The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Supreme Court

At White House Event, Law Enforcement Groups Back Sotomayor

By Michael A. Fletcher and Jerry Markon
Eight national law enforcement groups today endorsed the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, saying the former prosecutor is tough but compassionate judge who has performed ably on the front lines of the nation's criminal justice system.

Joined by Vice President Biden, the law enforcement officials announced their support for Sotomayor at an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House.

As conservative critics have sought to focus on several Sotomayor speeches where she argued that her view of the law is shaped in part by her experience as a Latina growing up in the projects in New York City, the White House and Sotomayor's supporters have played up her long record as a prosecutor, corporate lawyer, trial judge and appeals court judge.

Biden said too few people were talking about her "tough stands on criminals and her unyielding commitment to finding justice for the victims of crimes."

Joseph Cassilly, President of the National District Attorneys Association, praised Sotomayor's "deep understanding" of the law and her "thorough" use of legal precedent.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Mongenthau, who hired Sotomayor when she graduated from Yale Law School, said she was "always a step ahead of the rest of us." He said some judges like to intimidate young prosecutors, but "nobody intimidates Sonia Sotomayor."

Conservative legal experts derided the White House event, saying the administration is painting Sotomayor as pro-law enforcement when she is actually a liberal judicial activist on criminal matters.

"This whole effort to portray Sotomayor as kind of a 'hang 'em high judge' is beyond putting a little spin on the ball ... it's really blatantly misleading,'' Wendy E. Long, counsel for the Manassas, Va.-based Judicial Confirmation Network, said on a conference call. She and the other two experts on the call acknowledged they had not seen the White House event or read a transcript.

Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, criticized Sotomayor's record in several criminal cases, including a 2000 case in which she backed African-American plaintiffs from a small town in New York who had sued for discrimination after police stopped them on the street based on an elderly woman's description of her attacker as black. "That's an approach to criminal investigations that would hamper the police,'' Whelan said.

Posted at 5:31 PM ET on Jun 9, 2009  | Category:  Supreme Court
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phil6 you must be joking. The lady will be confirmed with the confirmation hearings scheduled for July 13. She has an excellent background with a broad range of support. The repubs have to have something to say and are trying to do it without showing their true colors, or more aptly, their preference for white, not colors.

Posted by: alaskan2 | June 10, 2009 2:39 PM





The Obama administration has been misinformed or purposely misled as federally-funded volunteer programs have been hijacked to create an American Gestapo...

...a police state apparatus that makes a mockery of the rule of law.

Please read this:

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 10, 2009 10:11 AM

What to make of "a wise Latina?" Does this mean they serve burritos now in the S.C. cafeteria? I hope so, especially good ones.
I'm not so worried about that as I am about Biden and all those "law enforcement" types parading around behind her. One would think a wise Latina would be wise to the NYPD, or at least champion an alternative look to the Constitution. The country needs someone who would restore the US CONSTITUTION to its rightful place in the police academies and Executive Offices of this country. Former Atty. Gen. "Tortureman" Gonzales would NOT be an appropriate example to follow. Too often, the minority candidates we have been getting end up trying to outdo the majority-race fascists in office. We don't need that. We need an end to the Patriot Act, Orwellian rulings, and the government of fear. Using GW Tush as legal precedent is not my idea of "following the law."

Posted by: bong_jamesbong2001 | June 10, 2009 2:12 AM

"The Sotomayor nomination is fading fast."

You're still waiting for McCain to catch up to Obama in the polls, aren't you?

Posted by: nodebris | June 9, 2009 11:17 PM

I love it when jaked volunteers to post the "Idiot" sign on his own forehead. Saves so much typing.

Posted by: nodebris | June 9, 2009 11:16 PM

The Sotomayor nomination is fading fast. Does Obama have a Plan B in place? Who does he have for choice #2?

Posted by: Phil6 | June 9, 2009 10:17 PM

If Sotomayor is that good, why can't we have her on the bench in Tulsa? Seriously, since she is desired in Washington, does she have any relations in the judicial system who might be willing to help our local citizens discover real justice?

Posted by: AntiStoogery | June 9, 2009 7:49 PM


No thanks, since I will continue to insist that pResident Obama release his LONG FORM birth certificate so we can all know for sue.

Posted by: JakeD | June 9, 2009 7:02 PM

JakeD, I would have to infer that by using the word "if" in your comment you are not completely sure of Obama's country of birth. Seeing that the American electorate and the courts have already made their opinions known it would seem you are just attempting to provoke and not really add to the discussion at hand. Your argument style is common but hardly produces any insight. I would suggest you visit a more viral rightwing website where your argument might have more cache.

Posted by: the1joncook | June 9, 2009 6:17 PM

Below is a link to a very provocative piece dealing head on with complicated and divisive issues surrounding Sotomayor's nomination, particularly interesting ideas concerning her "wise Latina" comments.

"Through the Sonia Sotomayor Looking Glass"

By Matt Semino, Esq.

Matt Semino is an American lawyer and legal commentator. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School, Cornell University and is a Fulbright Scholar.

Posted by: supreme22 | June 9, 2009 6:13 PM

Technically, that's ACTING President Biden (if Obama is not a "natural born" citizen).

Posted by: JakeD | June 9, 2009 6:00 PM

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