Judicial Activist Denies Judicial Activism
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor claims to be mourning the burgeoning sentiment that judicial activism is permeating American politics and undermining Rule of Law. While visiting the University of California, Berkeley, last week, the Associated Press reported that “Sotomayor said judges try to be fair and impartial and don’t have rigid beliefs they apply to every case. She encouraged people to view judges as ‘human beings who care deeply about what we’re doing.’” This comes 16 years after she told the same school something entirely different: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
In truth, “there is much in the body of American law which was never specifically spelled out in the Constitution,” Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw retorts. “That requires the exercise of individual judgment and the application of instincts when interpreting the law.” That being said, “[T]hese are human beings we’re talking about and it’s a group of people who have spent their professional careers steeped in a study of subjects which are permanently interwoven with politics. How are we to expect them to arrive at their positions without some baggage trailing behind them?”
Take, for example, Justice Sotomayor in United States v. Texas (Obama’s executive amnesty). As we recently reported, she refused to recuse herself despite having long promoted open borders. That she ignored this conflict of interest and ruled on the case anyway reeks of judicial activism. What the Court needs is balance, which is obtained through jurists who have the strength, courage and goodwill to not let prejudices interfere. As her soon-to-be colleague, Neil Gorsuch, has observed: “A judge who likes every result he reaches is very likely a bad judge.” That’s something Justice Sotomayor has yet to understand.