WHAT DID SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR SAY ABOUT SB 1070?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

“You are involving the federal government in your prosecution,” the justice said, according to the hearing’s transcript, drawing attention to one class of non-citizens who may not appear in available databases of documented residents.”

(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice took a lead role in criticizing oral arguments over Arizona’s controversial immigration law. The liberal Sotomayor, President Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court appointee, was most widely quoted for her stinging criticism of the government’s argument that Arizona’s law preempts federal authority over immigration. But her lines of questioning and criticism of Arizona’s rebuttal also indicated skepticism about the most contentious provisions of the state law.

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The questions Sotomayor posed to Paul Clement, the attorney representing Arizona, hinged on what would happen to people detained under SB 1070, as the law is known, who did not readily appear in databases. She noted that some people, like political asylum applicants, may not be registered with the federal government because the process requires them to keep their status private.

AP

“What’s going to happen now is that if there is no statement by the federal agency of legality, the person is arrested, and now we’re going to have federal resources spent on trying to figure out whether they have that, whether they are exempted for this reason, whether the failure to carry was accidental or not,” Sotomayor said. Sotomayor was the only justice to pose questions during Clement’s rebuttal.

AP

The Latina justice also jumped in with the first line of questioning, parsing out how detention processes under suspended provisions of the Arizona law would differ from current practice, and she posed questions highlighting the limitations of current federal databases to check people’s immigration status efficiently after being stopped.

photo Diane Ovalle / Puente Arizona

There is no federal database of authorized residents, only a passport registry, according to U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who is arguing on behalf of the Obama administration. The federal government also checks reports of undocumented immigrants against another eight to10 federal databases, Verrilli said. Hypothetically, then, under the Arizona law a person stopped for an offense and held on suspicion of unlawful residence could wind up in custody for long periods of time, Sotomayor posited. While Sotomayor’s line of questioning indicated skepticism of parts of Arizona’s case, it was her biting criticism of Verrilli’s argument that Arizona’s enforcement of immigration undermined federal authority that caught the most attention.

photo by Diane Ovalle / Puente Arizona

“You can see it’s not selling very well,” Sotomayor said, commenting on a series of both tough questions and outright assertions made by the country’s highest court, where conservatives hold a majority.

Justice Antonin Scalia. Image from Legal Geekery

“Arizona is not trying to kick out anybody that the federal government has not already said do not belong here,” said Justice Antonin Scalia.

Chief Justice Roberts SOURCE: AP/Evan Vucci

The most forceful argument in favor of the controversial immigration law’s provision requiring police to check the immigration status of those they stop came from Chief Justice Roberts.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“It is still your decision,” Roberts told Verrilli. “And if you don’t want to know who is in this country illegally, you don’t have to.”

Read more: FOX NEWS LATINO

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WHAT IS THE SUPREME COURT GOING TO DO ON THE QUESTION OF OBAMA’S SIGNATURE HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL LAW?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is keeping quiet what the Supreme Court is going to do on the question of whether President Barack Obama’s signature health care overhaul law is constitutional. Sotomayor was the featured speaker Monday night at a lecture hosted by the University of the District of Columbia.

The court recently heard arguments on the health care law and is expected to make a decision before the end of June. But Sotomayor made no comment on the widely followed case.

The justice used most of her conversation with Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, to explain how the Supreme Court works and how she decided to become a lawyer and a prosecutor.

Sotomayor was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents and received her B.A. from Princeton before earning her law degree at Yale. She worked as an assistant district attorney in New York before going into going into private practice in 1984.

President George H. W. Bush nominated Sotomayor to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1991 and she was confirmed in 1992. President Obama nominated Sotomayor for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retired Justice David Souter and her appointment was confirmed in 2009.

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday July 15, 2009, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) Original Filename: Sotomayor_Senate_WCAP118.jpg

Sotomayor also said she’s a fan of Jeremy Lin, whose NBA career with the New York Knicks has spawned “Linsanity.” Sotomayor, a New York native, says “New York loves him” but decried some of the racist comments the Asian-American basketball player has faced as “ugly.”

“It’s a sad statement people that people still say those words,” said Sotomayor, who is Hispanic.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/04/03/sotomayor-keeps-quiet-health-care-decision/#ixzz1r3ETuGmE

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WHAT ROMNEY SAYS ABOUT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Mitt Romney has caught the attention of Latinos with campaign ads that highlight the significance of Sonia Sotomayor‘s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court – but it may not be the kind of attention he wants.

In a pro-Romney radio ad released this week in Ohio, conservative Jay Sekulow says that Rick Santorum‘s 1998 vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the federal circuit court “put her on a path to the Supreme Court.”

When Santorum voted for her confirmation in the late 90s, Sotomayor had been elevated by President Bill Clinton from the federal district court to a seat to the 2nd Circuit U-S Court of Appeals, based in New York.

In 2009, she was still a federal appeals judge when President Barack Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court. And by then Santorum had left the Senate.

In the ad, Romney notes that 29 of Santorum’s colleagues voted against Sotomayor in 1998. The criticism echoes Republican attacks on “activist” or liberal judges.

But, that’s not how it’s being taken by some Latinos. “This unprovoked attack is another example of how Romney and the Republican Party are pushing the Latino vote to Obama,” Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy said in his daily online message to pundits and press. “They forget that Judge Sotomayor is an icon for the Latino community. It’s like attacking Martin Luther King or George Washington, for blacks and whites.”

Back in February, Romney used a similar tactic in a Michigan television ad that asked if Santorum is ready to be president. In making it’s case, the ad uses as evidence that he voted for “liberal judge Sonia Sotomayor” and adds that Santorum “opposed creating E-Verify, a conservative reform to curb illegal immigration.”

The Democrats jumped on the issue. “Mitt Romney has shown time and again that he is after the Tea Party vote, not the Latino vote, and with each attack he locks himself more to his extreme positions,” Juan Sepulveda, Democratic National Committee Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs, said in a statement.

The tactic also caught the attention of Latino press. Univision’s Tumblr reported on the ads and noted that the last direct attack on Sotomayor came when former candidate Rick Perry called her Montemayor accidently.

The Romney campaign responded to the Univision report with this statement from spokesman Albert Martinez: “Once again President Obama and his liberal allies are resorting to dishonest smears in an attempt to distract Hispanics from his abysmal record as President. Sonia Sotomayor is an activist judge who was handpicked by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama because of her liberal sympathies and confirmed because Washington insiders like Rick Santorum did nothing to oppose her. This attack says a lot about how President Obama views the Hispanic community, as just another group of Americans he can pander to and divide for political gain.”

Romney’s not the only Republican to attack Sotomayor. Before he was a presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich was criticized by some Latino leaders and members of Congress when, during her confirmation hearings, he tweeted that she was a racist for having once said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.” That was in 2009.

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HOW DID THE HEARING IN TEXAS REDISTRICTING BEGIN 2012?

THE HISPANIC BLOG BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

The Supreme Court 2011

The Supreme Court 2011 (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey) License Creative Commons Attribution

The Supreme Court was sharply divided about what to do and reaching for options to deal with a very messy situation.

One option that got a lot of play and seemed attractive to justices on both sides of the court’s ideological spectrum was the possibility of just punting and letting the DC court issue its preclearance ruling, presumably some time in February. The suggestion came first from Justice Alito and later in the argument Justice Sotomayor asked directly, “What’s our absolute drop dead date?”  (Answer: maybe June)  Justice Kagan also raised the possibility.

Another option which came up was the possibility of shifting the burden to the State of Texas for showing that it had a likelihood of success on parts of the map that had been challenged in the section 5 case – a suggestion made by Justice Kagan.

Justice Kennedy also suggested that maybe the appropriate route might be to say that the San Antonio court should limit itself to section 2, equal protection, and other constitutional inquiries while leaving section 5 issues to the DC court (as opposed to having the San Antonio court guess whether there would be problems with the state’s maps).   But the retort to that was that it would sidestep section 5, even if just on an interim basis, and based on the questioning from other justices to the lawyers, it did not appear there would be a broad consensus for that option.

One thing that the justices seemed not very inclined to do was get into the messy business of telling the San Antonio (or future district courts) the details of what it should do on things like coalition districts and population deviations.

The other major thing that did not come up, except for a very brief allusion by the state’s lawyers, was the constitutionality of section 5. However, while the court did not seem interested in taking the issue head on, Justice Kennedy did wrestle publicly on a couple of occasions with how you reconcile the differing treatment of states.

As for the alignment on the court, it largely fell along familiar lines- with the more liberal justices (Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer, and Ginsburg) having sharp questions about the state’s position and more conservative justices (Scalia, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy) being more skeptical of the plaintiff’s defense of the interim maps, though to differing degrees. (Justice Thomas did not ask any question but given his dissent in NAMUDNO, it can be presumed that he is not very sympathetic to arguments that section 5 prevents use of the state’s maps.)

Let’s just say things keep getting interesting.

Read More: http://txredistricting.org

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