Monday, July 13, 2009

Sweeping New Study of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor's Record

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has released a new comparative study of 1,194 constitutional cases decided by the Second Circuit (federal appeals court) during the decade that Judge Sonia Sotomayor served on it.

Sotomayor, U.S. President Obama's nominee for a vacant Supreme Court seat, faced her first day of confirmation hearings in the American Senate today.

The Brennan Center study concludes that Sotomayor, far from being a "judicial activist", is squarely within the mainstream of the Second Circuit:
"Using measures for testing judicial activism and deference developed by academics in recent years, the Center analyzed Judge Sotomayor's decisionmaking and compared her record to that of her colleagues on the Second Circuit. We looked at various measures of the relative deference or "activism" of a judge's action in a particular case:
  1. Whether the judge's vote was in accord with his or her colleagues on the bench;
  2. How often the judge upheld the action of another branch of government, such as a statute or other governmental action;
  3. How often the judge deferred to the lower court or agency decision under review."
"We also looked at whether Judge Sotomayor's decisionmaking and that of her colleagues varied according to the substantive area at issue in a particular case, specifically cases involving civil rights, criminal law, due process, or the First Amendment (...) "

"Based on this exhaustive review, the conclusion is unmistakable: in constitutional cases, Judge Sotomayor is solidly in the mainstream of the Second Circuit. After we analyzed every constitutional case in the Second Circuit over the past decade, what was striking was the degree of unanimity and consensus on a court roughly evenly split between Democratic appointees and Republican appointees."
Earlier Library Boy posts about the Sotomayor nomination:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:44 pm


Blogger Wendy Reynolds said...

As It Happens interviewed the author of the study last night on CBC Radio 1. Very interesting discussion, and worth listening to as a podcast.

8:35 am  
Anonymous Chrystal K. said...

I just read about day 2, but I didn't get a chance to read about day 1.

6:17 pm  

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