Eye On Boise

Risch, Crapo both to oppose Sotomayor confirmation

Both of Idaho's U.S. senators, Republicans Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, said today they'll vote against confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Differences on 2nd Amendment/gun rights issues were among the top concerns the two cited; both met with Sotomayor personally. “There is no question she is a genuinely nice, smart and well-intentioned person," Risch said. "However, her belief and pronouncement that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right is something I cannot accept."

Crapo said, “Judge Sotomayor has distinguished herself throughout her career, serving as a strong role model for many as she has excelled in her chosen field.  She has demonstrated one of the greatest things about America—the opportunity to become whatever you want with your God-given abilities.  I enjoyed my meeting with her and found her to be a personable individual. However, after having studied her positions and taken careful consideration through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings earlier this month, I have concluded that I cannot vote to confirm her to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court."

Click below to read the full statements from Risch and Crapo, both of whom are lawyers.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ~ July 27, 2009                                                                                                              

Statement on Opposition to Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

Washington, DC—Idaho Senator Jim Risch issued the following statement regarding the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court:

“First and foremost, I take the advise and consent duty imposed on me by the Constitution most seriously.  I personally met with and interviewed Judge Sotomayor and discussed water law, the Second Amendment and several other matters.  I reviewed her cases and I listened to her confirmation hearings and have determined I cannot support her lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

“There is no question she is a genuinely nice, smart and well-intentioned person.  However, her belief and pronouncement that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right is something I cannot accept.  Her answers to questions on the use of foreign law to interpret our Constitution did nothing to ease my concern that she would not look to the laws of other countries when interpreting the Constitution.  That should not happen under any circumstance.

“After careful review, I simply cannot support the nomination of Judge Sotomayor.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ~ July 27, 2009

CRAPO TO VOTE AGAINST SOTOMAYOR

Cites concerns over judicial activism, 2nd Amendment, foreign law

Washington, DC – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo released the following statement regarding his decision to vote against Supreme Court nominee of Sonia Sotomayor:

“Judge Sotomayor has distinguished herself throughout her career, serving as a strong role model for many as she has excelled in her chosen field.  She has demonstrated one of the greatest things about America—the opportunity to become whatever you want with your God-given abilities.  I enjoyed my meeting with her and found her to be a personable individual.

“However, after having studied her positions and taken careful consideration through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings earlier this month, I have concluded that I cannot vote to confirm her to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Her testimony was evasive and lacked substance; in some circumstances, it was misleading and even contradictory to her own previous statements and writings.

“Most particularly, I found a number of her rulings and writings to be of great concern.  First, she rejects that all Americans have an individual 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  In the Maloney case, she wrote that the right to bear arms is in fact not a “fundamental” right.  If confirmed, she may very well be on the Court to hear that very case, Maloney.  Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Idaho, has ruled the opposite way in a similar case--that the 2nd Amendment is binding on the states.  Should Judge Sotomayor’s position in Maloney be upheld by the Supreme Court, Idahoans would lose their 2nd Amendment protection against state gun control laws.

“Also troubling is that she has made statements acknowledging that her experience allows her to choose the facts she wants to see when determining a case, rather than applying the law.  And she has repeatedly stated that U.S. judges may look to foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States to maintain our country’s standing in the world community.  The U.S. Supreme Court has directly reviewed ten of Judge Sotomayor’s decisions, and eight of those have been reversed or vacated.  Most recently, the Court reversed a decision noted in an unsigned and unpublished opinion without any analysis regarding Ricci v. DeStefano, commonly called the New Haven firefighters case.

“I take this responsibility of confirming Supreme Court judges very seriously, and took every opportunity to learn more about Judge Sotomayor.  This was not a decision that I reached lightly.  The oath taken by federal judges says, in part, that they promise or swear to do justice for all.  As I see it, that correctly describes the fundamental and proper role for a judge.  Given the review I have made of Judge Sotomayor, I question whether she would or could abide by that standard and must vote against her nomination to sit on the highest court in our country.”

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Betsy Z. Russell




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