherman and asked: “So Bob, where’s that 8 inches you promised me last night?” Not only did HE have to leave the set, but half the crew did too!

    While on a flight from New York , the Stewardess was busy passing out peanuts and cokes to everyone. There were about sixteen flights lined up waiting to get clearance to take off. Then the other Stewardess got a message from the Pilot that the tower said the wind had changed 180 degrees and they were first in line to take off, and to have everyone buckle up. Without thinking she just announced “Please buckle up, grab your drinks and hold your nuts, we’re taking off.” No one saw her for the rest of the flight to Houston , and all the other Stewardesses were laughing all the way and half of the passengers.

    Now, didn’t that feel good ?

    Pass it on to someone you know who needs a good laugh

    • USWeapon says:

      Thanks Frank!

      • Judy S. says:

        Hi Frank

        I hope you enjoyed those, they made me laugh and so I thought I’d pass them along for those who might need a chuckle. I was going to do what you did, but I didn’t have the time to do it at work, the phone rang non-stop, so thank you for you hard work in doing that, I appreciate it.

        Have a great night.
        Judy

  27. The bottom line though that is sad and scary. The fact that the scotus voted voted by partisanship, not by law. I would have been much happier if the vote was split with some of the perceived justices went to the other side or even if it was 7-2 against the firemen. At least I would have some confidence in future decisions. Or not. From what I’ve read, it should have been 9-0 or 8-1 min. Scary – for the last three or more years I thought I was kidding by saying that I’m off to Argentina if I was going to live in a banana republic, at least live in one that might be coming back. Looks like it might come to pass. I’m also stop kidding about having a heart attack.

    • Gee – I wish there was a way to edit the posts !! LOL I type too slowly, start too many other trains of thought.. lol How you get some of my perspective.. or not !! Just fill in the gaps. I’ll stop after this or the next one..

  28. Ray Hawkins says:

    Anyone know Senator Franken’s soon-to-be role in the SCOTUS process? Curious……

  29. Hey Ya’ll,

    I usually don’t get to read the posts until late night so I don’t answer too much now. But I do still read them almost everyday. Even if I miss I read the ones I miss as soon as I can.

    Ah yes Bama. This 2 month vacation is great so far. But I am keeping myself busy with honeydo projects so I don’t get any fatter than I already am.

    On the subject of Sotomayor; I just don’t see anything derailing her shoe-in as a SC member. I wish something would, but I have serious doubts. It’s starting to look like 2010 before we can slow any of this political bulldookey down.

  30. SHE SEEMS LIKE AN OK IN SOME WAYS, I ADMIRE ANYONE WHO HAS WORKED SO HARD, BUT ONE THING I DON’T LIKE ABOUT HER IS SHE WAS PICKED BY OBAMA, THIS IS MY CHOICE, I DO NOT LIKE TO SEE THE COUNTRY I HAVE SPENT 85 YEARS IN BEING TRASHED AS HE IS DOING, HE HAS A BUNCH OF CROOKS AS CZARS AND THE CABINET IS NOT MUCH BETTER. I AM A VETERAN OF WW2, U.S. MARINE CORPS. FEMALE AND I TOOK MY OATH OF ENLISTMENT ON CONSTITUTION AND WHEN SOMEBODY TRASHES THIS, I MAKES ME REALLY ANGRY. SANDRA DAY O’CONNON ON SUPREME COURT WAS, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION WAS THE WORST, HER DECISION SHOULD FOLLOW HER THE REST OF HER LIFE. AS OF THIS DATE OVER 50 MILLION BABIES DEAD, ROE V WADE, BAD, BAD, BAD TO SAUGHTER INNOCENT ONES LIKE THAT AND OBAMA VOIDED BUSH’S BAN ON PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION. I WILL ISSUE A CHALLENGE TO THIS PERSON, WATCH IN PERSON A PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION, YOU ARE SUCH A FINE PRESIDENT, YET YOU WANT MORE KILLED???????????????????????????????????????????????

  31. Black Flag says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/quickquestion/2007/november/popup5895.htm

    Obama’s new Attorney General has already said this is one of his major issues.
    This takes literally 2 clicks to complete. Please vote on this gun issue question with USA Today. It will only take a few seconds of your time.. Then pass the link on to all the pro gun folks you know. Hopefully these results will be published later this month. This upcoming year will become critical for gun owners with the Supreme Court accepting the District of Columbia case against the right for individuals to bear arms.

    Here’s what you need to do:

    First – vote on this one.

    Second – launch it to other folks and have THEM vote – then we will see if the results get published.

    The Question is:
    “Does the Second Amendment give individuals the right to bear arms?”

    Vote at link below and PLEASE vote!

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