Government & Politics

Clinton's Court Picks Will Eviscerate the Constitution

How Sonia Sotomayor typifies leftist contempt for Rule of Law.

Arnold Ahlert · Jun. 27, 2016

The Supreme Court’s supposed rebuke of Barack Obama’s attempt to unilaterally implement de facto amnesty was, unfortunately, barely a rebuke at all. The 4-4 tie vote in United States v. Texas did nothing more than allow an injunction originally issued by District Judge Andrew S. Hanen and affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to remain in place. While that is laudable, it doesn’t obscure the fact that four reliably leftist Supreme Court justices made the appalling determination the Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine is nothing more than an impediment standing in the way of the progressive agenda. And no justice is more ideologically compromised than Sonia Sotomayor.

The warning signs were transparent prior to her confirmation in 2009. “Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences … our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging,” Sotomayor stated in a 2001 speech at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Thus she hoped “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 other words, Sotomayor believes the Constitution is not the nation’s ultimate jurisprudential document, but rather a stepping off point for legal “interpretations” filtered through the prism of gender and ethnicity.

And if that message wasn’t made sufficiently clear by the above quotes, there can be no doubt about Sotomayor’s worldview as revealed by her dissent following a 5-3 decision in Utah v. Strieff last week. The case concerns Edward Strieff, who was detained by police as he exited a building following a tip that drug-dealing was taking place there. After the discovery of an outstanding arrest warrant, police searched Strieff and found methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia.

Strieff insisted his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure had been violated. The Court disagreed, explaining there are exceptions to the exclusionary rule, despite police errors of procedure in gathering evidence. One of those exceptions is the “attenuation” doctrine, where evidence of a crime discovered at some degree of distance from the illegal police conduct is still admissible. Justice Clarence Thomas stated the discovery of the warrant “broke the causal chain between the unconstitutional stop and the discovery of evidence,” and further noted “there is no indication that this unlawful stop was part of any systemic or recurrent police misconduct.”

Despite leftist hysteria over the ruling, it should be noted that liberal Justice Stephen Breyer sided with the Court’s constitutional originalists. Justice Elena Kagan’s dissent, in which she was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, focused on the scope of the attenuation doctrine.

Sotomayor’s dissent? A political polemic about police misconduct and racial profiling — despite the reality that Streiff is Caucasian. “The white defendant in this case shows that anyone’s dignity can be violated in this manner,” she wrote. “But it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny. For generations, black and brown parents have given their children ‘the talk’ — instructing them never to run down the street; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to a stranger — all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.”

Perhaps it’s indelicate to notice, but if one views this assertion stripped of its racialist underpinning, one might be tempted to conclude “the talk” comes down to showing respect for the police — something people of every ethnicity should do. Blue lives matter, too.

Sotomayor’s mini-movie doesn’t end there. “Even if you are innocent, you will now join the 65 million Americans with an arrest record and experience the ‘civil death’ of discrimination by employers, landlords, and whoever else conducts a background check. And, of course, if you fail to pay bail or appear for court, a judge will issue a warrant to render you ‘arrestable on sight’ in the future.”

“The civil death of discrimination?” Mindless hysteria. Being “arrestable on sight” if you fail to pay bail or appear in court? As opposed to what, Ms. Sotomayor?

The final paragraph of Sotomayor’s dissent echoes the Black Lives Matter narrative. “We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are ‘isolated,’” she declares. “They are the canaries in the coal mine whose deaths, civil and literal, warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere. They are the ones who recognize that unlawful police stops corrode all our civil liberties and threaten all our lives. Until their voices matter too, our justice system will continue to be anything but.”

As long as thoroughly misguided Americans — including Supreme Court Justices themselves — buy into the contemptible notion that SCOTUS should consist of activists in pursuit of personal agendas, rather than nine constitutionally grounded, impartial referees, we have no genuine system of justice at all.

And who is Sotomayor kidding? Despite her six-year stint as a member of the hard-left, pro-amnesty National Council of La Raza (National Council of The Race, in English), she refused to recuse herself from United States v. Texas. Apparently being a “wise Latina” transcends a blatant conflict of interest.

Make no mistake: SCOTUS was literally one vote away from eviscerating Rule of Law and giving an already constitutionally contemptuous president the unprecedented power to kick his fundamental transformation of the nation into high gear.

Ominously, it’s not over. A President Hillary Clinton would be able to fill not only Antonin Scalia’s seat, but perhaps two or three more. And there is no question she’ll nominate leftist justices who hold views like those of Sonia Sotomayor. Those are the ultimate stakes in play next November.

Click here to show comments