More important than the fact that Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s appellate ruling simply was overturned yesterday was that her ruling was that she treated the meritorious (and ultimately victorious) claims of the New Haven fire fighters so dismissively.
It seems that in Sotomayor’s world race-neutral, merit-based promotion systems are scarcely even worthy of consideration as legal and legitimate. For her, a subjective standard of judicial “empathy” trumps not only basic fairness but also the need to give basic fairness any serious consideration.
Below the fold is a video response from the Colorado Judicial Network: (more…)
The other day I highlighted Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s indefensible statement and the need for repudiation. But more serious than a statement at Berkeley is Sotomayor’s actual judicial record.
It certainly is interesting to see serious criticism directed at Barack Obama’s nominee from outside the center-right political spectrum — and not because she is insufficiently liberal. Take the Denver Post‘s Chuck Plunkett, for example:
Youâ€™re supposed to say out-there stuff at Berkeley. Otherwise everyone thinks youâ€™re dull and boorish.
But while wearing the robes of justice youâ€™re supposed to be fair. And the Ricci v. New Haven decision Sotomayor was involved in looks just terrible â€“ even to some prominent Democrats. [link added]
It sounds like a garbled threat, or possibly a song from the High Mass. Sine die means neither, but it is cause for high celebration: The Colorado state legislature is adjourned for 2009, at least for the regular session. (I’m hearing insiders say that the Governor very well may call a special session in the summer.)
In one sense, it’s a shame to see the legislature walk away from its responsibility: Democrats have kicked the state’s fiscal problems a little ways down the road. But then again, the majority Democrats aren’t likely to grow a sense of responsibility any time soon.
So staunch the bleeding while there’s still time. Because, in fact, Democrats are now openly touting a recent state supreme court decision to say they can raise capital gains (and who knows what other kinds of) taxes — spitting on the state constitution’s plain language that requires a vote of the people to approve tax hikes.
While the legislature is out of session for now, the high court continues to wreak havoc. That’s why Clear the Bench Colorado is deserving of our support. We’d also do well to clear most of the benches in the state house and senate, too.
Sine die has come, just not quite soon enough.
Tune in tonight at 8:30 PM local Mountain time for the 23rd edition of Rocky Mountain Alliance Blog Talk Radio. Our confirmed guest for this week is Matt Arnold from Clear the Bench Colorado to discuss his grassroots campaign to recall four state supreme court justices. We also hope to have on Senator Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, to talk about the contentious state budget debate.
If you miss the live show, you can go back and download the podcast, or just use the handy widget on my sidebar to listen directly from Mount Virtus.
Update, 3/17: Law student Constructively Reasonable says the decision is a cause for “outrage”. A watcher says Colorado may not as well even have a constitution.
The Colorado Supreme Court has done it again, showing its disdain for taxpayer protections in the state constitution. From the majority opinion:
When it issued its declaratory judgment order, the district court did not have the benefit of our recent decision in Barber v. Ritter, 196 P.3d 238 (Colo. 2008), in which we held that a statute challenged under article X, section 20 must be proven to be unconstitutional beyond a reasonable doubt. The trial court erroneously held that the relevant test of SB 07-199s constitutionality came from the interpretive guideline included in the text of article X, section 20 to reasonably restrain most the growth of government. Applying this erroneous standard, the trial court concluded that: (1) SB 07-199 constitutes a net tax revenue gain to the State of Colorado; (2) SB 07-199 was not a change in state tax policy requiring a statewide vote; (3) voter approval was required under subsection 7(c) of article X, section 20; and (4) the waiver elections held in the local school districts did not satisfy subsection (7)(c).
Let me boil it down for you. The Colorado Supreme Court says:
- We’ve made our own arbitrary rule that the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights has a higher threshold for being violated by government than the rest of the constitution does.
- This “tax policy change” that Democrat State Treasurer (and SB07-199 architect) Cary Kennedy admitted is a “tax policy change” somehow is not a “tax policy change”
- The state can change tax policy (without it necessarily being a “tax policy change”) that raises local tax revenues, without having to ask voters’ permission
- Voters in local school district elections had the clairvoyance to know their votes would result in the “tax policy change” of SB07-199 that really wasn’t a “tax policy change”
Or let me make it even simpler: (more…)
Update (3/10): Mike Reitz weighs in with an observation some of my readers may have a hard time believing: “Public policy wonks are real people, too.”
Here’s a U.S. Supreme Court decision that may have flown past your radar – Ysursa v Pocatello Education Association. The ruling ensures states (like Idaho and Utah already have done) can regulate the use of government payroll systems to prevent the collection of political contributions.
As Mike Reitz from the Evergreen Freedom Foundation explained to me in a new iVoices podcast, it’s a victory for clean government, taxpayers and orderly state labor relations:
A lot of the money funneled through government payroll systems goes to support the removal of the secret ballot and job growth stifling that come with the poorly-named Employee Free Choice Act.
Which Congress incidentally starts debating tomorrow.
Amendment 49 lost last year, but might the Ethical Standards idea be worth resurrecting?
(One final note: Star Wars fans will have to tell me what they think of the analogy I invoke near the middle of the 7-minute podcast.)
Interested in a lively and informative presentation and discussion of some of the worst U.S. Supreme Court decisions in our history, and ideas for the federal judiciary to get back on a more Constitutional path? Are you still looking for something to do this Tuesday evening (February 3) and live in the Denver area?
Well, here’s an event for you.
Institute for Justice president William “Chip” Mellor, one of the co-authors of the new book The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom will be speaking at the Independence Institute (directions here).
Tomorrow evening’s event starts with a 5:30 reception, followed by the program at 6:00. Go here to RSVP. I hope to see you there.