Legal Research

Laughing at the Conservative Critics of Sotomayor

Reuters: Supreme Court overrules Obama nominee in race bias case. Conservative critics seized on the decision, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, to demonstrate that Sotomayor was “out of sync” with mainstream legal thinking.

I’m not sure how the Sotomayor decision was out of sync with “mainstream” legal thinking. Her decision may have been out of sync with conservative legal thinking. Mainstream? Nah. After all, Ricci v. DeStefano was a 5-4 decision, meaning 44% of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Sotomayor. If you want to find someone that is really out of sync with mainstream legal thinking, take a look at Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding, an 8-1 decision. If 89% of the justices on the US Supreme Court think one way, I think that line of thinking constitutes mainstream legal thinking. In a case that gave new meaning to Perverted Justice, Justice Thomas curiously was not troubled (in a Constitutional sense) with school administrators strip searching a teenage girl.

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