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1998 NYT Article On Sotomayor ‘Delay’

From the October 3, 1998 archives of the New York Times:

In this Nov. 6, 1998 file photo, Peter White helps newly-inducted Judge Sonia Sotomayor put on her robe shortly after she took the oath of office as a Justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals at the U.S. Courthouse in New York.

After Delay, Senate Approves Judge for Court in New York

By NEIL A. LEWIS
Saturday, October 3, 1998

After a delay of more than a year, the Senate today voted to elevate Judge Sonia Sotomayor of Federal District Court in New York City to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Judge Sotomayor’s nomination had become embroiled in the sometimes tortured judicial politics of the Senate. Some Republicans did not want to consider the nomination because, they said, putting her on the appeals court would enhance her prospects for elevation to the Supreme Court.

Those lawmakers said they believed President Clinton was eager to place a Hispanic person, like Judge Sotomayor, on the Supreme Court, and they held up consideration of her nomination for months, even though there was no evidence the Clinton Administration had planned to try to put her on the Court when a vacancy arises.

”At long last, this day has finally arrived,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, just before the Senate voted in Judge Sotomayor’s favor, 68 to 28.

All Democrats present voted for Judge Sotomayor, as did several Republicans, including Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the majority leader, who had blocked consideration of the nomination by the full Senate, voted against Judge Sotomayor.

Senator Leahy said that the delay in voting on the nomination had been especially troubling because the Second Circuit, which is based in New York, has great backlogs and its chief judge, Ralph K. Winter, had declared a judicial emergency.

The delay in considering the Sotomayor nomination also occasioned heavy lobbying by Hispanic bar groups and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. After that, the Republican leadership relented and allowed her name to go forward. Ms. Sotomayor will be the second Hispanic judge on the Second Circuit.

Her confirmation seemed like a trouble-free choice when President Clinton nominated her more than a year ago. She brought the kind of personal story usually greeted warmly by the Senate: a child from the Bronx housing projects who went on to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton and become editor of the Yale Law Journal and then a Federal prosecutor.

She has been a trial judge since 1992, when she was named to the bench by President George Bush.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Democrat of New York, told the Senate today that in more than five years on the bench, the Judge ”presided over cases of enormous complexity with skill and confidence.”

Her nomination was approved overwhelmingly by the Senate Judiciary Committee more than a year ago. Of the judicial nominees who have cleared the committee in this Congress, she had waited the longest for a final vote.

Her confirmation leaves 17 judicial nominees still pending in the Senate, a spokeswoman for the Judiary (sic) Committee said today.

A little more background on Ms. Sotomayor.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “1998 NYT Article On Sotomayor ‘Delay’”

  1. JohnMG

    There’s a lot to be said for consistency. Her judicial ideology hasn’t changed much, and she certainly hasn’t gotten any better looking in the last 11 years either.

  2. proreason

    Editors of Law Journals have quite a track record, don’t they?

  3. Helena

    Apparently there’s a piece by Jeffrey Rosen in the New Republic on her that the libs are up in arms about as misleading:

    The Case Against Sotomayor
    Her former clerks report that because Sotomayor is divorced and has no children, her clerks become like her extended family–working late with her, visiting her apartment once a month for card games (where she remembers their favorite drinks), and taking a field trip together to the premier of a Harry Potter movie.
    The Case Against Sotomayor
    http://www.tnr.com/politics/st.....e10199a085

    They say it makes her seem like a pathetic loner and/or societal misfit.

    To me, the most damning thing about it is that she (or anyone over age 11) would go see a Harry Potter movie without a gun to her head.

    • JohnMG

      Well, she looks like a regular Dumbledork, if you ask me. Someone being divorced from her I could understand. Along with the no kids part. But playing with the little kids? Card games? What’re they playing, Yugio? Sheesh! Just the kind of intellectual we need on the Supreme Court–another case of arrested development.

  4. U NO HOO

    Type 1 diabetics can have very difficult pregnancies.

    • JohnMG

      Some child, somewhere, can be thankful for not ending up with her for a parent. What does her diabetes have to do with being a competent justice. The mention of this was merely a ploy to gain sympathy for her and to distract from the real issue of her ideology and her qualification to serve.

      Like I said elsewhere, I’d be more comfortable with Judge Judy. This twit has an axe to grind.

  5. Botfly

    For God’s sakes, if we force-feed NY liberal sensibilities onto the rest of the country we are surely headed for certain disaster. As a NY’er I feel it is my duty to warn the rest of you non-NY’ers on the dangers of the NY liberal mindset so as to give you time to prepare for what is sure to be the end of moderated judicial thoughtfulness on the SCOTUS. As Obama blows hot air into his ocarina and his minions obediently dance in lock-step to this administrations every suggestion I am becoming increasingly concerned for the generations to follow. Surely there is a candidate out there who will inspire us because of the workings of their legal analytical mind and not because they are just another Cinderella story from the PJ’s in the boogie down.


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