RUSH: Here’s the New York Times thing on Sotomayor: ‘In speech after speech over the years, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has returned to the themes of diversity, struggle, heritage and alienation that have both powered and complicated her nomination to the Supreme Court.’ What we have found out is that I was right to stick with this notion that she is racist. She makes this reference to wise Latina woman repeatedly over the course of her career, not just twice. It is Obama who needs to retract what he said. Obama said, (paraphrasing) ‘I’m sure if she could say it again she’d say it a different way.’ She’s been saying it her whole life. This woman is focused on race, she is focused on gender. There is no question anybody with an open mind looking at this, there is no question she defines herself by race. ‘She has lamented the dearth of Hispanics on the federal bench. She has exhorted young people to value immigration.’ By the way, speaking of that, Dingy Harry says he wants an amnesty bill this year.
Now, he didn’t say amnesty, but we all know what he means. He wants an immigration bill this year. ‘She has mulled over the ‘deeply confused image’ America has of its own racial identity. And she has used on more than one occasion a version of the ‘wise Latina’ line that she has spent much of this week trying to explain.’ And now US Senator Bob Menendez is coming after me. He’s on government-controlled MSNBC yesterday afternoon and he’s talking to the government-approved anchor Tamron Hall, and she says, ‘Do you believe the Republicans, they might be running into a true roadblock with Hispanic voters out there if this line of talk about her being a racist continued?’
MENENDEZ: I think there’s a price to be paid if that’s the way they’re going to take on this nominee. There’s a difference between going after a nominee hard on their judicial beliefs, on the decisions they may have made if they happen to have been a district court or appellate court judge. That’s different than having these people say ‘Latina chick,’ that’s different than calling Judge Sotomayor a racist. I’m talking about Rush Limbaugh. I’m talking about Newt Gingrich. Those are all voices of the Republican Party and they have to be held accountable.
RUSH: They have to be held accountable. I never called her a ‘Latina chick,’ that I’m aware of. A ‘Latina.’ See, I understand the English language. ‘Latina chick’ is redundant. Latina already means Latina chick. So I don’t have to say ‘Latina chick’ because ‘Latina’ covers ‘Latina chick.’ So now I’ve been warned, I have been warned by another United States senator that somehow, somewhere, somebody in government is going to have to hold me accountable. Meanwhile, the New York Times and everybody makes it clear today, this woman is a broken record on her statement that a Latina is much wiser than a white male. She’s a broken record on it. She’s focused on race; she’s focused on her gender. Now here’s the part about me making her mad back in 1988. ‘Her speeches also indicate that she is not afraid to take on opponents. In 1998, after she was confirmed to the appeals court, she recounted how she was vigorously questioned by senators based on what she called ‘mischaracterization and misunderstanding of three of my decisions’ by Rush Limbaugh. In recent days, Mr. Limbaugh has led the fight against her nomination, calling her a ‘reverse racist.”
I’ve got the Sotomayor stack here. If you go through this, it is clear that they’re trying to paint me as the foremost opposition and the fact that I’m leading the opposition to Sonia Sotomayor. And by default, I guess so. Everybody else is backing out. Everybody else is backing away, and I don’t. There’s also Byron York: ‘Was the White House Tipped Off About the Souter Retirement?’ And we think so because Judge Sotomayor started praising Barack Obama in speeches, which is a no-no for a judge. Days before Souter announced his retirement, the White House even let something out of the bag that they knew about his retirement before he actually announced it, so there’s some people looking into the fact that Souter might have let the White House know that he was going to retire.
Now, as to the aspect of Sonia Sotomayor being pro-life, there is something that’s being called now in the intellectual circles of investigation ‘The Abortion Assurance Mysteries’ that attach themselves to Sonia Sotomayor. Here is a post by Ed Whelan, who says that her response to the Senate questionnaire presents some puzzles.
‘Question 26.b asks whether anyone involved in the selection process ‘ever discussed with you any currently pending or specific case, legal issue, or question in a manner that could reasonably be interpreted as seeking any express or implied assurances concerning your position on such case, issue, or question.’ It also asks that Sotomayor identify each communication with anyone in the White House ‘referring or relating to your views on any case, issue, or subject that could come before the Supreme Court.’ Sotomayor’s answer to question 26.b is ‘No.’ But if, as reported, President Obama sought and received assurances that Sotomayor is pro-Roe, it would seem that the answer should be yes. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says that Obama ‘was careful not to … ask specifically how one might rule … in a case that could come before the Supreme Court,’ but the scope of question 26.b is far broader than specific inquiries.
‘Perhaps Obama and Sotomayor did a very clever wink-wink routine. But I’ll again suggest that, consistent with Obama’s stated commitment to transparency, the White House ought to make publicly available any record (including any audio recording) of Obama’s interview with Sotomayor so that the American people can know just what commitments and assurances he extracted or received.’ A great question because he told the press that he had not asked her about this, but that he knew. How does he know if he didn’t ask her?
‘Question 26.c asks Sotomayor to describe ‘any representations’ ‘made by the White House or individuals acting on behalf of the White House’ ‘to any individuals or interest groups as to how you might rule as a Justice.’ Sotomayor’s response indicates that she is not aware of any such representations. But it’s been reported that the White House has ‘deliver[ed] strong but vague assurances’ to abortion groups that Sotomayor is pro-Roe. Does Sotomayor really not know of those reports? Or does she somehow regard them as beyond the scope of the question?’ So we’ve got Obama ensuring us and the group that’s correct is pro-Roe, she’s saying I haven’t talked to Obama or anybody else in the White House about this, so there is no way to know, which leaves it an open question.
RUSH: Here’s the confirmation on the White House getting hold of Sonia Sotomayor three days before the Souter business broke. This is from TheHill.com. ‘The White House first contacted Judge Sonia Sotomayor three days before news of a Supreme Court vacancy became public, according to a questionnaire President Obama’s first high court nominee submitted Thursday afternoon. In the 173-page questionnaire delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sotomayor revealed she was first contacted by White House counsel Greg Craig on April 27, three days before Associate Justice David Souter’s resignation leaked to the media and four days before he made a formal announcement.’ It’s just not kosher. Of course, nothing sticks to this administration.
Well, I can’t really say that. I don’t quite know what to make of this.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, even more has been learned about Sonia Sotomayor and abortion. And what we have learned here is from a speech that she gave in June 2001, eight years ago, in which she commends liberal lawsuits on abortion, illegal immigration, and welfare reform. Here’s what she said. Now, I know they’re going to climb on me for saying this. She really writes poorly, and people are acknowledging this. There were a couple stories yesterday that it’s amazing how poorly written her opinions are compared to other appellate judges who are all great writers. In fact, it’s one of the trademarks of an appellate judge, Supreme Court justice, is their brilliant writing. So I’ll just read this passage from the speech of Judge Sotomayor in June of 2001.
‘In 1996, Congress prohibited lawyers receiving federal legal services money from taking on class-action lawsuits or lawsuits involving abortion, illegal immigration, or welfare reform. Commendably –‘ so she agrees with that ‘– commendably, I know Brooklyn law school’s clinical programs have redoubled their efforts to help address the need created by this legislation. These efforts and the volunteer efforts of other law schools, bar groups and lawyers and private law firms are not enough. The need is very great.’ She is commending Congress prohibiting lawyers receiving federal legal service money from taking on lawsuits involving abortion. Now, what that means is that she agrees that federal money should not be used to pay lawyers who take on abortion cases. Now, what are we to conclude from this? Well, it’s just more confusion. It just leads to more confusion. Now, here is a woman with rich Latina, wise life experiences, by her own admission multiple times in her life, saying she doesn’t think it’s right for lawyers filing suits on abortion to get federal money to do it.
Now, that would make one tend to think that she thinks one of two things: That the government ought have nothing to say about it via their money, and secondly, if these lawyers want to go ahead and file abortion cases then find the clients to pay up. Don’t ask the government to do it. She is a devout Catholic. She is a devout Catholic. And, folks, I’m telling you the only evidence — and it isn’t evidence — the only evidence we have that she is pro-Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion, is that Obama has assured us. But Obama has said he didn’t talk to her and on her questionnaire that she submitted yesterday she said she wasn’t asked specifically about it. But yet Obama knows specifically, but she says she hasn’t said specifically or even been asked specifically. So I don’t know. I know a lot of you people think this is nuts because you think that Obama would not nominate anybody to the court who was not pro-Roe v. Wade or pro-abortion. But just in a general sense I could agree and understand that, but what if he doesn’t really know? What if he’s just assuming? If he knows, somebody’s lying about them having talked about it, because she says in her questionnaire that she hasn’t. Nor was she asked, directly or indirectly.
Now, it could well be that she’s told, you know, some colleague somewhere who told an Obama White House official, don’t worry about it. She didn’t admit that in questionnaire. She said that didn’t happen. I also saw in a news story that she has spoken highly of Justice Scalia, another Catholic on the US Supreme Court who, of course, thinks Roe v. Wade is horrendously bad constitutional law. Justice Scalia, in fact, in an abortion case — I’ll never forget, give you an example of just how great a writer and thinker Scalia is, but how all of these appellate judges, most of them are really, really good writers. You have to be, when you’re going to explain your opinion and so forth, you’ve got to be a good writer, not just in legalese, but in common sense language as well. And he said from the case that had just been decided, it was apparent to him that, ‘The mansion that is abortion rights law will have to be torn down doorjamb by doorjamb.’
Now, nobody talks that way. If you go to a party and you’re talking about abortion, nobody is going to say, ‘You know what, abortion’s like a mansion, and we’re going to have to end it by tearing it apart doorjamb by doorjamb,’ but people do write that way. Good writers have a flair for writing unique things. Scalia does. It’s kind of like golf announcing on TV. I play golf and if I make par, I’ll say, ‘That’s four,’ or ‘That’s a par,’ but I will not say, ‘I authored a par.’ Golf announcers will say, ‘Tiger Woods authored a par.’ If Tiger Woods bogeys a hole, they will say, ‘And he puts a blemish on the scorecard with a five.’ We who play golf do not say, after a bogey, ‘Well, there’s a blemish on my card.’ We shout the F-bomb!
RUSH: From the New York Daily News today: ‘Dawn Cardi looms very large in the life of Sonia Sotomayor. She constantly refers to her in speeches as her watchdog to make sure she is doing the right thing.’ And then there’s a web link here about Sotomayor sharing joy with her best friend, and the Daily News headline, this is from Friday, May 29th: ”Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor ‘Open,’ Will Follow Law on Abortion Issue, Says Friend.’ — Sonia Sotomayor has never made a major ruling on the issue of abortion –‘ this we know, ‘– and she remains mum about whether she believes in a woman’s right to choose. Sotomayor understands how difficult it is for a woman to decide whether to have an abortion and she knows women who have struggled with that choice, a longtime friend told the Daily News. ‘Years ago, we spoke about abortion, about how difficult a choice it is,’ Dawn Cardi, a lawyer and one of Sotomayor’s closest friends, told the News Friday. ‘It’s a very, very difficult choice, and (we discussed) how difficult it must be for a woman who has to make that choice,’ Cardi recalled. … Asked directly if Sotomayor believes a woman has a right to choose an abortion, Cardi replied, ‘She will follow what she thinks is the law on that, and her personal beliefs will not interfere with that analysis because my view of her is that she does not allow her personal beliefs to interfere with her analysis of legal issues.’
Now, now, now, she clearly does. She has said that her personal beliefs impact her decisions because she said that judges, appellate judges make policy. Now, the reason why I think something’s going on here, Sotomayor is a liberal. She faces no problem being confirmed. She’s got a majority of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, a majority of Democrats in the Senate. Most libs are eager to tell you about their Roe v. Wade beliefs, their abortion beliefs. She would not. Her confirmation would not suffer had it been known over the years what her opinion on this was and yet she’s gone to great lengths to keep it quiet. She has gone to great lengths, ladies and gentlemen, to have it an open question. We know what she thinks of affirmative action. We know what she thinks of a lot of other public issues by virtue of her rulings and what she’s written. But on this one issue, we don’t know. And I would think that if, for example, she is pro-life, she’s probably calculating that could do more harm to her than by admitting she’s pro-choice. Am I correct? She’s dealing with liberals here that are going to vote on her. So no pain, no harm. She might get some grief about telegraphing the way she’s going to rule on an issue, and I know that no nominee comes out and says what they think about this. But she hasn’t said when she thinks about it ever.
My instincts tell me that it’s because people who are her friends on other issues might not appreciate what she really thinks about abortion. As I have continued to delve into this, as I have continued to investigate and research this and try to get to the quick, try to get to the soul of this, where she comes down on it, I have to say that there’s a better than 50-50 shot she’s pro-life. She’s Catholic. I know that some Catholics are pro-choice, don’t misunderstand, Puerto Rican Catholic, they’re devout. My gut instinct tells me that all the factors are there. It certainly could not hurt her with her own people for it to be known. It could only harm her with her own people if she’s pro-life and she’s staying mum on it, zipped lips.
So I can’t say for sure, but it sure seems to me that it’s — well, you know, I’ve said that life is such an important issue. If I learned, could be relatively certain and assured that she thinks Roe is bad constitutional law and is a pro-life individual, you’d have to stop and consider maybe supporting that. You can get past the racism and bigotry and other things, but life is a fundamental issue. Once the nation — and some would say we’re there — once the nation has thrown out the whole concept of the sanctity of life, then every other value and tenet of morality is weakened dramatically. So I know it would be controversial, but I could see being in favor of this nomination were she pro-life. Certainly could.