I have to say, I have been pretty satisfied, so far, with Sonia Sotomayor on the bench. Not that it has done any good, as the conservative lean of the court did not change with her addition. The time to prevent the stacking of the court was during George W. Bush’s term and our Dems failed to stand up. Oh well. Water. Bridge.
That being said, I’ve got to give credit where it is due as, at least for now, she appears to be a solid replacement for David Souter,
The most recent example, is of course, Monday’s decision wherein even activity that may actually push a terrorist organization to utilizing peaceful means to get themselves heard, instead of say, blowing up a train, has been judged by six members of our Supreme Court as supporting terrorist activity. In this case, Sotomayor sided with the minority. Thank goodness.
Justice Stephen Breyer took the unusual step of reading his dissent aloud in the courtroom. ”Not even the ‘serious and deadly problem’ of international terrorism can require automatic forfeiture of First Amendment rights,” he said. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor joined the dissent.
There is also her dissent in the Miranda case decided earlier this month.
For Justice Sotomayor, deciding to make suspects speak to have the right to remain silent was a step too far. Sotomayor, the court’s newest member, wrote a strongly worded dissent for the court’s liberals, saying the majority’s decision “turns Miranda upside down.” “Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent — which counterintuitively requires them to speak,” she said. “At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded.”
She was joined in her dissent by Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
Of course, liberals are still in the minority on the bench, so her votes, while good, still haven’t stopped the rights-stripping corporate-loving train wreck that is our current SCOTUS. In most cases, that is. In an article reviewing some of Sotomayor’s decisions so far, we read of one liberal victory:
In this term’s other major crime and punishment case, the liberal bloc prevailed with a key vote from Sotomayor. She joined a 5-4 opinion holding that it is cruel and unusual punishment to impose a life prison term without possible parole on an offender who is younger than 18 and who did not commit murder.
The article above ends:
June can be a trying time at the court. The justices need to resolve more than two dozen pending cases by the end of the month. They include a test of the 2nd Amendment and its right to bear arms, and a college campus dispute in which the rights of Christian students and gay students are in conflict.
So, stay tuned. Only time will tell.