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Thread: Sonia Sotomayor Tapped For Hight Court

  1. #41
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar
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    Cool The futility of the early opposition

    The early opposition has been relatively futile. To start with our own discussion here—

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffalo Roam

    What is more important, Ethnic Diversity or Constitutional Principles?

    the "'quality of empathy'" as a "'essential ingredient for arriving at just decision and outcomes.'"
    —I'm hard-pressed to recall any conservatives complaining about empathy and Justice Alito's confirmation:

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): You know, I think at times during these hearings you have been unfairly criticized or characterized as that you don't care about the less fortunate, you don't care about the little guy, you don't care about the weak or the innocent.

    Can you comment just about Sam Alito, and what he cares about, and let us see a little bit of your heart and what's important to you in life?

    Judge Samuel Alito (3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals): Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point.

    I don't come from an affluent background or a privileged background. My parents were both quite poor when they were growing up.

    And I know about their experiences and I didn't experience those things. I don't take credit for anything that they did or anything that they overcame.

    But I think that children learn a lot from their parents and they learn from what the parents say. But I think they learn a lot more from what the parents do and from what they take from the stories of their parents lives.

    And that's why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let's say, someone who is an immigrant -- and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases -- I can't help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn't that long ago when they were in that position.

    And so it's my job to apply the law. It's not my job to change the law or to bend the law to achieve any result.

    But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, "You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country."

    When I have cases involving children, I can't help but think of my own children and think about my children being treated in the way that children may be treated in the case that's before me.


    And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account. When I have a case involving someone who's been subjected to discrimination because of disability, I have to think of people who I've known and admire very greatly who've had disabilities, and I've watched them struggle to overcome the barriers that society puts up often just because it doesn't think of what it's doing -- the barriers that it puts up to them.

    So those are some of the experiences that have shaped me as a person.


    (January 11, 2005)

    As Glenn Greenwald puts it:

    Anyone who is objecting now to Sotomayor's alleged "empathy" problem but who supported Sam Alito and never objected to this sort of thing ought to have their motives questioned (and the same is true for someone who claims that a person who overcame great odds to graduate at the top of their class at Princeton, graduate Yale Law School, and then spent time as a prosecutor, corporate lawyer, district court judge and appellate court judge must have been chosen due to "identity politics").

    And then there is the Ricci decision, with people speculating about the odd reticence of a panel opinion authored by Sotomayor:

    ... the idea that her decision in Ricci demonstrates some sort of radicalism -- when she was simply affirming the decision of a federal district judge, was part of a unanimous circuit panel in doing so, was supported by a majority of her fellow Circuit judges who refused to re-hear the case, and will, by all accounts, have at least several current Supreme Court Justices side with her -- is frivolous on its face

    (ibid)

    And Kevin Russell, a lawyer who writes for SCOTUSblog notes,

    .... Judge Sotomayor’s detractors will have a hard time making the case that her work is anything but thorough and thoughtful, based on a reading of the bulk of her opinions. This may, however, make the Supreme Court’s decision in Ricci all the more important in the coming debate. The Court’s review of the decision will provide those involved in the public debate with a seemingly objective measure of the quality of her work.

    There are substantive issues about the Ricci decision to be discussed in Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, but they have little to do with the faux-populist talking points raised by conservative hacks.

    Looking out into the broader society, of course, we might take a moment to consider this complaint, courtesy of Mark Krikorian at The Corner (National Review Online):

    Deferring to people's own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English ....

    .... This may seem like carping, but it's not. Part of our success in assimilation has been to leave whole areas of culture up to the individual, so that newcomers have whatever cuisine or religion or so on they want, limiting the demand for conformity to a smaller field than most other places would. But one of the areas where conformity is appropriate is how your new countrymen say your name, since that's not something the rest of us can just ignore, unlike what church you go to or what you eat for lunch. And there are basically two options — the newcomer adapts to us, or we adapt to him. And multiculturalism means there's a lot more of the latter going on than there should be.

    I think one of the more embarrassing aspects for Krikorian is that he's actually lending credibility to Janeane Garofalo.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    CQ Transcripts. "U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Judge Samuel Alito's Nomination to the Supreme Court". January 11, 2006. WashingtonPost.com. Accessed May 28, 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...011101148.html

    Greenwald, Glenn. "Justice Sam Alito on empathy and judging". Unclaimed Territory. May 27, 2009. Salon.com. Accessed May 28, 2009. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwa...yor/index.html

    Russell, Kevin. "Sotomayor’s Record: The Ricci Effect". SCOTUSblog. May 26, 2009. SCOTUSblog.com. Accessed May 28, 2009. http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/sotomay...-ricci-effect/

    Krikorian, Mark. "It Sticks in My Craw". The Corner. May 27, 2009. NationalReview.com. Accessed May 28, 2009. http://corner.nationalreview.com/pos...lmNTZjYmY2ZDI=

  2. #42
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    I was listening to CSPAN and MSNBC all morning on this issue and the rhetoric is UNBELIEVABLE. Can we get beyond race and gender already?

  3. #43
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar
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    Cool Maybe, and No

    CSPAN: It's up to the politicians and pundits to get beyond race and gender.

    MSNBC: Ain't gonna happen.

  4. #44
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    CSPAN: I was referring to the call ins. While self selecting for people who like to vent at politicians on the telephone, some were patently too absurd, like the woman who claimed that the US is at war with Puerto Rico which makes "that woman" a national security threat.

    MSNBC: Last nights Olbermann had a ridiculous animated logo of Limbaugh doing his "corpulent drug addict dance". Everyone is a juvenile


    edit: found the logo on youtube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoPfQEEXJ4Y

  5. #45
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar
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    Cool Blame Menudo

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M.

    CSPAN: I was referring to the call ins. While self selecting for people who like to vent at politicians on the telephone, some were patently too absurd, like the woman who claimed that the US is at war with Puerto Rico which makes "that woman" a national security threat.
    Old memories die hard.

    MSNBC: Last nights Olbermann had a ridiculous animation of Limbaugh doing his "corpulent drug addict dance". Everyone is a juvenile
    Well, as we've seen, the American market just doesn't have a taste for hard news and real analysis. So we get this stuff instead.

    Sad but true: The fact of Democratic sympathizers hopping on the pop-culture bandwagon has had an appreciable effect.

    Americans have a long history of relying on humorists for information. The wits of Will Rogers (1879-1935; "I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.") and Mark Twain (1835-1910; "The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.") are legendary, and nearly canonical in the American conscience. That's why so many people love Reagan, who thought of HIV as a "gay measles" and once asked the governor of California what all those Canadians (marijuana protesters) were doing on his lawn. Somewhere along the line, honesty fell away from the equation. If it sounds like a good joke, who cares if the premise is accurate? The trend has grown observably worse over my lifetime. Still, we've got nothing on the Brits; we just don't have the sense of humor to handle a Disraeli.

    Slouching toward Bethlehem? Only because our sides hurt from laughing too hard.

  6. #46
    Valued Senior Member Ganymede's Avatar
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    Apparently some in the GOP aren't as stupid as I hoped they would be. Texas Senator John Cornyn has come out and condemned the racial attacks lobbied by Rush, Newt, Tancredo etc. Which is understadible since he respresents allot of Latino's in his State. Unfortunately it's a little to late for apologies. The horse has already fled the barn, so it would be fruitless at this point to put up a fence.

  7. #47
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar
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    Cool (Insert title here)

    Quote Originally Posted by Madanthonywayne

    So a nominee picked because of her race and sex is in possible jeopardy for supporting the promotion of firemen based upon race and sex rather than merit. Delicious irony there.
    So ... which firemen were promoted on the basis of race or sex?

    I'll save you the trouble: Nobody.

    At issue in the case were promotions in the New Haven, Conn., fire department. The city decided its promotion test was flawed because the results would have promoted no African-Americans — and that if it didn't design a better test, it would be sued by minority firefighters under the testing provisions of the Civil Rights Act and very likely lose. Instead, the city was sued by a group of white firefighters who scored well on the test and said they were denied promotions because of their race.

    A federal district court judge, in a long opinion, said the city was discriminating against no one because all of the test results were discarded and nobody was promoted. Sotomayor was on a three-judge panel that reviewed that decision.

    In a six-sentence order, the panel said the New Haven Civil Service Board had no good alternatives, because the test appeared to violate a provision of federal law that treats with grave suspicion tests that produce such racially disproportionate results.


    (Totenberg)

    What brought the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, incidentally, was a judge named Jose Cabranes, who was not on the panel with Sotomayor. He wanted the case reviewed by the full appeals court, expressing a concern that the decision could lead to ethnic hiring quotas.

    William Marshall, a constitutional scholar at the University of North Carolina, suggests that the panel did nothing unusual in upholding the lower court's decision. "It strikes me that' a hallmark of judicial restraint," he told NPR. "It's not a hallmark of judicial activism, and that particular approach indicates that [Sotomayor] is very measured and she is very cautious."

    • • •

    Meanwhile, NPR's David Welna considered the GOP's main options for opposing Sotomayor's confirmation:

    Boycott committee hearings. There are seven Republicans on the nineteen member panel. Committee rules demand that eight members be present, and two of those from the minority. If six Republicans can be convinced to boycott the committee hearings, they can put Sotomayor's confirmation on hold.

    Written questions. Tradition suggests the committee will wait to report the nomination to the full Senate until the nominee has answered all written questions. If Republicans choose to simply bury Sotomayor under a mountain of inane questions, they can delay her confirmation.

    Request committee vote delay. Nothing unusual here. Any committee member can ask the committee to delay the vote for a period of seven days or until the next meeting after that. This would only provide a minor delay, and isn't much to wring hands over.

    Rule IV. Essentially a committee filibuster requiring a majority vote (10 of 19) including one minority member to override. Rule IV has never been invoked against a Supreme Court nominee. Additionally, Orrin Hatch of Utah signed an agreement in 2001 that Republicans demanded saying that a Supreme Court nomination would be reported to the full Senate even if opposed by a majority of the Judiciary Comittee.

    Filibuster. We all know how this one works, right?

    Harry Reid, meanwhile, has suggested that he will keep the Senate in session through the August recess if circumstances demand. Additionally, Orrin Hatch and six other Republican Senators voted to confirm Sotomayor to her appellate bench in 1998. As Welna put it,

    So it could be more than just political posturing when Republicans talk about not rushing Sotomayor's confirmation. They have the means to prolong her consideration; the question will be whether they'll risk using them. Republicans could pay a high political price if key voting groups — especially women and Hispanics — are offended by possible dilatory actions carried out by the seven white Republican males on the Judiciary Committee.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Totenberg, Nina. "Sotomayor Critics Focus On Firefighters Case". All Things Considered. May 29, 2009. NPR.org. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=104730833

    Welna, David. "5 Ways The GOP Could Stall A Vote On Sotomayor". National Public Radio. May 29, 2009. NPR.org. Accessed May 29, 2009. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=104683678

  8. #48
    Caput gerat lupinum GeoffP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiassa View Post
    So ... which firemen were promoted on the basis of race or sex?

    I'll save you the trouble: Nobody.
    Well, actually, the position that it wasn't discriminatory because no one was promoted is false. It's not "equal" to pass over everyone because the distribution of results doesn't match a preferred hypothetical distribution: it is in fact discriminatory to refuse promotion as a group because of that reason. The fact of the matter - IMHO, of course - is that Sotomayor is a racist. I expect there's a variety of other racists on the bench of every court, of course: but why does the US need another one?

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff
    It's not "equal" to pass over everyone because the distribution of results doesn't match a preferred hypothetical distribution:
    It could be - depends on the specifics of the test involved, and the source of the hypothetical distribution.

    If you have a flawed test, throwing out its results is "equal" to all.

    And any such argument is at least potentially valid - agreeing with another court's recognition of it hardly makes anyone racist.

    edit in: we had a similar conflict locally, involving the fire departments of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. It turned out that not only were the tests rigged to favor long term (multigenerational) white male residents, but to favor certain demographic groups within that larger category, in particular those receiving coaching in that cleverly designed exam from their previously hired relatives and inlaws. The only symptom was an ethnic and racial skew in the scores.
    Last edited by iceaura; 05-30-09 at 05:52 PM.

  10. #50
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    Not being capable of judging this woman's legal capabilities, my initial observations are as follows:

    1. I'm not crazy about her politics (she worked with La Raza).

    2. Comparing the reaction to her nomination versus the reaction to Estrada is amusing.

  11. #51
    Let us not launch the boat ... Tiassa's Avatar
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    Cool Since you mention it ....

    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffP

    Well, actually, the position that it wasn't discriminatory because no one was promoted is false.
    Maybe in your world, but the courts think differently so far:

    At issue in the case were promotions in the New Haven, Conn., fire department. The city decided its promotion test was flawed because the results would have promoted no African-Americans — and that if it didn't design a better test, it would be sued by minority firefighters under the testing provisions of the Civil Rights Act and very likely lose. Instead, the city was sued by a group of white firefighters who scored well on the test and said they were denied promotions because of their race.

    A federal district court judge, in a long opinion, said the city was discriminating against no one because all of the test results were discarded and nobody was promoted. Sotomayor was on a three-judge panel that reviewed that decision.

    In a six-sentence order, the panel said the New Haven Civil Service Board had no good alternatives, because the test appeared to violate a provision of federal law that treats with grave suspicion tests that produce such racially disproportionate results.


    (Totenberg)

    I guess I didn't boldface enough of the quote the first time around.

    Now, maybe you still think it is discriminatory to invalidate the results of a test that produced results that the federal government regards as evidence of discrimination, but the original district court judge found the NHCSB's actions reasonable, given the circumstances, and the review panel agreed.

    What you're proposing is that the NHCSB should have walked into an obvious lawsuit that, barring extraordinary new considerations, it would have lost.

    The oral arguments before the Supreme Court left observers and analysts with the impression that the decision would be overturned. If so, the central question will be why. Here's a fun trivia question: What were the names of the other two judges on the panel with Sotomayor?

    Anyone? Anyone?

    The Honorable Rosemary S. Pooler and the Honorable Robert D. Sack, both white. To the other, all three are Clinton appointees to the federal bench.

    And the decision itself? Anyone? Anyone? Well, it's short enough, so here it is:

    PER CURIAM:

    We withdraw our Summary Order of February 15, 2008. Ricci v. DeStefano, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 3293, 2008 WL 410436 (2d Cir. Feb. 15, 2008). Plaintiffs appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Arterton, J.) granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on all counts. We affirm, for the reasons stated in the thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned opinion of the court below. [u]Ricci v. DeStefano[/ul], 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73277, 2006 WL 2828419 (D. Conn., Sept. 28, 2006). In this case, the Civil Service Board found itself in the unfortunate position of having no good alternatives. We are not unsympathetic to the plaintiffs’ expression of frustration. Mr. Ricci, for example, who is dyslexic, made intensive efforts that appear to have resulted in his scoring highly on one of the exams, only to have it invalidated. But it simply does not follow that he has a viable Title VII claim. To the contrary, because the Board, in refusing to validate the exams, was simply trying to fulfill its obligations under Title VII when confronted with test results that had a disproportionate racial impact, its actions were protected.

    CONCLUSION

    The judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.


    (NYTimes.com; boldface accent added)

    And Title VII? That is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See 703(h):

    (h) Seniority or merit system; quantity or quality of production; ability tests; compensation based on sex and authorized by minimum wage provisions

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to apply different standards of compensation, or different terms, conditions, or privileges of employment pursuant to a bona fide seniority or merit system, or a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production or to employees who work in different locations, provided that such differences are not the result of an intention to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, nor shall it be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to give and to act upon the results of any professionally developed ability test provided that such test, its administration or action upon the results is not designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It shall not be an unlawful employment practice under this subchapter for any employer to differentiate upon the basis of sex in determining the amount of the wages or compensation paid or to be paid to employees of such employer if such differentiation is authorized by the provisions of section 206(d) of Title 29 [section 6(d) of the Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended].


    (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; boldface accent added)

    The NHCSB apparently feared that the test results would suggest that the test itself violated section 703(h) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They faced a difficult choice easily expressed: Either act on the test results and risk an ugly lawsuit that they would lose, or discard the test results and find a testing procedure that did not give such an appearance of violating the CRA. They chose the latter. Certain firefighters sued over this action, the district court ruled against them, and the appellate court found no grounds to overturn the decision or elevate it to an en banc hearing.

    Then a judge who was not on the review panel wrote a stinging dissent joined by a minority of the 2nd District judges. It is this opinion that caught the Supreme Court's eye.

    An overview of the amicus briefs filed in this case can be found at A DC Observer:


    It should be noted that both these summaries were posted before Justice Souter's retirement was known, and thus are presented in a context devoid of the political considerations surrounding Judge Sotomayor's nomination.

    It's not "equal" to pass over everyone because the distribution of results doesn't match a preferred hypothetical distribution: it is in fact discriminatory to refuse promotion as a group because of that reason.
    Part of the question will involve what you, or others, might mean by "pass over". Certification of the test results would not have guaranteed promotion, but only established eligibility for promotion. Nobody was specifically refused promotion. There is no guarantee that any of the eligible firefighters would have actually been promoted.

    And this seems somewhat in line with business practice. There have been many companies in the U.S. over the years who have announced a job opening, received applications, interviewed qualified candidates, and then for various reasons not hired anyone. And there have been many companies who have considered current employees for promotion only to hire someone from the outside.

    The fact of the matter - IMHO, of course - is that Sotomayor is a racist.
    The key ... um ... "word", as such, being "IMHO". Of course, what of Judges Pooler and Sack? You know, the two white judges? Even if Sotomayor had dissented to your satisfaction, the majority would have been two white people who reached the same opinion as Judge Janet Arterton, a white female appointed by Bill Clinton to replace, ironically, Judge Jose Cabranes, who wrote the harsh dissent that caught the Supreme Court's eye.

    I expect there's a variety of other racists on the bench of every court, of course: but why does the US need another one?
    Is there a judge appointed by a Democrat who rules in a manner you disapprove of on a question involving race that isn't racist?

    Sotomayor's opposition is throwing everything they can find at her. Oh, my, she reached a decision because she was a minority? You mean, the same decision three white judges reached, and a majority of the district court saw no reason to revisit yet again? Oh, my, she's a liberal? What, has nobody noticed that she is also known to issue decisions that leave liberals cringing, such as Jocks v. Tavernier? A speech she gave at Princeton? Hell, that would be laughable if it wasn't so sad. I mean, shit, when the whole argument banks on the hope that nobody will actually go back and read the content of the speech itself? And I'm still chuckling about the guy who doesn't like the way her name is pronounced.

    Lastly, I'll point out that the position you responded to—

    "Well, actually, the position that it wasn't discriminatory because no one was promoted is false."

    —was one of your own invention. Our neighbor had delighted in the false claim that she supported "the promotion of firemen based upon race and sex rather than merit". But, since you decided to bring it up, yes, I will be very amused to read a Supreme Court decision explaining that the New Hampshire Civil Service Board should have promoted firefighters according to written and oral exams that presented an obvious Title VII challenge; that is, that the NHCSB should have ignored the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Of course, after the Ledbetter decision, we should not be surprised at any particular insanity that comes from the Roberts court.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Totenberg, Nina. "Sotomayor Critics Focus On Firefighters Case". All Things Considered. May 29, 2009. NPR.org. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=104730833

    Federal Judicial Center. "Pooler, Rosemary S.". Judges of the United States Courts. FJC.gov. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=1910

    —————. "Sack, Robert David". Judges of the United States Courts. FJC.gov. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=2774

    —————. "Arterton, Janet Bond". Judges of the United States Courts. FJC.gov. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=66

    New York Times. "Selected Cases of Judge Sonia Sotomayor". NYTimes.com. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://documents.nytimes.com/selecte...onia-sotomayor

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964". EEOC.gov. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html

    W., Alex. "Ricci v. DeStefano: A Review of the Amicus Curiae Briefs". A DC Observer. March 21, 2009. AlexWDC.wordpress.com. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://alexwdc.wordpress.com/2009/03...curiae-briefs/

    —————. "Ricci v. DeStefano: More Amicus Briefs". A DC Observer. April 18, 2009. AlexWDC.wordpress.com. Accessed May 30, 2009. http://alexwdc.wordpress.com/2009/04...amicus-briefs/

  12. #52
    Caput gerat lupinum GeoffP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiassa View Post
    Maybe in your world, but the courts think differently so far:
    Then the courts are wrong. They've never been wrong so far?

    Now, maybe you still think it is discriminatory to invalidate the results of a test that produced results that the federal government regards as evidence of discrimination, but the original district court judge found the NHCSB's actions reasonable, given the circumstances, and the review panel agreed.
    Well, what is their evidence of discrimination? How would it have been proven that the event wasn't mere statistical happenstance? My friends in forensics are required to have some kind of odds ratio associated with an alternative explanation for their findings. Is the same too much for a board of lawyers?

    The key ... um ... "word", as such, being "IMHO". Of course, what of Judges Pooler and Sack? You know, the two white judges?
    I assume - or should be able to assume - that you should understand that a decision itself can be racist without having anything to do with the identity of the judges.

    Even if Sotomayor had dissented to your satisfaction, the majority would have been two white people who reached the same opinion as Judge Janet Arterton, a white female appointed by Bill Clinton to replace, ironically, Judge Jose Cabranes, who wrote the harsh dissent that caught the Supreme Court's eye.
    And? It still would have been a racist decision, Tiassa. Surely you understand this?

    Is there a judge appointed by a Democrat who rules in a manner you disapprove of on a question involving race that isn't racist?
    Probably quite a few. But not this one.

  13. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by countezero View Post
    2. Comparing the reaction to her nomination versus the reaction to Estrada is amusing.
    Indeed. It's the Democrats who have a bit more of a sordid history of opposing Republican nominees. When the tables are turned, you hear a bunch of crybabies who gasp at the notion that their nominee should ever be held up in committee.

    ~String

  14. #54
    Valued Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff
    Well, what is their evidence of discrimination? How would it have been proven that the event wasn't mere statistical happenstance?
    It is easy to describe the odds of the event being statistical happenstance - they are minuscule, and can be presumed to be 0 on the reasonable doubt criterion.
    Quote Originally Posted by geoff
    My friends in forensics are required to have some kind of odds ratio associated with an alternative explanation for their findings. Is the same too much for a board of lawyers?
    That was all considered, and ruled on, when the rule was established that civil service exams producing extremely racially disparate results were to be viewed with suspicion - that the burden of evidence rested on the proponents of any such exam, to show that it was not discriminatory.

    The judges were simply enforcing that established legal guideline and precedent. Unanimously, btw.

    Isn't it your crowd that wants the law enforced as written, without exceptions made for "empathy" and suchlike considerations?

    Quote Originally Posted by string
    Indeed. It's the Democrats who have a bit more of a sordid history of opposing Republican nominees. When the tables are turned, you hear a bunch of crybabies who gasp at the notion that their nominee should ever be held up in committee.
    Typically worded bs from the wingnuttery.

    Don't Democrats ever just, you know, talk and argue? Make valid objections to political scheming and executive malfeasance and ideological idiocy?

    It's the record of Federal court nominations by Republican executives over the past twenty five years or so, since the Reaganite takeover, that has been sordid. Have you been following, for example, Robert Bork's intellectual contributions over the past decade ? There but for the grace of the Democrats goes the Supreme Court. A little gratitude is in order.

    We have a chorus of the damned, reduced to making such claims as that pronouncing "Sotomoyer" with the accent on the last syllable is an imposition on American culture, that "involvement" with groups such as "La Raza" is evidence of racism or extremist political leanings, that a centrist Latina Roman Catholic joining four other Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court bench is an extreme liberal threat to the much abused pro life believers that form the core and definitive culture of this great country.

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Typically worded bs from the wingnuttery.
    You'll find that my political views are far closer to the "center" of this website and the rest of America than yours. Wingnuttery, as it is, better describes the pretentious snob who confuses simple historical events in the Mideast (i.e. Iranian Hostage Crisis & Iran-Contra), makes basesless claims that a former president is a closeted homosexual (yeah, who's the wingnut!), and cannot even man-up to a debate he scampered away from with his tale between his legs.

    As yet, and as usual, Ice you make no point other than: Ice is always right. Wahhhhh. Supported with little more than your usual tripe and opinion. I guess since you dropped the name Robert Bork and made a negative (and unsupported) reference to him, it makes you right! Whew... thank god you cleaned that up.

    ~String

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    We have a chorus of the damned, reduced to making such claims as that pronouncing "Sotomoyer" with the accent on the last syllable is an imposition on American culture, that "involvement" with groups such as "La Raza" is evidence of racism or extremist political leanings, that a centrist Latina Roman Catholic joining four other Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court bench is an extreme liberal threat to the much abused pro life believers that form the core and definitive culture of this great country.
    Were you actually making a relevant point, or just sputtering, as usual?

    You don't hear me saying that the Republicans should oppose her nomination. In fact, I have a very strict interpretation of the powers of the president in this matter: It's his privilege to appoint whomever he wants, even if she's a total communist. The Senate should only evaluate her qualifications, which qualifications (if you had the capacity to read my previous posts) I fully admit are actually greater than the last two nominees (which is not to say they weren't qualified). Would that Democratic Senates had given the same courtesy to Republican presidents (so if the Republican minority doesn't play nice, turn-about is just fair play). But, right... if they aren't far enough left, then they aren't really qualified, are they?

    But this isn't the debate, right now. This is just you attempting to hijack another post to use for YOUR leftist (dare I say, "Wingnut!") rant.

    Have fun doing that. I'm off to go river fishing.

    ~String

  17. #57
    Mourning in America madanthonywayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiassa View Post
    Our neighbor had delighted in the false claim that she supported "the promotion of firemen based upon race and sex rather than merit". But, since you decided to bring it up, yes, I will be very amused to read a Supreme Court decision explaining that the New Hampshire Civil Service Board should have promoted firefighters according to written and oral exams that presented an obvious Title VII challenge; that is, that the NHCSB should have ignored the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Of course, after the Ledbetter decision, we should not be surprised at any particular insanity that comes from the Roberts court.
    So you support the idea that if the top scorers on a test are not a rainbow coalition; the test must be racist? Gee, perhaps we should sue the NBA for their obvious racism against white males. Since blacks comprise only 12% of the population, any system of choosing pro-players that results in 80% of players being black simply must be racist against whites. I mean, come on, how could a system that results in blacks being over represented by 600% not be racist? It is, of course, impossible that 80% of the people who were most qualifed to be pro-basketball players were black. Right? Just as it's impossible that there wouid be no blacks among the top scorers on the firemen's test.
    Last edited by madanthonywayne; 05-31-09 at 01:33 PM.

  18. #58
    Valued Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by madanth
    So you support the idea that if the top scorers on a test are not a rainbow coalition; the test must be racist?
    The question is not whether the test is racist, but where the burden of proof lies.

    The current rule, as unanimously affirmed by the three judge panel that included Sotomayor, is that the burden of proof lies with the test-givers. That if a test produces results with extreme racial skewing, one may not simply assume the test is OK. That federal standard was established after a great deal of experience with the ability of test-riggers to bias exams toward their favored group.

    That rule was not established by Sotomoyer, or the other two judges on that panel. You have there an example of a ruling by a non-activist judge, one who applies the law as written despite the claims on empathy and so forth from Ricci.

    Quote Originally Posted by string
    Would that Democratic Senates had given the same courtesy to Republican presidents (so if the Republican minority doesn't play nice, turn-about is just fair play). But, right... if they aren't far enough left, then they aren't really qualified, are they?
    If your notion of "qualified" for the Supreme Court extends to the likes of Robert Bork, then we have located the source of the disagreement - and the source of my claim that it has been the Republican nominations, not the Democratic oppositions, that have a sordid recent history.

    Senate capitulation to the likes of Clarence Thomas or Robert Bork is not "courtesy", but abdication.

    btw: since you started it, I can troll a thread with crap from another thread, eh?
    Quote Originally Posted by string
    Uh. What are you talking about? I never asked you to prove a negative. Shit, I'm just having trouble getting you to prove a goddamned positive! One baby step at a time! I asked you to prove this statement: "You have no way of evaluating or verifying anything redacted in those reports, or providing them with meaningful context, much of which is known to have been destroyed."
    That is an example of asking someone to prove a negative. It's BS, but if you bother to reread you'll find I already replied to it in the earlier parts of that thread.

    As far as "running away" - I'm long past feeling any need to respond to whatever countzero sees fit to post. He gets the last word, whenever he wants it. If he wants to drag his stupid misreadings and obsession with my "opinions" from one thread to another - like me confusing Iran Contra with Iran Hostage, or promulgating WTC 7 conspiracy theories, or whatever, into dozens of totally unrelated threads - that kind of abuse of the forum is not a privilege I would assume. And your post was a repeat, plus invective and personal attack. When simply cutting and pasting from earlier posts is adequate, I'm pretty much done with the argument - and the personal stuff is at my own discretion. Life is short.
    Last edited by iceaura; 05-31-09 at 04:46 PM.

  19. #59
    Mourning in America madanthonywayne's Avatar
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    12,404
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The question is not whether the test is racist, but where the burden of proof lies.

    The current rule, as unanimously affirmed by the three judge panel that included Sotomoyer, is that the burden of proof lies with the test-givers. That if a test produces results with extreme racial skewing, one may not simply assume the test is OK. That federal standard was established after a great deal of experience with the ability of test-riggers to bias exams toward their favored group.

    That rule was not established by Sotomoyer, or the other two judges on that panel. You have there an example of a ruling by a non-activist judge, one who applies the law as written despite the claims on empathy and so forth from Ricci.
    If you're correct, hopefully the Supreme court will over rule that ridiculous standard next month. Otherwise the NBA is wide open for a lawsuit.

  20. #60
    Valued Senior Member
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    16,375
    Quote Originally Posted by madanth
    If you're correct, hopefully the Supreme court will over rule that ridiculous standard next month. Otherwise the NBA is wide open for a lawsuit.
    The NBA has no problem meeting its burden of proof.

    That's true of most actually non-racist evaluation procedures that produce racially skewed results - by their nature as evaluation procedures, they tend to meet burden of proof standards easily.

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