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Leahy Promises: Sotomayor Hearings Will be All About Rush

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Patrick Leahy has spoken out. He's the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has spoken out on the hearings to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court. Here is a portion of his remarks this afternoon mere moments ago in Washington.

LEAHY: It won't be in June. We'll decide when the hearing is going to be, but I'll tell you one thing that will motivate me to go sooner rather than later, when you have vicious attacks and leading Republicans call her the equivalent of the head of the Ku Klux Klan and call her a bigot, totally false and outrageous charges, there's only one place she could answer those charges, would be in a hearing. I want her to have a chance to answer those charges.

RUSH: I do, too. I do, too. So Senator Leahy has just announced that at least the first phase or one phase of the confirmation hearings will be about me. Now, the KKK line is Tom Tancredo's. I didn't utter the KKK line, but I did say she is a racist, I did say she is a bigot. And while a lot of people have said, "You shouldn't talk that way, Rush, that's just too incendiary." Nobody's denied it. They have just said I shouldn't say it or shouldn't have said it. However, folks, if you look at the entire speech that Sonia Sotomayor gave in which this line was supposedly taken out of context where the richness of her experience as a Latina would enable her to come to better decisions than a white male, that was not taken out of context. In fact, that is and was the context of her entire speech. Her entire speech, or a vast portion of it, was devoted to the proposition that the oath of office -- she didn't say this -- that the oath of office is irrelevant. That of course you bring your personal life experiences to the job, and of course you render decisions based on them. She made a case for it. This one line has not been taken out of context. This whole speech is a disqualifying speech.

You know what else is interesting? I have had friends of mine who are legal beagles and scholars. They have researched her decisions on the Second Circuit and throughout her career as a judge, and they have found something very interesting. Aside from the Ricci case in Connecticut, her decisions do not mirror the racism and bigotry of that speech. So it's going to be hard to go back and say, "Well, she said this, and therefore she gonna rule --" she hasn't ruled, there have been exceptions, but she hasn't ruled as a radical. Her decisions haven't come down as a radical, although that's the wrong way to put it because she has been reversed 60% of the time at the Supreme Court. She's been wrong on the law but her decisions do not give you something firm you can put your arms around that would indicate she is using racial or racism aspects to come to a decision. And the theory behind that is that she knew she had higher ambitions. And despite her speeches, she knew that people were going to be looking at her actual decisions.

The Supreme Court is the one place you can't get reversed. So the approach with Judge Sonia Sotomayor from the Republican side will definitely be the speech will be part of it, the context was how her race and gender make her better qualified than others. Richard Cohen today in the Washington Post has the weirdest, most incredible column, about how she's just one of millions of people in the projects who are qualified for great things because they grew up in the projects. "Dreams Built in the Projects." I have it right here and you go through this whole thing: "With the nose of a trained columnist, I detect the whiff of elitism-cum-racism emanating from the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The whiff does not come -- Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich notwithstanding -- from Sotomayor's own statements; nor does it come from her controversial decision upholding race-based affirmative action. It comes, instead, from the general expression of wow about her background. Imagine, someone from the projects is a success!"

What's weird about this is that when Sonia Sotomayor got up to accept the nomination at the White House she didn't talk about coming from the projects. She didn't praise government-run and owned housing. She didn't praise welfare programs. She didn't praise one aspect of liberalism for getting her into Princeton and then on the courts. She went and she went straight to traditional conservative values. She thanked a hardworking mother; she thanked a hardworking father; she thanked people that worked hard. She talked about the whole notion of working hard and not accepting gifts from anybody. She did not thank liberalism. Richard Cohen is out there: the projects made her who she is. The projects have had many more successful people lurking in the projects. But none of these liberals that are ever nominated for these kind of positions ever thank liberalism for getting them where they got. They always sound like traditional conservatives. Yet when they get into power, they don't try to inspire others to follow their footsteps. They try to get others to go the route of affirmative action, quotas, government programs that help and so forth. It's quite contradictory.

Anyway, the Republican line of attack on Sonia Sotomayor, they're not going to be able to go to her rulings and say, "See, the rulings parallel with that statement." They can show how she's been reversed 60% of the time, so what they're going to say, my guess, what they're going to say is that she's had ambitions and she's been very careful about some of these rulings, but that she's stealth. She is an Obama, and once she gets to the court, her radicalism can fully flower because there's nobody that can reverse her there. The Supreme Court doesn't get reversed except in rare occasions by another court down the line, another Supreme Court in later years. So it will be interesting to watch, and Leahy wants to focus on her racism, Leahy wants to focus on her bigotry. That's fine and dandy. Once again the news in Washington, the hearings will be about me. And the bottom line is it isn't about me. This is not about me no matter how much they try to make it about me.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Sorry. I'm getting deluged with e-mails today. A bunch of people have said, "Rush, you are wrong if you say the confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor are not about you. They most certainly are going to be about you because you are about truth." I'll tell you one thing. Never forget this. Obama chose her for a reason. Obama wants his mirror image on the Supreme Court. Don't make me go back and play all the sound bites to prove this. We've done it already. He wants his mirror image. That court, to him, is not radical enough. The Warren Court was not radical enough. The Constitution is a constraint. You can rest assured that any judge he nominates for the US Supreme Court would not be nominated if he or she was not a leftist, radical activist. For crying out loud, folks, he admitted he wants an empathy judge. By definition, he wants a judge that's going to punt the law, and write law from the bench.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, about this Sonia Sotomayor stuff and Patrick Leahy, who says he can't wait to go into these hearings because he wants to put her racism on the table, these charges that she's a racist and a bigot. My question, will Patrick Leahy allow Miguel Estrada to testify about the bigoted way in which Leahy treated Estrada? I doubt it. Will Patrick Leahy allow discussion of all the memos detailing how did he derail Estrada because he is Latino, at these hearings? These memos exist. The Wall Street Journal published them. They've been all over the place, various special interest groups writing to Senate staffers -- Leahy's included, Kennedy's included -- this judge, that judge not acceptable. "Estrada's bad news! He's Latino, and we don't want Bush to eventually put the first Latino on the Supreme Court. We want that right reserved for ourselves. We can't have him on there. He's a Latino."

Now we gotta have Sonia Sotomayor because she's a Latino. Female. So she'll be a Latin-a. Latina. La-ti-na. And another question: Will any Republican on that committee have the guts to expose Leahy and the other Democrats for the way in which they have exploited race and have smeared previous Republican presidential Supreme Court nominees? I mean, it's kind of funny to watch Leahy acting all outraged over these allegations. The difference here is when I say Sonia Sotomayor is racist and bigoted and that she would bring racism and bigotry to the court, it's the truth -- and nobody's denying that. They're just upset that I'm saying it. "Gee, Rush, you gotta dial that back a little bit. That's a little bit harsh. You gotta dial it back." But nobody's challenging the substance of it. In fact, Mike, grab Steele. Let me find the audio sound bite here of Michael Steele. It's number 11, and this was on CNN's American Morning today. Kiran Chetry interviewing Steele. She said, "Rush Limbaugh called her a racist or a reverse racist. Other people are coming out saying that perhaps some of her comments do suggest perhaps she could be racist. Where is the Republican Party headed in terms of how Sotomayor will be handled at other confirmation hearings?" Now, Steele will have nothing to say about how these hearings are handled. He's the chairman of the RNC. The chairman of the RNC does not, traditionally, consult with the Senate on confirmation hearings but nevertheless here is how Steele answered the question.

STEELE: I've made it very clear from the very moment of this, uh, announcement, uh, of, uh, uh, Judge Sotomayor's, uh, nomination --

RUSH: Uh, uh, uh.

STEELE: -- that we wanted to take a, uh, very detailed and appropriate look at her judicial record. I think that any rush to judgment at this point is immature -- uh, uh, uh -- and inappropriate. I don't think that -- Uh, rather, premature. I don't think that we need to jump on hot rhetoric at this point.

RUSH: All right, so Steele is going after me again. Please do not send any e-mail or call there, folks. Please don't do this. Please don't call. Don't waste your time. Do not. Do not do it. Let the left call and pretend to be you (laughing) but don't do it. So once again I should say, Chairman Steele, nobody has denied the charge. They're just saying the charge shouldn't be made. We're still not ready for it. Obviously we are not ready. Well, Steele is. We're not ginned up for the fight here that we face. Of course! We want to take a deliberate review here, a deliberate look, of all the issues and so forth. Well, that's what I said: They've already done that. Legal scholars on our side have already looked at her rulings, and they're well within the mainstream except those that were overturned. She's been overturned at the Supreme Court 60% of the time but her rulings do not reflect the racism and bigotry in that speech at Berkeley.

Nor do her rulings reflect her statement about how judges make policy. Her rulings are just bad. They're wrong. They're not bad law. They're not very smart. Her rulings are not very intelligent, but they don't contain all the bigotry and racism that was in that speech. And the theory is that she's simply holding back, she's ambitious. She wants to be promoted, so her rulings are not controversial except that they're wrong. The Ricci case is perhaps one of the most controversial. It's going to be very interesting if in the middle of her confirmation hearings the Supreme Court rules -- or right before the hearings start, Supreme Court rules and overturns her in late June on Ricci. That would be delicious. But we have no idea how it's going to come down.

If the law is the law, the Supreme Court overturns. If empathy rules the day at the Supreme Court, then Ricci loses again. We shall see. But regardless, she's ambitious and she's holding back. Once you get to the Supreme Court, you can't be overturned, you can't be reversed, and your radicalism can fully flower -- and again it's why I say: "If Obama nominated her, Obama knows who she is and expects what she's going to do is be a mirror image of him as a justice on the Supreme Court." (interruption) No, it's not premature, it's smart, Snerdley. Don't give me this premature. Steele might say it's premature. Okay, I'll be premature again. I'll repeat what I said the day she was nominated. Here, you want premature? Let's go premie. Here's premie for you.

Do the hearings on Sotomayor and get to the quick of it, get to the nub of it to find out who Obama is. Because if you explain who she is you'll be explaining to the American people who Obama is, and there's a reason to do that. We talked about it in the beginning of the program: polling data indicates that a majority people in most issues do not support what Obama is doing. The approval numbers for Obama still very high, 63, 64%, but there's a tipping point out there that's waiting to occur and it can be forced, if somebody with guts and courage who's not afraid to act "prematurely" can get in gear on this thing.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I have one exception to my objection to Sonia Sotomayor. I am not retracting that she will bring racism and bigotry to the court if she is confirmed. However, there might be mitigating factors that might convince me to overlook that. Well, what do we know about her? We know she's Catholic. We also know she has no record on abortion. Sonia Sotomayor being Catholic and having not said a word about abortion, I find that interesting. All libs who want to go anywhere in liberalism are pro-choice and they make no bones about it, she hasn't said a word about it, which could mean that her private feelings are she's pro-life. If I could be convinced that Sonia Sotomayor might be the biggest hope for overturning Roe v. Wade down the line, then I might be persuaded to look at her nomination in a different light. I'm serious.

I'm dead serious. I'm dead serious. Life, preserving life, to me, is a far more important issue -- we can deal with the racism and the bigotry, that can be canceled out by other justices and so forth. But I mean if you believe in life as I do and the sanctity of life, the more judges on the court we could get that are pro-life and might look at Roe v. Wade as the bad law that it is and this is an open question about Sonia Sotomayor, 'cause she hasn't said anything about it. And that's rare for a doctrinaire liberal to be silent on this. She's not silent on any other aspect of liberalism from the multicultural curriculum, but she hasn't done anything officially on abortion. We know she's Catholic, Puerto Rican Catholic. It's just something to look at here.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I misspoke on Sonia Sotomayor and abortion. She came out, she affirmed that there should not be US funds for international abortions. I misspoke. I said she did. I'm going to have to research this to be sure, but I think she's come out and said there should not be US funds, international agencies that promote abortion. Now, given that, there may be something lurking here beneath the surface that we are all unaware of. So on that basis I could be made to support this nomination, if I could be convinced -- and I don't know if I could be -- but if I could be convinced that she's pro-life.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Mary in Inverness, Illinois, you're next on the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hi, Rush. It is an honor to speak to you. We love you because you speak the truth.

RUSH: Thank you very much.

CALLER: Just a humble point about Sonia Sotomayor. I think it's just delicious irony that she comes from a government-funded housing project and that seems to be the biggest thing that they're bragging about her.

RUSH: Well, Richard Cohen in the Washington Post is today. But notice: she didn't thank the government for making her who she is.

CALLER: It was something she had to overcome because she came out of the projects, which is a government idea, a government-funded something that supposed to help somebody. But it seems to be the biggest product they're putting out there about her is that she overcame this gift from the government called the housing project.

RUSH: Yeah, that's one way of looking at it. It is ironic.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: Well, it's still worth making the point that whether she came out of there, had to overcome it, the point is she didn't credit it at all. She credited her parents. She credited traditional conservative values: hard work, self-reliance. All these libs that get appointed to things do. Hell, even Biden. Remember Biden in his acceptance speech at the Democrat convention? He said how his mom told him to go beat people up that made fun of him? And don't just hit 'em back, hit 'em in the nose! Joe Biden, whose own kids learned conflict resolution by bending over grabbing the ankles in school. They never, ever, ever suggest anybody else follow their path to success. They assume that nobody else has got the guts, has got the ability or the competence to follow their path. Where we going next on the phones? Better put on glasses. This name looks unfamiliar. Sudi. It is Sudi in Manakin, Virginia. Hi. Welcome to the EIB Network.

CALLER: Hi, Rush! I'm another American mom so I am, by definition, an optimist. And I could not figure out for the life of me why Sonia Sotomayor's comments about Latina women being better at judges than a white male bothered me so much. It kept me up all night. I went and read the text that was in the Internet, and what irks me about it is I've gone through my whole life, and affirmative action has been part of my experience. Not for me personally, but it was an experience in college. It was there when I applied for different schools, things like that, and I understood that. For me that was a way to level the playing field to a certain extent. But her comments ticked me off and it's because --

RUSH: You want me to answer the question?

CALLER: Well, I answered it myself. Can I share it? (giggling)

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: It's because she is telling my two incredible boys happen to be loving, smart, thoughtful, hardworking white boys that they can never, ever -- no matter how hard they work or no matter empathy they exhibit, they can never -- be as good as she is at something. And I wouldn't accept that from a teacher, I wouldn't accept that from a coach, I wouldn't accept that from a politician, and I definitely wouldn't accept it from somebody that plans on making policy from the bench.

RUSH: That is an interesting point. I hadn't actually looked at it from that perspective but if you are white and you are married to a white spouse, the odds are your kids are white. It's not guaranteed but the odds are they are. So if you have white kids, and you listen to Sotomayor say she, as a Latina, is better than white kids, the white kids are saying, "Wow, feels good!" That's an interesting perspective. I hadn't looked at it but I'll tell you where it comes from. It comes from the way she was educated and it comes from the way she was brought up. I guarantee you even if she wasn't brought up this way by the time she got to high school, she started in on multicultural curricula, and she heard about the evil white Europeans that brought all the pestilence and all the discrimination, and all the hardship, all the disease. They destroyed the environment. They did all of this stuff. Then she gets to college and she hears even more of it, and she believes that to the same extent that those of us who believe in the sheer miracle of our founding believe in that. That's what she was taught. Obama, too. That's what Obama was taught. Obama was taught by angry people. Sotomayor was taught by angry people. She was trained to hate majorities. Well, one majority. She was trained to be suspicious of them. She was trained to believe this country's unjust and immoral. Throw feminism in the mix, and you've got a point, and that's who she is.

END TRANSCRIPT

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