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Sotomayor Hearing: Sound Bites

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: To the phones we continue, Rapid City, South Dakota. Tom, it's nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. Welcome back.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: Mark did a wonderful job.

RUSH: I appreciate knowing that. I heard that from a lot of people.

CALLER: I was going to ask you, Rush, about Judge Sotomayor. Will anybody on the committee ask her about her affiliation with La Raza? I guess she's been a member for like six years now.

RUSH: I don't know if they will or not. I can only hazard a guess, and that is they won't. Because they all want the Hispanic vote and that means they all want La Raza liking them. So I don't think you're going to have anybody go there. I think as far as... I could be wrong. Lindsey Graham may shock us all, or Orrin Hatch. I don't know. We will just have to wait. Speaking of Sotomayor, let's go to some sound bites here, folks. I've been delaying this 'cause here's Leahy, and I tell you, I mentioned at the top of the program he's starting to sound more and more like Larry Flynt. (doing impression) "Uh, ah, Larry..." and I just constantly want to clear my throat when I'm listening to Leahy. But here was his question to Sotomayor on the controversy over the "wise Latina" comment.

LEAHY: During the course of this, umm, nomination there have been some unfortunate comments -- including outrageous charges of racism -- made about you on radio and television. One person, um, referred to you as being the equivalent of the head of the Ku Klux Klan, and another leader in the other party referred to you as being a "bigot." You've heard all these charges and countercharges, the "wise Latina" and on and on. Here's your chance. You tell us what's going on here, Judge.

RUSH: And here is what she said.

SOTOMAYOR: My speech to a variety of different groups -- most often to groups of women lawyers or to groups most particularly of young Latino lawyers and students -- I was trying to inspire them to believe that their life experiences would enrich the legal system, because different life experiences and backgrounds always do.

RUSH: (sigh)

SOTOMAYOR: The context of the words have created a misunderstanding and to give everyone assurances --

RUSH: (sigh)

SOTOMAYOR: -- I want to state up front unequivocally and without doubt --

RUSH: (sigh)

SOTOMAYOR: -- I do not believe that any ethnic, racial, or gender group --

RUSH: Yes.

SOTOMAYOR: -- has an advantage in sound judging.

RUSH: Yes, she does.

SOTOMAYOR: I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge --

RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

SOTOMAYOR: -- regardless of their background or life experiences.

RUSH: There was no way to "take it out of context." There was no way to take the "wise Latina" out of context. She said she hoped that a "wise Latina woman" would... Okay. Now, when she says, "I want to state unequivocally without doubt, I don't believe that any racial gender group has an advantage in sound judging," I do believe she thinks that. I don't think she's talking about sound judging. She's talking about empathy. These people know what it's like to have a tough and hard and miserable life because of the majority in this country, and they -- because of the disadvantages and the discrimination that they have had, they -- are going to be able to make wiser rulings to help the minorities. That's what she believes. It's not about sound judging. It's about reversing power and using law to do it, from a flawed perception of who has power in the first place. She's got this minority mind-set, and part of the minority mind-set is you're always getting beat up. You're always being discriminated against. You're always being treated unfairly. I'm gonna fix it! That comes from that "rich background" of being untreated unfairly and discriminated against, we know how to get even. That's what she means. She's not talking about sound judging. Then she rambled on here blaming Sandra Day O'Connor for her words.

SOTOMAYOR: What... The words that I used, I used agreeing with the sentiment that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was attempting to convey. I understood that sentiment to be what I just spoke about, which is that both men and women were equally capable of being wise and fair judges.

RUSH: Mmm.

SOTOMAYOR: Justices on the Supreme Court come to different conclusions. It can't mean that one of them is unwise, despite the fact that some people think that. So her literal words couldn't have meant what they said. She had to have meant that she was talking about the equal value of a capacity to be fair and impartial.

RUSH: Okay, so it was Sandra Day O'Connor's fault! "Sandra Day O'Connor could not have meant what she said. Sandra Day O'Connor had to mean what I said." Sandra Day O'Connor is probably playing golf in Arizona, finds out about this, and goes, "Whoa. What do I do here? Do I stay loyal to the women or do I chime in here?" She said she hoped that a wise man or wise woman come to the same decision. You know, there is such a thing as wisdom, even though people come to different conclusions. Not everybody who comes to a different conclusion is wise. Some people come to wrong conclusions. It doesn't mean they're not wise. Anyway that's it. Blame Sandra Day O'Connor, blame Sandra Day O'Connor. "O'Connor meant what I said. So take that. Take that, committee!"

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Jeff Sessions was precise and terrific when he got his chance at Sonia Sotomayor today. During his 30-minute questioning period, he dissected every statement that she has made; properly analyzed it; and asked her about it. Here's one. He said to her, "You previously said that the court of appeals 'is where policy is made,' and you said on another occasion, 'The law that lawyers practice examine judges declare is not a definitive, capital-L law that many would like to think exists.' So I guess I'm asking today: What do you really believe on those subjects?"

SOTOMAYOR: In that conversation with the students, I was focusing on what district court judges do and what circuit court judges do -- and I noted that district court judges find the facts, and they apply the facts to the individual case. And when they do that, their holding, their finding doesn't bind anybody else. Appellate judges, however, establish precedent. I think if my speech is heard outside of the minute-and-a-half that YouTube presents and its full context examined, that it's veeeery clear that I was talking about the policy ramifications of precedent and never talking about appellate judges or courts making the policy that Congress makes.

RUSH: This is a clear example of what I was talking about earlier. This answer is a total fudge. She meant it when she says judges make policy. That's how liberals view courts! That's exactly what she meant, but she knows if she says that in this hearing, she got big problems. So she's gotta fudge it. Well, let's go back and let's listen to what she said. Here's the comment. They're all referring to. It's from February 25th, 2005, in Durham, North Carolina, at the Duke University School of Law.

SOTOMAYOR: All of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people with court of appeals experience, because it is -- court of appeals is -- where policy is made. And I know, and I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law. I know.

STUDENTS: (laughing)

SOTOMAYOR: Okay, I know. I know. I'm not... I'm not promoting it, I'm not advocating it, I'm...

STUDENTS: (laughing)

SOTOMAYOR: You know.

RUSH: She admits it! I mean, it's in the whole bite. (paraphrased) "I shouldn't say this, let's all chuckle about it because we're all of the same mind we're. I shouldn't say this on tape. The court of appeals is where policy is made." She's talking... Folks, it's like everything else that's happening in these hearings. She is fudging what she really means in order to get confirmed. She's lying, in other words. Even though she said it seven times, she said today she didn't mean it. Jeff Sessions: "Do you stand by your statement that 'my experiences affect the facts I choose to see'? Do you stand by that statement? She said, "My experience as a wise Latina affects the facts I choose to see.' Do you stand by that statement?"

SOTOMAYOR: No, sir, I don't stand by the understanding of that statement, that I will ignore other facts or other experiences because I haven't had them. I do believe that life experiences are important to the process of judging. They help you to understand and listen, but that the law requires a result, and it will command you to the facts that are relevant to the disposition of the case.

SESSIONS: Well, I will just note you made that statement in individual speeches about seven times over a number of years' span, and it's a concern to me.

RUSH: She didn't mean it, though. She said it seven times but she didn't mean it. No. She doesn't stand by the understanding of that statement that I will ignore facts and so forth. But she said, "My experiences affect the facts I choose to see." Look, in all of her speeches she's telling us who she is. She just won't do it with the national spotlight. Next Sessions: "How can you reconcile your speeches -- which repeatedly assert that impartiality is a mere aspiration, which may not be possible in all or even most cases? How do you reconcile that with your oath that you've taken twice, which requires impartiality?"

SOTOMAYOR: I was using a rhetorical flourish that fell flat. I knew that Justice O'Connor couldn't have meant that if judges reach different conclusions, legal conclusions, that one of them wasn't wise. So I was trying to play on her words. My play was... Fell flat. It was bad. Because it left an impression that I believed that life experiences commanded a result in a case, but that's clearly not what I do as a judge.

RUSH: And once again Ms. Sotomayor is misleading -- and I'll be charitable there. She's misleading everybody, rambling incoherently trying to change the subject from who she really is and what she really believes. Sessions was great on this subject today. Let's move on. We're going to skip number 15, Mike. This is the Ricci decision. Senator Sessions: "You've stated that your background 'affects the facts you choose to see.' Was the fact that the New Haven firefighters had been subject to discrimination one of the facts you chose not to see in that case?"

SOTOMAYOR: A variety of different judges on the appellate court were looking at the case in light of established Supreme Court and Second Circuit precedent and determined that the city, facing potential liability under Title VII, could choose not to certify the test if it believes an equally good test could be made with a different impact on affected groups. The Supreme Court, as it is -- is prerogative, looking at a challenge, established a new consideration, or a different standard for the city to apply, and that is: Was there substantial evidence that they would be held liable under the law? That was a new consideration. Our panel didn't look at that issue that way because it wasn't argued to us in the case before us.

RUSH: Now, that is just a total distraction. That is the worst of all of these. She buried what she really believed. That was an unpublished opinion in a summary judgment case. She was finding for the minority because they were the minority, pure and simple. She was ignoring every other aspect of it, ignoring the Constitution -- and she was even called on that fact. One more. Sessions: "Do you think that Frank Ricci, the other firefighters whose claims you dismissed felt their arguments and concerns were appropriately understood and acknowledged by such a short opinion from your court?"

SOTOMAYOR: We were very sympathetic and expressed our sympathy to Mr. Ricci and the others. We understood the efforts that they had made in taking the tests. We said as much. They did have before them a 78-page thorough opinion by the district court. They obviously disagreed with the law as it stood under Second Circuit precedent. That's why they were pursuing their claims and did pursue them further. The panel was dealing with precedent and arguments that relied on our precedent.

RUSH: And that's another thing. This precedent business, stare decisis, "Well, I'll go for precedent every time I can except when I won't. Precedent is not locked. Precedent doesn't mean you can never vary. If precedent meant that, we'd still have slavery. I mean, they overturned it. It was the Roger Taney court with the Dred Scott decision that was dead wrong about slavery. But if we had relied on precedent as something rock solid we can't move, where would we be today?" Following precedent, my rear end. That's not at all what she was doing. She was very sympathetic -- and remember that's what Ruth "Buzzi" Ginsburg said, "While the court sympathizes with..." That's not what they want when they go before a court. That doesn't get 'em anything. They want justice!

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: By the way, folks, on this wise Latina comment, just to put this in its proper perspective, even CNN pointed out one of the times -- I've got the webpage here -- one of the times that Sotomayor made her wise Latina comment she added a contrast to white men. "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience, would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than your average white man." That sentence, or a similar one, has appeared in Sotomayor speeches delivered in 1994, in 1999, in 2002, in 2004 and 2001. And in the 2001 speech is where she included the phrase "than a white male who hasn't lived that life," she added that at the end and that's what's sparked the cries of racism here from me and others, but, let's see -- one, two, three, four, five years different speeches she's made the comment and today she tries to say it's a rhetorical flourish or was taken out of context or just outright deny it. Now, here's why Sonia Sotomayor, in a very simple way of explaining it, is dangerous. You heard her say -- in fact, I may want you to hear her say it again. I need sound bite number 14 to illustrate the forthcoming brilliant point. Are you ready? Here it is.

SOTOMAYOR: I was using a rhetorical flourish that fell flat. I knew that Justice O'Connor couldn't have meant that if judges reach different conclusions, legal conclusions, that one of them wasn't wise. So I was trying to play on her words. My play was -- fell flat.

RUSH: That's enough. "I knew that Justice O'Connor couldn't have meant what she said." "I knew that Justice O'Connor couldn't have meant what she said." If Sonia Sotomayor is willing to, in open testimony, say, Justice O'Connor couldn't have meant what she said, how simple and easy would it be for her to say the Founders couldn't possibly have meant whatever they said when they wrote the Constitution. They couldn't possibly have meant this. Even though they wrote it down in clear declarative statements. Sonia Sotomayor says about Sandra Day O'Connor, so her literal words couldn't have meant what they said. She had to have meant that she was talking about the equal value of a capacity to be fair and impartial. She couldn't have meant what she said. If she can say that about Sandra Day O'Connor, she can look at the Constitution and say, "They didn't mean that." And this one little example is all you need to know how dangerous this woman is.

Our Constitution is not safe with this woman interpreting it, because if she can say Sandra Day O'Connor didn't mean what she said, then she can say the same thing about any of the Founding Fathers and authors of the Constitution. Now, to show you how effective Jeff Sessions was, we have here samples of the State-Run Media reacting to Sessions. Remember, now, she's the one who has used this term "wise Latina" in speeches over five years, richness of her experience in one of the speeches she said she's be a better judge than a white man. Chris Matthews is talking to this guy Richard Wolffe on MSNBC, says, "She didn't make these mea culpas on her own before the process began. She didn't choose to qualify her statements 'til she had to here in this hearing."

WOLFFE: Sessions, of course, is well within his rights to push her on these comments, but the majority of these questions were focused on race. He's playing racial politics, too, and that's a very sensitive area for Republicans in general.

MATTHEWS: Because he's from Alabama?

WOLFFE: Well, hey, look, Alabama politics on one side, this is also Republicans on a national stage.

MATTHEWS: You said yesterday, this was a surrogate fight over the direction of the country politically. And the sympathy of the Democratic Party generally espouses towards minorities generally, right?

WOLFFE: Hm-hm.

MATTHEWS: Is at issue here.

WOLFFE: That's what's being --

MATTHEWS: That's an issue here.

WOLFFE: -- litigated before us.

MATTHEWS: And that's what's being litigated before us.

RUSH: So she's the racist and they turn it around and say that Sessions is the racist. Sotomayor is the one who used the phrase "wise Latina" and the richness of her experiences would make her a better judge than the average white guy. She is the racist. State-Run Media attacks Jeff Sessions, 'cause he's from Alabama, why he's gotta be a racist just like those three kids at Duke had to rape that dancer, she was black, she was poor, she was a dancer, they're rich elite athletes at a power school. Of course they raped her. We don't even need to know the facts, of course they did. Uh, no, they didn't. Okay never mind. So now Jeff Sessions is the racist.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Christian in Somerset, New Jersey, great to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Hey. How are you?

RUSH: Fine.

CALLER: Good. Rush, I sit there and I cringe sometimes when I listen to you. Sotomayor, in her speech today -- in her answer today -- clearly said, um that Sandra Day O'Connor, if the outcome between a wise old woman and a wise old man were different -- if they came to different conclusions -- then she couldn't have meant that one of them was not wise. She didn't disagree with O'Connor. She didn't look at it and say, "Her original premise is not what she meant."

RUSH: I don't care.

CALLER: And it is a stretch to say --

RUSH: No, it's not.

CALLER: -- that she would then look at the Constitution --

RUSH: Whoa! Whoa!

CALLER: -- and say, "That's not what our Founders meant." That's a stretch. That's a stretch!

RUSH: Christian, back off. It's not a stretch at all. If she'll take Sandra Day O'Connor's words and say, "She didn't mean that," then she can just as easily to say that about James Madison.

CALLER: She didn't say that she didn't mean that they would not come to the same conclusions. She didn't take her original statement and say, "That's not what she meant." She carried it a step further.

RUSH: Hold it a minute! We're going to listen to this sound bite together. Grab number 14 again. Now, this is --

CALLER: Rush, I'm waiting to go into my appointment. If I have to hang up, I'm sorry.

RUSH: That's all right. This will take 30 seconds. No more than 30 seconds. Play number 14. We'll listen together.

CALLER: I heard it, though.

RUSH: Number 14?

CALLER: I heard it, though.

SOTOMAYOR: It was a rhetorical flourish that fell flat.

CALLER: I heard her say about the "wise Latina woman..." (drops)

SOTOMAYOR: I knew that Justice O'Connor couldn't have meant that if judges reach different conclusions, legal conclusions, that one of them wasn't wise.

RUSH: Okay. She "couldn't have meant" what she said.

CALLER: She couldn't have meant if they came up to diff-rent con-clu-sionssss. Sandra Day O'Connor was saying that they should come to the same conclusions. But if they came to different conclusions, she couldn't have meant that one of them was unwise. It's maybe a fine point, Rush, but it in no way means or could mean that she would then go --

RUSH: Yeah, well, let's take context, Christian, because if you take that with everything else that she's hiding today, I --

CALLER: Oh, my gosh. You know, what? I'm called in. I have to go. I'm sorry.

RUSH: That's a shame. Why didn't you call earlier?

CALLER: 'Cause, ummm... That's the way it goes. Ha! Sorry.

RUSH: It's my fault, okay. Fine, all right. That's the way it goes. It's the way it goes. "Screw you, Rush." It's my fault. Bye, Christian.

END TRANSCRIPT

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