Talk:Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination

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First Hispanic Supreme Court Nominee?[edit]

I keep seeing this bandied about, but Benjamin Cardozo was of Spanish/Portuguese Jewish descent. I guess it depends on how one defines Hispanic? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This is discussed in greater detail in Demographics of the Supreme Court of the United States. bd2412 T 15:52, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, just wanted to make sure it was discussed at some point. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
In gist: Justice Cardozo is described as having Portuguese and Spanish ancestry but of a family that came to America from England before the American Revolution. This is not what most writers would describe as "Hispanic" and certainly not "Latino". Those terms, as used in the U.S. today, describe a person of ancestry from the Spanish-speaking parts of the Americas. --FOo (talk) 05:00, 27 May 2009 (UTC)


The references copied over the Sonia Sotomayor article need to be fixed; I've tried fixing one to no avail. It's been a while since I used the <ref> system... (talk) 14:56, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Working on it. bd2412 T 14:57, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Considered for SCOTUS by republican president[edit]

Changed "Prior to her reported selection as President Obama's nominee, Sotomayor had been regarded as a potential Supreme Court nominee by several presidents, both Republican and Democratic." to ..."had been appointed as a judge by both Republican and Democratic presidents." I'm pretty sure GWB never gave her much thought, please cite if I'm wrong. ErikHaugen (talk) 21:31, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


I am reinserting the reaction from Ilya Shapiro of the CATO Institute. He is editor of Supreme Court review for CATO. You can find his biography here [1]. If you look at Samuel Alito Supreme Court nomination you will see that there is many different reactions from different people and groups.--T*85 (talk) 22:42, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I think the Quotes on impartiality and life experience section should be merged back into the Sonia Sotomayor article. If you look at the Samuel Alito Supreme Court nomination article it basically is only about the nomination/confirmation process. The quotes on impartiality probably will get brought up in the confirmation process, if it does then it should be included in this article. Right now it just seems out of place and would be better in the main Sonia Sotomayor article.--T*85 (talk) 21:20, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

See the discussion on Talk:Sonia Sotomayor that led to moving the section here. It doesn't really work well in either article without more context, maybe.--ragesoss (talk) 21:27, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I created the merge proposal, and I wanted both entire articles to be merged. Someone else changed it to just the one section. Grundle2600 (talk) 23:05, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm just trying to rationally reorganize the page, but we have established a good tradition of having separate articles on the confirmation hearings/processes themselves (e.g. Samuel Alito Supreme Court nomination). I oppose the merger; this page will end up with a lot of detail of historical interest, but beyond the reasonable scope of the main article, such as hearing dates and witnesses, and the tenor of the testimony of various witnesses. bd2412 T 23:14, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
This page will get big. The event of her nomination&confirmation has just started and there will be a lot of info added this summer. So I agree with BD2412. Merging the article, or the quote section, into the Sonia Sotomayor page would not work. Also, at the moment there are reactions from both sides, but in the quote section the only Sotomayor quotes seem to be the ones chosen by the anti-Sotomayor side (and without much context, at that). Does anyone have some quotes from the pro-Sotomayor side to add for balance? Or maybe the quotes should be incorporated into some kind of section of arguments people are making against Sotomayor? That is what they are. (talk) 23:36, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

This definitely needs its own article, I only thought that "Quotes on impartiality and life experience" section should have been merged or deleted. Kind of weird to have something included in the nomination article before we know if it will have any effect on the nomination. If you look at the Alito nomination article the only things listed were the ones that were brought up in the confirmation process.

To the above poster, I added most of the quotes and I count 9 out of 17 quotes being supportive of Sotomayor even though that really does not matter.--T*85 (talk) 00:05, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

The section has developed since the merge proposal was made, and now does a better job of putting these quotes, and reactions to them, in the context of the nomination. Since most of the editors at Sonia Sotomayor didn't think it fit there, and it fits in better here now, I'm removing the merge tags.--ragesoss (talk) 04:16, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

I'd say we're past the point today of this being a merge candidate. rootology/equality 16:49, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

IMHO, neither the entire page nor the section should be merged. Tag removal endorsed. BusterD (talk) 20:16, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Quotes on impartiality and life experience and POV[edit]

This sections needs to be balanced. Why the arbitrary selected quotes from Sotomayor and Dana Milbank? Why the Ann Coulte, Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gingrich reaction? Since when their fringe views are important to a Supreme Court nomination process wp:undue, anyone? --Jmundo 13:30, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Please feel free to add any other comments that you see about this that are cited in reliable sources. Those three people are all considered prominent critics of the Democratic Party. The section does have comments from noteworthy Democrats, too. The section is still very new and is being worked on. Please add whatever you think will make the section better. Grundle2600 (talk) 14:01, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, the selected quotes are not arbitrary because they are the quotes that people are talking about. Like every conformation, a few instances are going to be heavily scrutinized. As for the "fringe", Newt Gingrich is not considered any more fringe than Nancy Pelosi is by a lot of people. Would you say her quotes are irrelevant? Furthermore, Rush Limbaugh has millions of listeners, and, for better or worse, does have some influence on public opinion. This is not dKosopedia, and we can't just dismiss opinions on the ground that they come from the right, and it's not like there aren't plenty of opposing opinions mentioned. And not that I can put this in the article, in this case, from a Constitutional standpoint, as much as I don't like to say it, are at least partially correct. Gtbob12 (talk) 18:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Because they are not arbitrary. The two Sotomayor quotations are included because they are the two quotations that conservatives are focused on. Milbank's quotation is included because it is a good context-setting segue, as it identifies the preceding quotation as both contentious and as the one drawing more heat. You could just say "The 'wise Latina' line has drawn much of the conservative criticism" and cite it to Milbank, but you'd lose some context. I didn't touch the three Republicans you mention, but Gingrich and Limbaugh are certainly major conservative figures. In my opinion, the article would be best served by including the best arguments on both side. The National Journal piece appears to be among the best reasoned conservative critiques thus far of the 'wise Latina' speech, while the left has summoned some pretty convincing (to me) explanations for the "appeals court - policy" statement. What is lacking here is a well-argued defense of the 'wise Latina' speech and a non-sound bite-ish conservative criticism of the "policy" statement. This might be because no such reasoned arguments exist, or maybe just that no editor has added them yet.
I should note that the two paragraphs currently ending the section do not seem to be explicitly linked to either Sotomayor quotation and appear to largely detail conservative attacks on Obama's reasoning for his pick. They should be removed, moved to some other section or page, or the section title should be renamed so they fit. - BanyanTree 21:36, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, most of the defenses for the "wise Latina" speech tend to revolve around context. I mean, had she merely said, for instance, someone who grew up poor, black, Hispanic, man or woman, urban or rural, it might be easier to justify, and one could argue that she was saying that to certain extent, with the experiences she is talking about revolving around things like growing up in the projects. The way she said it though, is difficult to defend, because she didn't say that the Latina might reach a different decision, or the presence of a Latina may add more to the conclusion, but that a Latina would reach a BETTER decision. Gtbob12 (talk) 13:08, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
The section is waaaaay too long. A few of the more aggressive Republican operatives finding something to tar a Democrat with does not make a real controversy. We don't know yet how the confirmation process will go, but it seems unlikely that this matter will amount to much - in fact the entire article seems iffy. Looking back on it, there are very few successful or unsuccessful nominations that deserve their own article separate from their bio. Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination and Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination come to mind. The first one has long quotes and digressions, though not as much as this article; the second is in summary style. Wikidemon (talk) 16:22, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with the nomination process not meriting an article. It's a shortened political campaign of sorts, and is equivalent to our articles for presidential primary campaigns or individual senate elections. Many other past nominations could well deserve their own articles, such as Fortas (to chief) or Carswell or Haynsworth, or the Rehnquist nominations, or the Souter nomination, etc. And for sure folding any of the nominations that have taken place during the WP era would throw the weighting and balance of the BLP main article way out of whack. Wasted Time R (talk) 21:34, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Belizean Grove[edit]

If someone wants to add content about her membership (as of today, former membership) to the Belizean Grove, I've gathered a few sources here. I don't know if it belongs in this article, but thought I'd mention the sources. APK (If You Wanna) 23:54, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Not sure it has much of anything to do with the nomination process. If it comes up in the hearings, it would be appropriate, but otherwise it should be in her biography. bd2412 T 00:20, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay. I wasn't sure if it belonged since her membership was discussed in the media and questioned by Republican senators. The latter resulted in her resigning from the club since, as the Associated Press stated, "Federal judges are bound by a code that says they shouldn't join any organization that discriminates by race, sex, religion or nationality." APK (If You Wanna) 02:05, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
This article should really have a fairly narrow focus on the nomination and hearing process itself. I can see that there's a link between the nomination and the withdrawal, I'm just not sure that it's within that focus. bd2412 T 02:09, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I would say it should be added. Everything that Sotomayor is doing now is in response to the nomination and confirmation process, and she got enough flak over this membership that she felt it was best to resign. Some other items could be added to this article as well, such as the debate over how soon to hold the hearings, the Republican complaints that she hasn't fully submitted all her materials, the to-and-fro'ing over whether Republicans might try to filibuster her, etc. But I haven't been editing this article, so I guess I can't complain ... Wasted Time R (talk) 02:39, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Well it's a consensus-building process - if more people feel it should be added, it's not my place to prevent it from being included. If it is a substantial matter, however, it will be mentioned during the hearings. I'd say wait and see, but I'm amenable to a brief mention now which can be expanded if it proves to be more of an issue in the confirmation process. bd2412 T 03:08, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
My point simply is that it already has been enough of an issue in the confirmation process for her to have resigned. The modern confirmation process for a Supreme Court justice is like a mini-election campaign, with an announcement, fundraising (by advocacy groups), speeches (think of how critical Ted Kennedy's immediate "Robert Bork's America" speech was in eventually torpedoing that nomination), endorsements, personal campaigning (think Sotomayor's meetings with each senator), debates (the Senate hearings), a primary (the Senate Judiciary Committee vote), and a general election (the full Senate vote). An ambitious nomination article would try to capture all of that, and not just start at the hearings. But again, talk is cheap since I'm not adding to this article ;-) Wasted Time R (talk) 03:19, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
But you are, of course, free to do so! bd2412 T 03:28, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I know ... I'm already behind on six or eight articles I'm working on at once, and keeping swearing to myself that I won't get caught up in more, especially those that require daily updates ... Wasted Time R (talk) 03:45, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
especially those that require daily updates (I know what you mean.) APK (If You Wanna) 05:16, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm starting to think it would be a good idea to mention the membership kerfuffle, although I'm not sure where it would best fit. I looked at the article's stats, and apparently readers are interested in the topic (compare it with this article). APK (If You Wanna) 16:21, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

New page for hearings?[edit]

With the hearings beginning a few minutes ago, I'm curious whether we should create the page "Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court confirmation hearings." I won't be able to contribute to it until this evening, but I'm sure it will aggregate a great deal of content. Agradman talk/contribs 14:15, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually that is supposed to be the primary purpose of this article (see, e.g., Samuel Alito Supreme Court nomination). bd2412 T 14:22, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, agreed, that is supposed to go here. Wasted Time R (talk) 23:22, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Multiple disruptions by hecklers[edit]

Considering her hearing has already been interrupted by hecklers at least four times in two days, shouldn't something mentioning this fact be included in the article? Since according to Wasted Time R and BD2412 just right above this section, this article should cover the hearings, rather than only the nomination itself, which consumes about 75 percent of the article. Gage (talk) 18:22, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with mentioning the unusual number of hecklers. bd2412 T 18:48, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Just to further clarify, this article is concerned with the entire nomination process, up through the final Senate confirmation vote. So of course it includes the hearings. Wasted Time R (talk) 23:24, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I did not dispute that, though I would suggest formatting the confirmation process in a similar fashion to Samuel Alito's confirmation hearing. Gage (talk) 01:39, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to go ahead and do that. Wasted Time R (talk) 01:40, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Defeating the nomination?[edit]

In part, the article currently reads as follows:

"As of July 2009, the Senate has 58 Democrats, 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats, and 40 Republicans. In order to block the nomination, Republicans must either vote unanimously against Sotomayor and persuade nine non-Republican Senators to follow suit, or they must prevent a vote from taking place at all through a filibuster, which means the Democrats would need 60 senators to vote for cloture."

By my count, forty plus nine is forty-nine, which is fewer than fifty-one. It may be the case that Senators Byrd and Kennedy are not currently participating in Senate activities, but 1) if that is true, the article should state the conditions that predicate its mathematics, and 2) forty-nine and forty-nine would still be equal, resulting in a tiebreaking-vote by the Vice-president (I assume...) (talk) 15:08, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

July 17 testimony[edit]

Was there any testimony given on July 17, meaning today? I was not able to watch CNN's streaming at 9:30AM, but there is currently no stream of Sotomayor testimony, and Senator Kaufman who was the last chairman for the day yesterday mentioned nothing about reconvening, so I just wanted to make sure. Gage (talk) 17:14, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

No, the testimony wrapped up yesterday. All that's left are written questions from some of the senators that Sotomayor will give written responses to, and then the committee vote, which I think is slotted for July 28. Wasted Time R (talk) 21:28, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Right, thanks. Gage (talk) 23:37, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Table of votes.[edit]

The table of votes is just that, a table of votes, not a table of how people are saying they plan to vote. It should not be "filled in" until there is a vote to record, and I have hidden it for the time being accordingly. bd2412 T 05:20, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the table of actual votes should be hidden, but shouldn't there be a table to summarize Senators' voting intentions? Nevermore | Talk 05:41, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I've added a separate table for intentions. Let me know what you think Nevermore | Talk 05:43, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
It's really not WP's role to keep track of how senators are planning to vote on an upcoming nomination or bill. That's transitory news information of no lasting significance at all. One of the narrative sections can mention how certain key on-the-fence Republicans on the committee who might influence others decided (e.g. Kyl, Graham, Cornyn), but that should be it. Wasted Time R (talk) 10:56, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree - are we to end up with two tables in the article, one indicating announced intent to vote and one indicating actual votes? Since many senators may make no announcement prior to the vote itself, the "intent" table may end up with a lot of permanently blank space. I think it is better to simply list in text which Senators have said how they will vote. Moreover, other than Judiciary Committee members and those who announced right after hearings closed, there is really no point in stating that any Democrats have announced their support absent some prior report that a particular Democrat may have been leaning the other way. bd2412 T 16:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I would support removing the intent of vote column. Completely irrelevent, unless their final vote ends up being different from their stated intention. Gage (talk) 22:01, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I would support removing the column as well. On a different note: I am not sure what BD2412 means when saying he would remove the announcements of Democratic Senators. As seen here, we only list a quote from Kennedy and the fact no senators have announced their opposition. If we are talking about removing them from the list, I would oppose that. Senators like Begich and Nelson are at least undecided because the NRA (who opposes Sotomayor) is scoring that vote in future (gun rights) voting scores. BrianY (talk) 00:20, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I see now what was being talked about. BrianY (talk) 01:14, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
The list of announced intentions is the best currently available information and as such should be kept for now. It can be superseded with the real votes once they are in. (talk) 04:13, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
Since no Senator deviated from his or her announced intention, I think we can safely pare this down to the table of actual votes cast. Any objection? bd2412 T 21:00, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I was going to say the same thing. There's no practical use for the "intent" (or "date") column anymore. We should get rid of both. The Sartorialist (talk) 02:22, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree also. Gage (talk) 04:51, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Done. –Cg-realms (talkcontribs) 19:46, 7 August 2009 (EDT)
Thanks! bd2412 T 00:04, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Joe Lieberman: Independent Democrat or just Independent?[edit]

Lieberman was previously listed in the voting table as an independent Democrat, which is how he is listed on the Senate website. But Zntrip edited it to simply independent and has reversed efforts to restore that previous designation. So which is it? –Cg-realms (talkcontribs) 03:13, 9 August 2009 (EDT)

For purposes of this table I'd go with "independent" per [2]. This is a source about the actual vote, rather than the Senate sites which are more like primary sources for such purposes. It's a bit tricky but I think if there's a real disagreement it has to be resolved by analysis of sources. The basic issue is that Lieberman was elected in 2006 by running as an independent and defeating a Democrat, and he supported the Republican candidate in the 2008 presidential election, so some Democrats (understandably) want to distance him from the party. There is some related discussion at Talk:Joe Lieberman and its archives. (talk) 07:31, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Quotes on impartiality and life experience and POV: take two[edit]

yes, I eliminated a big chuck of opinion. Nobody here took care of balancing this section, the tag was here for months. Yes, probably I will be reverted, but this section is crap and nobody seems to care. Calling a racist nowadays is something routine. Again, this is about the confirmation hearing, the senators and the witness, who cares what I think or what Ann Coulter think, she just looking for the sound bite in fox news. Wikipedia is more than that, I hope, Wikipedia is about the truth and not the intensive editing of some POV editors. Deal with it, we have a black President and a future Latina Justice. A dont worry, the Wise latina crap is mention several times in the article. --J.Mundo (talk) 06:33, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Just a note that this article is not just about the confirmation hearings, it's about the entire nomination process involving Sotomayor from beginning to end. That's true of all the articles in Category:Nominations to the United States Supreme Court, including cases such as the Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination that never even reached the hearings stage. Wasted Time R (talk) 10:51, 5 August 2009 (UTC)


There was no attempt to filibuster the nomination. I have edited this multiple times and I keep getting overturned for no logical reason. The supposed source does not talk about a filibuster —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

I've put notes on both your talk page and that of Jerzeykydd (talk · contribs), asking both of you to come here and discuss the issue rather than engage in an edit war. In my opinion (for what it's worth), this is not a cut-and-dried vandalism issue, and either of you risk being blocked for a 3RR violation if you continue as you are doing now. I see you asked for a third opinion, but that process is not suitable for a situation where no one (or perhaps only one editor) is showing a willingness to engage in discussion. Please feel free to ask again at WP:3O after you and Jerzeykydd are talking to each other. Also, if you're going to be involved in an extended editing process here, I would strongly recommend you consider getting an account instead of continuing to post via an IP address. Richwales (talk · contribs · review) 04:35, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

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