As the confirmation hearings get underway for Judge Sonia Sotomayor, some say she’s a shoe-in, that her truly American story uniquely qualifies her for a position on the United States Supreme Court. Others say that she is out of the mainstream, and that her rulings tend toward the prejudicial.
While the political drama unfolds in Washington, we want to know what our fellow citizens think about the constitutional role of a Supreme Court justice. Should justices decide the law based solely on what is actually written, or should other factors or circumstances, such as race or sex, have a bearing on their decisions? Should justices restrict their decisions to the law as defined by the US Constitution, or should they be free to consider foreign precedents in formulating their decisions? Should the Supreme Court–or any federal court–have the power to strike down the laws duly enacted by the legislatures of the several states, and where might such authority be found? Should justices adhere to the Constitution, as written (originalist), or should they be free to re-interpret the Constitution to fit a changing society? Finally, what is your opinion of Judge Sotomayor, and why?
Please join us in discussing this extremely important topic!