Smart, pragmatic choice | May 27, editorial
Sotomayor's misguided mentality
It is hard to fault the editorial in support of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, but I will try. Despite her impeccable credentials, the GOP will focus on her propensity for identity politics — particularly in the case of the white firefighters who did not get promoted.
I hope the Republicans use this moment of clarity for a noble and edifying purpose. The GOP senators should patiently explain why Sotomayor's judicial temperament is destructive because of her misguided passion for equality — despite our free society that produces inequality in the natural order of things.
The senators should elucidate that some folks get more beauty, brains or money than others in our system. Some firefighters are better qualified for promotion than others by dint of hard work and study. The Republicans should try to clarify why this naturally occurring inequality is okay in a normal society, and that judges who try to create an ideological equality of outcome confuse or blur that effort with equality of opportunity.
They should reveal how Judge Sotomayor's firefighter injustice denigrates the achievement principle in favor of an absent and conjured victim. That should mean something to thinking people, especially Latinos who are often culturally conservative.
All I am saying is that the next Supreme Court justice should wear the same blindfold as the lady outside the building. Judge Sotomayor apparently shuns the blindfold even before she goes to the firing line.
Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg
Court nominee's life follows American dream
President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latina Supreme Court justice marks a proud moment both for our nation's Hispanic community and for our great open society as a whole.
Hers is a uniquely American story. Judge Sotomayor was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents. Her father died at an early age, leaving her mother to raise her alone in a housing project. Through hard work and determination, Sonia Sotomayor attended Princeton University after graduating from high school, and ultimately earned a degree from Yale Law School.
I join my friends in the Latino community in celebrating Sonia Sotomayor's appointment and in celebrating the American dream, which millions of hardworking citizens of all ethnicities pursue. Judge Sotomayor is a shining example of the strides and successes made by those with humble upbringings, and her inspiring life story represents the triumph of the American spirit where one born into poverty can, through personal initiative, overcome any obstacle to achievement.
This is why I believe that every American, white or black, Hispanic or Asian, deserves a real voice in the decisions which affect them, in the Supreme Court, in the White House, or in Congress. I urge every American to join me in supporting Judge Sotomayor's confirmation by the Senate.
Jim Piccillo, Land O'Lakes
Hispanic woman is historic choice May 27, story
Focus on real qualifications
Why should the fact that a Hispanic woman has been nominated to the Supreme Court be a matter of discussion? Our country was founded on the belief that "all men are created equal." Today that means both men and women are equal, including those whose heritage may differ from the majority of citizens.
Scrutiny of intelligence, experience, opinions and integrity should be criteria for a Supreme Court justice's acceptance to the highest court in the land — not gender or heritage.
Let's get our priorities straight.
Renee G. Salzer, Seminole
Smart, pragmatic choice | May 27, editorial
Go beyond identity politics
President Barack Obama only nominated Judge Sonia Sotomoyer because she is a woman and a Hispanic. It is identity politics at its worst. Obama should nominate the best person for the job — not one who fits a particular race and/or gender.
If you look at this woman's record, it is absurd! She is overturned about 60 percent of the time by the high court and she herself has said that the Court of Appeals is actually where policy is made, not in the legislative branch where by law it should be. She has also said that "a wise Latina woman … would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male …"
That is a racist comment, and if a conservative white person said the same thing, he or she would be raked over the coals in the mainstream media.
This woman has no business on the Supreme Court, none! Unfortunately, the Republicans cannot stop her, but they should grill her just as much as the Democrats grilled Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
Bill Gerretz, St. Petersburg
Talk about activism
I could not believe my ears when I read how the right wing is attacking President Barack Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court.
Right-wingers have every right to criticize her on merit. But to call her a judicial activist is kind of hypocritical. The epitome of judicial activism was in the 2000 election when the Supreme Court gave the election to George W. Bush.
Jack Levine, Palm Harbor
We should demand better
Your editorial enthusiastically praising Judge Sonia Sotomayor contains the astounding conclusion that "after 11 years on the appellate bench there is little evidence that Sotomayor ignores the law in favor of a political agenda."
Little evidence? In fact, the record shows that Sotomayor's failure to interpret and apply the law correctly resulted in three of her five appellate rulings which reached the Supreme Court being overturned as defective due to judicial misthinking.
A dime-store clerk who gave incorrect change three out of five times would be fired. A highly educated jurist who cannot or will not administer the law correctly 60 percent of the time, for whatever reasons, clearly fails the smell test.
There are many highly competent individuals available who easily surpass Sotomayor's dismal record. If the Senate truly has the best interests of the American people at heart, it will demand better.
B.W. Tuton, Brandon
Life skills missing
So our new president thinks that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has the right skill set for the Supreme Court. I cannot argue with her legal experience; it appears solid. However, there is a large gap in her life skills.
Sotomayor has had a failed marriage and no children. Does she have problems with maintaining adult relationships? Maybe, maybe not. Does she understand what parents go through raising a child today? I don't see it. Yet, she will be making important decisions affecting future policies regarding marriage, family and the future of our children.
Without these life skills, how can she be in touch with the needs of our society? She may know the difference between what's legal and illegal, but I would like somebody who knows what is right and what is wrong in common life issues.
Sorry, President Obama, Sonia Sotomayor is not qualified for this position.
David J. Bieniecki, New Port Richey
Thinnest of margins | May 27, PolitiFact
A matter of opinion
You write: "Obama's statement is technically accurate, but also implies she's more qualified. We don't find that to be the case. … We rate Obama's statement Half True."
Implies? "Implies" lies in the eye of the beholder, and as such points to or is a sign for the perceiver's validation of the opinion expressed in public utterance by President Barack Obama. The truth of an implication — yours — belongs to you.
As such your "implies" has nothing to do with the referential data that supports Obama's 100 percent technically accurate statement.
What you write belongs where the public expects to find opinion, not as a regular feature that claims to be "Sorting out the truth in politics."
Will Grant, St. Petersburg