Web Osi Speaks!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kansas "Late Term" Abortionist, George Tiller, Murdered. Watch News Video.

I am in support of POTUS Barack Obama, when he states: "However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."

ANY killing of a human -- that includes a human described as a fetus -- MUST be abhorred.


Republican Tom Tancredo Joins The Attack On Judge Sonya Sotomayor, Slams Her For Belonging To La Raza "A Latino KKK Without The Hoods Or The Nooses".

Is This What RNC Chair. Michael Steele Meant When He Spoke Of Hip Hop Generation For The GOP? Watch Video.

In Kentucky, Joel Pett Provides The Laugh.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

He Belongs In Prison, Not Hustling For Babies.

POTUS Barack Obama: "Efforts To Undermine [Judge Sonya (Sonia)] Sotomayor Will Fail". Watch Video.

Kentucky Legislators Continue The Annual Special Session Parade. Why Do We Need Annual Regular Sessions Anyway?

Read more about the special session here.

I am frustrated by the fact that we voted for annual sessions and we still have to pay for special sessions.

I wish someone will start a movement or something to do away with annual sessions -- or special sessions, which in recent years have not been "special".

Labels: , , ,

OK, Some Of You Will NOT Find This Cartoon Funny, But It Got Me To Laugh. Check It Out.


Friday, May 29, 2009

BULL Gets His Revenge. WARNING: Graphic Scene.

POTUS Barack Obama Responds To Critics Of Judge Sonia (Sonia) Sotomayor Who Branded Her A Racist. Watch Video.

I Know I Said I Would No Longer Carry Dick Morris Here, But His Latest Piece Deserves Inclusion Here. Read About "The Incredible Shrinking Clintons."

Asked why he was naming some of his rivals to top administration jobs, President Lyndon B. Johnson said it best: "I'd rather have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in." President Obama seems to echo Johnson's management style in his handling of Bill and Hillary Clinton. By bringing them into his inner circle, he has marginalized them both and sharply reduced their freedom of action.

It may appear odd to describe a secretary of State as marginalized, but Obama has surrounded Hillary with his people and carved up her jurisdiction geographically. Former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) is in charge of Arab-Israeli relations. Dennis Ross has Iran. Former U.N. Ambassador Dick Holbrooke has Pakistan and Afghanistan. And Hillary has to share her foreign policy role on the National Security Council (NSC) with Vice President Biden, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, CIA chief Leon Panetta, and NSC staffer Samantha Powers (who once called Hillary a "monster").

With peers who are competitors and subordinates who can deal directly with the president, Hillary is reduced to announcing foreign aid packages for Pakistan while Holbrooke does the heavy lifting.

Part of Hillary's problem is the institutional shrinking of the State Department. During the Bush years, while war raged, the Defense Department became more relevant to the conduct of foreign policy. And, under Obama, the financial crisis has propelled the Treasury into the forefront. State, with its emphasis on traditional diplomacy, has been forced to take a back seat. Even though Obama appointed Hillary, he clearly has not been willing to make her a co-president and confines her to the diminished role of her department.

For his part, Bill Clinton has been asked to be a special envoy to Haiti. Yes, Haiti. Obama's predecessor asked the former president to orchestrate the response to the Asian tsunami and then to Hurricane Katrina. Obama gives him Haiti.

Meanwhile, both Clintons are effectively muzzled and cannot criticize Obama even as he reverses President Clinton's free market proclivities and budget balancing discipline. Hillary, the supposed friend of Israel, must sit by quietly and watch Iran get the bomb while trying all the while to stop Israel from preventing it.

Bill can't even make money. Denied the ability to accept speeches from foreign governments or their organs and fenced out of continuing his profitable relationship with the Emir of Dubai, he and his wife must accept the loss of the $13 million they spent on her campaign and sit by passively, unable to earn the money to replace it.

Just as Lincoln buried his rivals Seward, Chase and Stanton in the Cabinet and then on the Supreme Court, and Wilson buried Bryan at the State Department, so Obama has hidden his predecessor and his rival in plain sight at the upper reaches of the government.

How long will Hillary subject herself to this discipline? Likely as long as Obama is popular. Should his ratings fade, she might move away from the president and could even consider a primary contest against him in 2012. But while he is on top of his game, she'll stay loyal.

But she is shrinking by the day. Once Obama's equal -- and before that his superior -- she now looks tiny compared to the president. She doesn't look like a president in waiting; she's more like a senior staff member hoping to rise in the bureaucracy. No longer at the head of a movement or the symbol of rising women all over the world, she has faded into the State Department woodwork. She is much less visible than her predecessors Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, James Baker, Madeleine Albright or Condi Rice. She is even less in the public eye than was Al Haig during his one-year tenure. One has to go back to the likes of Warren Christopher or William Rogers to find a secretary of State as far down the totem poll. This diminished status has got to grate on her and on him. But they are trapped in Obama's web and cannot easily escape.


Rush Limpbaugh Likens Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomajor To David Duke. Yep, It's Gonna Get UGLIER, Folks.

Charles Krauthammer: Criticize, Then Confirm.

Criticize, then confirm
By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Sonia Sotomayor has a classic American story. So does Frank Ricci.

Ricci is a New Haven firefighter stationed seven blocks from where Sotomayor went to law school (Yale). Raised in blue-collar Wallingford, Conn., Ricci struggled as a C and D student in public schools ill-prepared to address his serious learning disabilities. Nonetheless he persevered, becoming a junior firefighter and Connecticut's youngest certified EMT.

After studying fire science at a community college, he became a New Haven "truckie," the guy who puts up ladders and breaks holes in burning buildings. When his department announced exams for promotions, he spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day, and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material.

He placed sixth on the lieutenant's exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted.

Ricci (with 19 others) sued.

That's where these two American stories intersect. Sotomayor was a member of the three-member circuit court panel that upheld the dismissal of his case, thus denying Ricci his promotion.

This summary ruling deeply disturbed fellow members of Sotomayor's court, including Judge Jose Cabranes (a fellow Clinton appointee) who, writing for five others, criticized the unusual, initially unpublished, single-paragraph dismissal for ignoring the serious constitutional issues at stake.

Two things are sure to happen this summer: The Supreme Court will overturn Sotomayor's panel's ruling. And, barring some huge hidden scandal, Sotomayor will be elevated to that same Supreme Court.

What should a principled conservative do? Use the upcoming hearings not to deny her the seat, but to illuminate her views. No magazine gossip from anonymous court clerks. No "temperament" insinuations. Nothing ad hominem. The argument should be elevated, respectful and entirely about judicial philosophy.

On the Ricci case. And on her statements about the inherent differences between groups, and the superior wisdom she believes her Latina physiology, culture and background grant her over a white male judge. They perfectly reflect the Democrats' enthrallment with identity politics, which assigns free citizens to ethnic and racial groups possessing a hierarchy of wisdom and entitled to a hierarchy of claims upon society.

Sotomayor shares President Obama's vision of empathy as lying at the heart of judicial decision-making -- sympathetic concern for litigants' background and current circumstances, and for how any judicial decision would affect their lives.

Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy -- and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.

Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life -- through charity, respect and lovingkindness -- and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.

But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.

Obama and Sotomayor draw on the "richness of her experiences" and concern for judicial results to favor one American story, one disadvantaged background, over another. The refutation lies in the very oath Sotomayor must take when she ascends to the Supreme Court: "I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. … So help me God."

When the hearings begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling "facially race-neutral."

Make the case for individual vs. group rights, for justice vs. empathy. Then vote to confirm Sotomayor (BEG ITAL)solely(END ITAL) on the grounds -- consistently violated by the Democrats, including Sen. Obama -- that a president is entitled to deference on his Supreme Court nominees, particularly one who so thoroughly reflects the mainstream views of the winning party. Elections have consequences.

Vote Democratic and you get mainstream liberalism: A judicially mandated racial spoils system and a jurisprudence of empathy that hinges on which litigant is less "advantaged."

A teaching moment, as liberals like to say. Clarifying and politically potent. Seize it.

Charles Krauthammer's e-mail address is letters(at)


Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Will Fit Right In As A Kentucky Politician. Read why below.

University Of Kentucky Seeks Declaration Judgment To Pay Former Coach, Billie Gillispie, NOTHING. UK May NOT Be The One Scr*wed After All.

Here we go again.

The UK/Billie Gillispie saga continues as UK has filed a counter suit against Billie G. in which the University is asking for declaratory judgment against the coach.

Read the lawsuit here, and then say to yourself: here we go again.

Having said that, let me say this:

Stephen L. Barker, who is representing UK in this lawsuit, has done a marvelous job of attempting to defend the University,, and is following the right approach in this case by asking for a declaratory judgment from the court, pursuant to KRS 418.040.

This is because a declaratory judgment is QUICKER, LESS MESSY (unlike a jury trial) as in LESS Complicated (particularly because you have ONLY the judge as the decider of fact and law) and is EXTREMELY cost effective (one does not have to have the costs associated with preparing, and presenting, a case to the jury).

Beyond that, I would hope that Mr. Barker, will now IMMEDIATELY petition the federal court in Dallas, asking the court to dismiss Billy Gillispie's lawsuit against UK, on the grounds that there is NO diversity of citizenship, as Billy G. claimed, since Billy G. is an actual resident of Kentucky, and not of Dallas, Texas this should be EASY to prove), and that therefore the court LACKS PROPER personal jurisdiction to entertain the lawsuit.

And also beyond that, Mr. Barker has shown that the parties did NOT intend for the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to be a LONG TERM contract; otherwise, why would the parties continue to negotiate the MATERIAL terms of the contract, by way of offers and counteroffers being exchanged between them -- these happened about six or seven times --; and, these negotiations took place well into March 2009, just before the Coach was fired by UK?

It appears to me now, therefore, that with ALL the facts now present (unless more surprising facts are later revealed), that Billie G. is going to have the "G" in his last name initial stand for "GONER".

This analysis assumes that it was UK, but NOT UKAA (the UKAA is a non profit organization, which I am sure, was created with IMMUNITY from this kind of suit for its Directors) that was the entity that the Coach contracted with. Notice that UK is a state agency within the purview of KRS 45A.245 (does anyone doubt it is not?)

So, my opinion is that Mr. Billie G. is out of luck, and that Judge Phillip Shephard, one of Kentucky's best jurist -- I have appeared before the judge on a case -- will find it to be so.

Sorry, Coach. Better luck at your next school.

Update: Listen to Billie Gillispie's Lawyer, Demetrios Anaipakos, explain the basis for his lawsuit.


NIck Anderson STRIKES again. Laugh Until You Can't Laugh Anymore. And Then Start Again.


Texas U. S. Senator, John Cornyn Calls "Talking Heads" Attacks On Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomayor "Terrible". I Agree.

Some Conservatives "Talking Heads" Accuse Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomayor Of Being A Racist Or Reverse Racist. Watch Video.

Feel FREE to comments.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'll Be Gone All Day, So Expect No Postings Until Tonight. But Here's One Before I go: UK Recruit, John Wall, Is A Burgler! When It Rains, It Pours!!

Read more here.

When it rains, it pours.

This is certainly true for UK.

First, its former coach, Billy Gillispie sues the school, then its new coach, john Calipari, finds his former program at Memphis accused by the NCAA for very serious violations.

Now, its top recruit is convicted of "breaking and entering", which would be considered burglary in Kentucky, if he had the intent to commit a crime there.

Oh, well, let's play ball -- right?


Labels: , , ,

I Hope "Caretaker" U. S. Senator From Illinois, Roland Burris, Crashes And Burns For His And BLAGO's "Pay To Play". Watch Video.

RNC Chair, Michael Steele, Promises To Look Forward And Not Backwards. Laugh Al


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Double Wammy For University Of Kentucky; Former Coach Billy Gillispie Sues; NCAA Alleges Major Violations In New Coach John Calipari's Memphis Program

Read more here, particularly the NCAA letter:
NCAA alleges major violations in Memphis basketball program under Calipari
By Dan Wolken (Contact), Memphis Commercial Appeal

The University of Memphis is in the process of responding to an NCAA notice of allegations charging the men’s basketball program with major violations during the 2007-08 season under John Calipari.

The allegations include “knowing fraudulence or misconduct” on an SAT exam by a player on the 2007-08 team.

The wording of the report seems to indicate the player in question only competed during the 2007-08 season and specifically the 2008 NCAA tournament. The player’s name was redacted in the report, obtained by The Commercial Appeal through the Freedom of Information Act, due to privacy laws.

The player has subsequently denied the charge, according to university personnel.

The only player on the roster who competed only during that season was Derrick Rose, who subsequently was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft last June.

If proven to be true, the Tigers could be forced to forfeit their NCAA-record 38 victories and Final Four appearance.

The report does not include allegations of lack of institutional control, meaning Memphis would likely avoid serious penalties that would have an impact on the program going forward. The report includes no allegations that would have occurred during the tenure of Josh Pastner, either as an assistant or head coach.

Memphis, which received the notice of allegations Jan. 16, is scheduled to appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions June 6.

Calipari, who left Memphis for Kentucky on March 31, is not named in the report, but the NCAA has requested his presence at the hearing.

It is also alleged that Memphis provided $2,260 in free travel to road games for an associate of a player. The NCAA is charging Memphis with a failure to monitor in that instance. Those names also were redacted in the report due to privacy laws.

“We take it very seriously. We don’t condone it,” said athletic director R.C. Johnson, who declined to comment in detail about the allegations. “We’re doing a thorough investigation.”

Johnson said the university of “still working” on its response to the NCAA notice of allegations.

Labels: ,

Former University Of Kentucky Basketball Coach, Billie Gillispie, Sues The Athletic Association For Wrongful Termination Of Employment. UK Is Scr*wed.

I don't have to say more, but is there anyone who did not expect this?

Read the lawsuit, and join me in saying UK is screwed.

I don't know who was telling UK's General Counsel to send out the emails and letters, but that got the University screwed, BIG TIME.


Wall Street Journal: GOP Doesn't Expect Filibuster of Court Pick.

GOP Doesn't Expect Filibuster of Court Pick

WASHINGTON -- The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Wednesday he doesn't foresee a filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, even though GOP lawmakers want to closely scrutinize her legal philosophy.

"The nominee has serious problems," Sen. Jeff Sessions said in a nationally broadcast interview. "But I would think that we would all have a good hearing, take our time, and do it right. And then the senators cast their vote up or down based on whether or not they think this is the kind of judge that should be on the court."

"I don't sense a filibuster in the works," the Alabama Republican said, after President Barack Obama's call for the Senate to install his history-making choice of the 54-year-old Ms. Sotomayor to succeed Justice David Souter on the high court. She would be the first Hispanic justice to serve there.

The GOP faces an uphill battle in defeating the New York-born daughter of Puerto Rican parents, but Republicans are promising a thorough and perhaps lengthy hearing process that delves into her record and judicial philosophy.

Democrats hold 59 votes in the Senate, more than enough to confirm Ms. Sotomayor but not quite enough to stop a vote-blocking filibuster if Republicans should attempt one. Still, seven current Republican senators backed Ms. Sotomayor's 1998 nomination to the appeals court covering New York, Vermont and Connecticut, and she was first nominated to be a federal judge by Republican President George H.W. Bush.

Mr. Sessions was among several Republicans who opposed her when she came before the Senate as a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1998. On Tuesday, he said: "We ought to look at her record fresh."

Any Republican effort to block Ms. Sotomayor's confirmation could be risky for a party still reeling from last year's elections and struggling to gain back lost ground with Hispanics, the fastest-growing part of the population and one that is increasingly active politically.

Ms. Sotomayor's personal story and her academic and legal credentials earn her respect from all quarters, but conservatives see plenty to criticize in her rulings and past statements. They describe her as a judicial activist who would put her feelings above the Constitution.

Ms. Sotomayor has said that personal experiences "affect the facts that judges choose to see."

"I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging," she said in a speech in 2001. "But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

The White House and its allies, including Hispanic groups with broad reach into communities throughout the country, are readying a major push to persuade more GOP senators to back her confirmation.

A coalition of liberal groups calling itself the Center for Constitutional Rights launched a television ad Wednesday touting Ms. Sotomayor as principled, fair-minded and independent. The ad, which will air on broadcast and cable networks, overlays Mr. Obama's voice with pictures of Ms. Sotomayor, and is intended to frame public perceptions of the judge.

"It's important that they understand her fair-minded approach to the law, which is grounded both in her eminent legal qualifications and her life experiences," said Wade Henderson, a co-chair of the group.

Ms. Sotomayor would join Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the court and just the third in its history. She would replace liberal Justice David Souter, thereby maintaining the court's ideological divide. A number of important cases have been divided by 5-4 majorities, with conservative- and liberal-leaning justices split 4-4 and Justice Anthony Kennedy providing the decisive vote.

Born in the South Bronx, Ms. Sotomayor lost her father at a young age and watched her mother work two jobs to provide for her and her brother. Her path has soared ever since: Princeton University and Yale Law School, then positions as a commercial litigator, federal district judge and appellate judge.

"What you've shown in your life is that it doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like or what challenges life throws your way," Mr. Obama said as Ms. Sotomayor stood at his side at a packed White House event to announce her nomination Tuesday. "No dream is beyond reach in the United States of America."

Said the nominee, "I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences."

Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, called Ms. Sotomayor's nomination "a monumental day for Latinos. Finally, we see ourselves represented on the highest court in the land."

Labels: , , , ,

Wall Street Journal: Judge Sodomayor's "Record Shows Rulings Within Liberal Mainstream".

Record Shows Rulings Within Liberal Mainstream
Despite Democratic Bent, Judge Has Sided With Corporate Defendants; Court's Frequent 5-4 Split Likely to Remain

WASHINGTON -- Judge Sonia Sotomayor has built a record on such issues as civil rights and employment law that puts her within the mainstream of Democratic judicial appointees.

Among the cases she has heard during her 15 years on the federal bench -- and one that will be examined closely through her confirmation process -- is one now pending before the Supreme Court.

U.S. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor was announced Tuesday as President Obama's pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter on the Supreme Court. See other notable Supreme Court firsts.

Judge Sotomayor was on a three-judge panel at the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a decision by the city of New Haven, Conn., to invalidate a firefighter promotional exam after no black applicants scored high enough to qualify. Those who aced the exam said it was unfair to penalize them because others didn't do as well.

"We are not unsympathetic to the plaintiffs' expression of frustration," the panel said in an unsigned opinion, referring to white firefighters who accused the city of reverse discrimination. "But it simply does not follow" that they have a claim under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In recent Supreme Court arguments, liberals expressed sympathy for the Second Circuit's ruling, while conservatives questioned it. A ruling is expected soon.

Judge Sotomayor would be succeeding Justice David Souter, generally a liberal vote on social issues, and her selection isn't likely to change the outcome on cases where the Supreme Court typically splits 5-4.

The question is whether Judge Sotomayor would, like Justice Souter, be a solid judicial craftsman, or emerge as a leader who can mold majorities. Liberals have long sought such a jurist since the departures of William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall nearly two decades ago.

Judge Sotomayor's most famous ruling benefited a labor union. As a district judge in March 1995, she was assigned a case that pitted the National Labor Relations Board against Major League Baseball's owners. The owners, fighting a players' strike, had unilaterally changed the game's rules on free agency and salary arbitration. Then they hired replacement players.

The players association complained to the labor board, which sued to prevent the owners from making such changes outside the negotiating process.

Judge Sotomayor ruled on the board's side. That essentially ended the strike, because players voted to return to work under the terms of their expired contract. Since that ruling, no major sports leagues' owners have unilaterally tried to change basic labor guidelines during work stoppages.

A 2001 Sotomayor opinion could suggest the kind of empathy that President Barack Obama said he wanted in a Supreme Court justice. A federal prisoner confined to a halfway house for securities fraud sued the contractor running the facility because the contractor allegedly made the man climb stairs, knowing he had a heart condition. The man later had a heart attack.

Citing a 1971 Supreme Court opinion that allows suits against federal officials for violating constitutional rights, Judge Sotomayor found that the contractor could bear the same liability as federal employees. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, writing for himself and four other conservatives, reversed Judge Sotomayor. Justice Souter and three other liberals dissented.

In another pro-plaintiff ruling, Judge Sotomayor allowed a shareholder class-action suit against Merrill Lynch that alleged fraud. A unanimous Supreme Court in 2006 overruled Judge Sotomayor's Second Circuit opinion. The high court found that federal law assigned enforcement to the Securities and Exchange Commission, leaving no room for lawsuits under state fraud laws.

Her record in more than 4,000 cases, including those from 11 years on the Second Circuit, shows her occasional siding with corporate defendants or diverting from a standard liberal position.

The judge has favored corporate defendants in suits that test when cases can be brought as class actions. Judges often must determine whether plaintiffs' claims should be pre-empted by more defense-friendly federal and international laws.

"There is no reason for the business community to be concerned" about Judge Sotomayor, said Lauren Rosenblum Goldman, a partner at Mayer Brown LLP who has represented businesses including Wachovia Corp. and Dow Chemical Co.

In King v. American Airlines Inc., Judge Sotomayor ruled against an African-American couple who claimed they were bumped from a flight because of their race. The judge concluded their case was pre-empted by international law that governs air travel. "We urged a different interpretation, but her decision was in conformity with what other courts were doing," said Robert Isseks, a New York attorney who represented the plaintiffs. "We were paddling upstream."

In 2006, the judge was part of a Second Circuit panel that ruled investors couldn't proceed with a class-action suit accusing Wall Street banks of fraudulently pricing initial public offerings. The ruling negated settlements that would have yielded investors more than $1 billion. "That ruling demonstrated that in securities litigation, she is in the judicial mainstream," said Barry Ostrager, a partner at Simpson Thacher LLP who represented a unit of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in the matter.

Although Judge Sotomayor has had a number of her decisions overturned by the Supreme Court, Judge Guido Calabresi -- who taught Judge Sotomayor at Yale Law School and is today her colleague on the Second Circuit -- said such reversals are typical.

"It's standard for what we do because most of the cases that go up [to the Supreme Court] are difficult," he said.

Judge Sotomayor often has sided with employees who claimed they were victims of discrimination or a hostile workplace. In 2000, she ruled partially in favor of Yvette Cruz, a Hispanic woman who claimed she had been subjected to lewd remarks and sexual harassment by a co-worker at Coach Stores Inc.

A lower court dismissed Ms. Cruz's hostile-work-environment claim on the grounds that her complaint was too vague. Judge Sotomayor overturned that ruling. But the judge upheld a lower court's dismissal of some of Ms. Cruz's claims, including that she had been fired because of her race. Counsel to Coach Stores didn't return a call for comment.

Judge Sotomayor isn't always a reliable vote for employees. In 1999, she ruled against a black nurse who claimed she had been fired from a New York hospital due to her race and age, as well as a debilitating injury. Judge Sotomayor ruled that the plaintiff, Wendy Norville, could move ahead on her disability claim, but tossed out the race and age claims.

"There was ample evidence that the hospital had accommodated white nurses with similar disabilities," said Glenn Greenwald, who represented Ms. Norville and is now a columnist for "She rather coldly dismissed what I thought were good claims."

—Matthew Futterman contributed to this article.

Write to Jess Bravin at and Nathan Koppel at


Another Group, Coalition For Constitutional Values, Weighs In With An Ad In Support Of Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sodomayor. Watch Ad. Let The Ad Wars Begin.

Liberal (Progressive) Group "Moves On" To Support Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomayor's Confirmation To The U. S. Supreme Court.

Below is the press release:

Today, President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. Of course, the Right is already fighting against her confirmation—so we need to get the facts out about her impressive qualifications and background.

Below is a list of 10 key things about Sonia Sotomayor that you might not know. Can you check it out and send it to 10 friends today? If each of us forwards the list, we can start to get the word out about Judge Sotomayor, and help to ensure that she gets a speedy and fair confirmation process.

Ten Things To Know About Judge Sonia Sotomayor

1. Judge Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the bench than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years. Over her three-decade career, she has served in a wide variety of legal roles, including as a prosecutor, litigator, and judge.

2. Judge Sotomayor is a trailblazer. She was the first Latina to serve on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and was the youngest member of the court when appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed, she will be the first Hispanic to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

3. While on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has consistently protected the rights of working Americans, ruling in favor of health benefits and fair wages for workers in several cases.

4. Judge Sotomayor has shown strong support for First Amendment rights, including in cases of religious expression and the rights to assembly and free speech.

5. Judge Sotomayor has a strong record on civil rights cases, ruling for plaintiffs who had been discriminated against based on disability, sex and race.

6. Judge Sotomayor embodies the American dream. Born to Puerto Rican parents, she grew up in a South Bronx housing project and was raised from age nine by a single mother, excelling in school and working her way to graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University and to become an editor of the Law Journal at Yale Law School.

7. In 1995, Judge Sotomayor "saved baseball" when she stopped the owners from illegally changing their bargaining agreement with the players, thereby ending the longest professional sports walk-out in history.

8. Judge Sotomayor ruled in favor of the environment in a case of protecting aquatic life in the vicinity of power plants in 2007, a decision that was overturned by the Roberts Supreme Court.

9. In 1992, Judge Sotomayor was confirmed by the Senate without opposition after being appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush.

10. Judge Sotomayor is a widely respected legal figure, having been described as " outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind," "highly qualified for any position in which wisdom, intelligence, collegiality and good character would be assets," and "a role model of aspiration, discipline, commitment, intellectual prowess and integrity."

Judge Sotomayor is an historic, uniquely qualified nominee to the Supreme Court.
Let's get the word out and make sure we get a prompt, fair confirmation on her nomination.

Sources for each of the 10 things:

1. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

2. White House Statement, May 26, 2009.

3. Cases: Archie v. Grand Cent. Partnership, 997 F. Supp. 504 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) and Marcella v. Capital Dist. Physicians' Health Plan, Inc., 293 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 2002).

4. Cases: Flamer v. White Plains, 841 F. Supp. 1365 (S.D.N.Y. 1993), Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 382 (2d Cir. 2003), and Campos v. Coughlin, 854 F. Supp. 194 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).

5a. "Sotomayor's Notable Court Opinions and Articles," The New York Times, May 26, 2009.

5b. Cases: Bartlett v. N.Y. State Board, 970 F. Supp. 1094 (S.D.N.Y. 1997), Greenbaum v. Svenska Hendelsbanken, 67 F.Supp.2d 228 (S.D.N.Y. 1999), Raniola v. Bratton, 243 F.3d 610 (2d Cir. 2001), and Gant v. Wallingford Board of Education, 195 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 1999).

6. "Sonia Sotomayor: 10 Things You Should Know," The Huffington Post, May 26, 2009.

7. "How Sotomayor 'Saved' Baseball," Time, May 26, 2009.

8. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

9. "Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases," CNN, May 26, 2009.

10a. Judge Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee to the Second Circuit.

10b. "Sotomayor is Highly Qualified," The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2009.

10c. Honorary Degree Citation, Pace University School of Law, 2003 Commencement.

Labels: , ,

Governor Steve Beshear Reverses KSP's "English Only" Driving Test Decision.

Read more, or excerpts below:

Kentucky is reconsidering its decision to begin offering the state’s written driver’s test only in English.

Just five days before the state was to stop offering tests in different languages, State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer has decided more study is needed, officials said this morning.

“We’re going to step back and make sure we’re still going to be serving everyone as we should,” said KSP spokesman David Jude.

But Gov. Steve Beshear today said the state police made a mistake in its English-only driver’s test decision.

“When I find out about a mistake I think the way to handle it is to acknowledge that we made a mistake, correct it and move on, so that’s what we are doing,” he said.

Kentucky State Police Capt. Tim Lucas told state employees in a memo this month that offering the test in 22 languages, as the state has done for several years, is expensive and isn’t required by law.

Lucas said that as changes have been made to the test through the years, the non-English versions haven’t been updated. He also said people administering the test can’t read them and must grade them using answer keys.


POTUS Barack Obama Sends Out Message On Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomayor.

Osi -

I am proud to announce my nominee for the next Justice of the United States Supreme Court: Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

This decision affects us all -- and so it must involve us all. I've recorded a special message to personally introduce Judge Sotomayor and explain why I'm so confident she will make an excellent Justice.

Judge Sotomayor has lived the America Dream. Born and raised in a South Bronx housing project, she distinguished herself in academia and then as a hard-charging New York District Attorney.

Judge Sotomayor has gone on to earn bipartisan acclaim as one of America's finest legal minds. As a Supreme Court Justice, she would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any Justice in 100 years. Judge Sotomayor would show fidelity to our Constitution and draw on a common-sense understanding of how the law affects our day-to-day lives.

A nomination for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land is one of the most important decisions a President can make. And the discussions that follow will be among the most important we have as a nation. You can begin the conversation today by watching this special message and then passing it on:

Thank you,

President Barack Obama


Too Much News Yesterday, But Too Little Today. However, We Shouldn't Forget To Laugh, And We Give Joel Pett Credit For This Laugh.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mitch McConnell Reacts To POTUS Barack Obama's Selection of Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sodomayor For Supreme Court Vacancy.

Below is Mitch McConnell's statement:

McConnell Statement on Judge Sonia Sotomayor
from the Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Tuesday regarding the President’s announcement of his intent to nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court:

“Senate Republicans will treat Judge Sotomayor fairly. But we will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences.

“Our Democratic colleagues have often remarked that the Senate is not a ‘rubber stamp.’ Accordingly, we trust they will ensure there is adequate time to prepare for this nomination, and a full and fair opportunity to question the nominee and debate her qualifications.”

Editor's comment: I have no doubt that Senate Republicans are counting votes in order to determine whether or not they have the votes to filibuster the judge's nomination.

That is the party's prerogative.

But I would caution the Republican Party against a rash move that might be interpreted as OPEN HOSTILITY against Hispanics, that would put the party in the political toilet, as far as Hispanics would be concerned.

A word to the wise -- or as Blacks/African Americans would say: WORD!


Former New York Police Commissioner And President Bush's Nominee For Homeland Security Chief, Bernard "Bernie" Kerik, Has Been Indicted By The Feds.

Read more here, or excerpts below:

Former NYPD Commish Kerik Indicted
Accused Of Making False Statements To White House Officials During Vetting For Homeland Security Position
Attorney Blasts DOJ's "Overzealous Pursuit" Of Public Figures
Similar False Statement Charges Already Dismissed In NYC

CBS 2 HD has learned that former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on charges of making false statements to White House officials during his vetting for the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The new indictment was handed up Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Washington, and means Kerik will face trials in New York and Washington, D.C.

Similar false statement charges were brought as part of the larger case in New York but were dismissed and transferred to Washington, where the crimes allegedly occurred.

According to the new indictment, Kerik, in 1999 and 2000 when he was NYPD commissioner, spoke to city regulators on behalf of contractors who were seeking one or more permits to do business in and with the city.

The contractors then spent more than $255,000 renovating Kerik's apartment in Riverdale. In 2004, when Kerik was under consideration by the White House for the Homeland Security position, he gave false and misleading answers to questions by White House officials about his relationship with the contractors.

The indictment alleges that Kerik falsely denied that there was any possible concern the president should have about his relationship with the contractors, and that as a public official he had had any financial dealings with individuals seeking to do business with the City.

It also alleges Kerik sent an e-mail to a White House official containing false and misleading statements concerning the renovations to the apartment in Riverdale.

Kerik's attorney, Barry H. Berke, released a statement to CBS 2 HD which reads:

"Today's indictment of Mr. Kerik -- the third separate prosecution against him arising out of the same purported corruption allegations from 10 years ago -- is the latest example of the Department of Justice's overzealous pursuit of high-profile public figures.

"Mr. Kerik looks forward to finally clearing his name of these corruption charges at his federal trial in New York set for October. The Justice Department's own rules mandate that 'the government bring as few charges as are necessary to ensure that justice is done.' The government has instead decided to take a third bite at the apple in Washington, apparently not confident in its ability to win the case in New York, which includes virtually identical charges.

"However many trials it takes, Mr. Kerik will vigorously defend himself against these unfounded accusations and is confident that he will be completely vindicated."

If convicted Kerik could face up to five years in prison.

Labels: ,

In National News: You Should Not Be Surprised That Illinois "Caretaker" Senator, Roland Burris, Had A "Pay To Play" Arrangement With BLAGO. Read More.

Yes, check it out here, here, here, and tsk, tsk.

Being OPPOSED to public (and private) corruption myself, I hope Roland ZBurris crashes and burns.

Labels: , , ,

Judge Orders Governor Steve Beshear To Testify In "Cesspool" Case Of Road Contractor Leonard Lawson And Transportation Secretary William Nighbert.

Read more here, or excerpts below:

Judge: Beshear must testify in bid-tampering trial
By Beth Musgrave

COVINGTON — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Gov. Steve Beshear will have to testify in person at an upcoming criminal trial involving top road contractor Leonard Lawson and former Transportation Secretary William Nighbert.

U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves ruled Tuesday that Beshear could make room in his schedule to testify sometime during the three-week trial, scheduled to begin June 23.

But Reeves said he would be open to discussing Beshear’s schedule again next month.

Federal prosecutors and the governor’s attorneys had argued that Beshear should be allowed to give a video deposition in the case because of a possible special legislative session in late June to deal with a projected state budget shortfall.

“Covington, quite frankly, is not that far from Frankfort,” Reeves said Tuesday.

But Beshear’s general counsel, Ellen Hesen, said it is likely that Beshear may have to call a special legislative session — which could fall at the same time as the three-week trial. When the legislature meets the governor has to be there, Hesen said. “That can be around the clock,” Hesen said of a special legislative session.

Reeves said he would take Beshear’s schedule into consideration and would be open to having court on a Saturday morning.
Beshear’s testimony will likely involve a conversation he had with Lawson.

Lawson and Nighbert face conspiracy, bribery and obstruction of justice charges. Lawson employee Brian Billings faces obstruction of justice charges. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Labels: , , , ,

Your Kentucky Retirement Dollars Just "Laid An Egg", As Agency Sells Property For Half Price.

Retirement systems selling controversial property at a loss
By Jack Brammer

FRANKFORT — The agency that oversees retirement benefits for state and county employees is selling a nearly 2-acre piece of property near its headquarters for less than half the price it paid three years ago.

The Kentucky Retirement Systems bought the property and a former one-story church in 2006 for $752,000 — a price that was $302,000 more than a Frankfort veterinarian had paid less than two months earlier. Now, it’s being sold for about $325,000.

Though the property is only a smidgen of the pension system’s $11.7 billion portfolio, the questionable financial transaction attracted a state police investigation that hasn’t yet been closed and may lead to a lawsuit.

Mike Burnside, executive director of the retirement systems, said he is relieved that the controversial property is being sold.

“Nobody is more glad than I that we are finally putting this behind us. It’s been a long shadow,” Burnside, who became head of the KRS in January 2008, said Tuesday during an interview in his office.

He formerly was with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and had no role in the initial purchase of the property.

The nine-member KRS board unanimously voted last week to sell the property at 1300 Louisville Road on the west side of Frankfort to the Kentucky State Police.

The $3.2 million sale also includes the “B” office building at nearby Perimeter Park West. The deal, which will combine both properties into one deed, is expected to be finalized by the end of June, Burnside said.

Burnside said the agency has not yet specifically broken down the value of each individual property, but real estate consultant Jonathan Berns had listed the two properties separately for a total of $3.6 million.

The consultant listed the office building at $3.275 million and the church at $325,000.

The Franklin County property valuation administrator’s office puts a $700,000 value on the church. The entire office complex, with three large buildings, is valued at $4.1 million. They house 247 employees.

The sale is “a good deal” for the KRS and state police, Burnside said. When buildings sit vacant, they become a financial burden, he said.

Burnside noted that the church has not been used since the agency purchased it and the office building, which the agency has had “for a number of years,” has stood vacant for about two years. It had been used by the state revenue department before that agency moved offices downtown.

State Police Sgt. David Jude said state police could not discuss specific use of the properties, “since we’re in the final negotiations state of the purchase.” But Jude said Commissioner Rodney Brewer has noted that the state police have a $6.1 million allotment to build or buy property to use for the consolidation of records.

A lingering problem for the KRS board is its insurance claim for more than $600,000 regarding the church property.

In October 2006, the KRS contended in the insurance claim that two former officers, chief operating officer Gordon Mullis Jr. and chief investment officer John R. Krimmel, breached their fiduciary duties in the agency’s purchase of the church property.

Mullis and Krimmel resigned their posts on May 10, 2006, and have previously declined to comment about the issue.

Labels: ,

Just In Case You Have One And Half Million Dollars Laying Around Somewhere, UK Coach Billie Gillispie's Home Is For Sale. Read More.

Gillispie's house goes up for sale
By Beverly Fortune

Here's a chance that doesn't come along very often, to buy a house owned by a University of Kentucky basketball coach.

Former UK coach Billy Gillispie's 11,800-square-foot house in Forest Hill subdivision in Jessamine County went on the market Tuesday for $1.5 million.

"It's a heck of a house for the price," said listing agent Whitney Pannell, a Realtor with Prudential A. S. de Movellan Real Estate.

The house sits on a one-acre lot, and it has six bedrooms, six full baths and two half-baths. Unique features include a circular stone staircase and kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the 12-foot ceiling.

The house was brand new when Gillespie bought it for $1.4 million two years ago. It was fully furnished when he bought it, and Pannell said the coach will probably sell it furnished. ...

Pannell said she didn't know exactly what attracted Gillispie to that particular house except "he wanted some privacy, something big enough for the team. And this just fit the bill."

Pannell has her work cut out for her. Lexington appraiser Ben Campbell said in the last twelve months, just three houses listed on multiple listing service have sold for a million dollars or more in Jessamine County. There are 22 on the market.

Labels: ,

Other Events Making News In Kentucky: Kentucky To Offer Written Driver’s Test In English Only. Read More.

Read more here:

Ky. to offer written driver’s test in English only
By Valarie Honeycutt Spears

People who don’t know English well enough to pass a written test won’t be able to get a driver’s license in Kentucky under a new policy that goes into effect June 1.

Kentucky has offered its written drivers test in 22 languages for several years, but the test will now only be offered in English, according to Kentucky State Police Captain Tim Lucas.

Lucas explained the change in a May 7 internal memo to drivers testing branch employees by citing high costs and the fact that “there are no state laws or regulations that require us to give written tests in other languages.”

In addition, Lucas told the Herald-Leader Tuesday that the translated tests have not been updated over the years as changes were made to the English version. Also, state police officials giving the tests in foreign languages can’t read the tests and must grade them using answer keys provided in the past by translators, Lucas said.

The Rev. Pat Delahanty, a long-time advocate for refugees in Kentucky, says the policy change will only add to the number of people driving without a license, since those who don’t speak English still will have to work and support their families.

“Refugees fleeing from persecution and death do not have time to learn English,” said Delahanty, associate director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky. “When the U. S. brings them here they require them to go to work, which often means being able to drive.”

State Rep. Tommy Thompson, D-Owensboro, said constituents who were concerned about the policy called him Friday and asked him to review the change. Thompson said he will look into the matter.

The issue of providing written driver’s tests in English only has created controversy in other states recently.

Legislation that would require English only written tests failed last month in Georgia and in 2008 in Alabama. A bill that would limit the written test to five languages is currently stalled in the Tennessee General Assembly.

People opposing the legislation in those states have voiced a concern that Delahanty shares: limiting the test to English only may violate the federal Civil Rights Act.

Delahanty said the KSP may be jeopardizing federal money it receives for various programs because the Civil Rights Act requires them to provide their services to everyone, not just those who can speak and read English.

But Lucas, the commander of the driver’s testing division, said KSP legal officials reviewed the new policy and found no problems under state or federal law.

“It’s not meant to be discriminatory,” Lucas said of the change. Offering the test in English only conforms with a state law that requires KSP to apply the same policy to all people, he said.

Currently, the Kentucky Driver’s Manual is written in English only and not offered in any other language. Also, the road signs test and the motorcycle and commercial drivers license tests are offered only in English.
... .


More Information On Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomayor's Resume and Notable Court Opinions. Read Below.

Sotomayor's resume, record on notable cases

* Highlights
* Judge Sonia Sotomayor is 54 years old, of Hispanic descent
* If nominated and confirmed, she would be third female justice
* Record includes possibly controversial statements, positions
* Past rulings have come under scrutiny of Supreme Court

(CNN) -- Here is a look at the resume and record of federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor, whom President Barack Obama has chosen as his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor is President Obama's pick to replace Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is President Obama's pick to replace Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court.

• Age 54 (Born June 25, 1954, New York City)

Judicial Career

• U.S. Appeals Court judge, 2nd Circuit, 1998-present

• U.S. District Court judge, 1992-1998

• Nominated to federal bench by Bush in 1991, Clinton in 1997

Government/Legal Career

• Former N.Y. County Assistant District Attorney, 1979-1984

• Former private practice attorney, Pavia & Harcourt, New York, 1984-1992


• Confirmed by Senate 67-29 in 1998

• Confirmation to current seat took over 1 year

• Was opposed by majority of GOP senators

• Was unopposed in 1991 confirmation process

Historic Milestones If Nominated

• Would be first Hispanic Supreme Court justice

• Would be third female Supreme Court Justice (second on current Court)


• J.D., Yale Law School, 1979

• B.A., Princeton, 1976 (summa cum laude)

Academic Positions

• Adjunct Professor, New York University School of Law since 1998; lecturer-in-law, Columbia Law School, since 1999

Professional Associations

• American Bar Association

• Puerto Rican Bar Association

• Hispanic National Bar Association

• Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage

• New York Women's Bar Association

Judicial Committees & Activities

• Former Member, Second Circuit Task Force on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts

Other Activities

Former member, Board of Directors, New York City Campaign Finance Board; Former member, Board of Directors, State of New York Mortgage Agency; Former member, Board of Directors, Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund; Former member, Board of Directors, Maternity Center Association; Former member, New York City Campaign Public Finance Board (Mayor's Appointee); Former member, Board of Directors, State of New York Mortgage Agency (Governor's Appointee)

Honors & Awards

Herbert L. Lehman College, Degree of Law Honoris Causa, 1999; Brooklyn Law School Degree of Juris Doctor Honoris Causa, 2001; Princeton University, Degree of Juris Doctor Honoris Causa, 2001;


Statehood and the Equal Footing Doctrine: The Case for Puerto Rican Seabed Rights, 88 Yale Law Journal 825 (1979); Sonia Sotomayor & Nicole A. Gordon, Returning Majesty to the Law and Politics: A Modern Approach, 30 Suffolk U.L. Rev. 35 (1996)

Possible Controversial Positions and Statements

• Wrote the 2008 opinion supporting the City of New Haven's decision to throw out the results of a firefighter promotion exam because almost no minorities qualified for promotions. The Supreme Court heard the case in April 2009 and a final opinion is pending.

• Sided with environmentalists in a 2007 case that would have allowed the EPA to consider the cost-effectiveness of protecting fish and aquatic life in rivers and lakes located near power plants. Was overturned by the Supreme Court.

• Supported the right to sue national investment firms in state court, rather than in federal court. Was overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court.

• Ruled that a federal law allowing lawsuits against individual federal government officers and agents for constitutional rights violations also extends to private corporations working on behalf of the federal government. Was overturned by the Supreme Court.

• Sotomayor was first appointed to the federal bench in 1991 by a Republican President, George Bush, but it was a Democrat, Sen. Patrick Moynihan, who recommended her to Bush.

• In a 2005 panel discussion at Duke University, Sotomayor told students that the federal Court of Appeals is where "policy is made." She and other panelists had been asked by a student to describe the differences between clerking in the District Court versus in the Circuit Court of Appeals. Sotomayor said that traditionally, those interested in academia, policy, and public interest law tend to seek circuit court clerkships. She said, "All of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people with Court of Appeals experience. Because it is -- Court of Appeals is where policy is made. And I know, and I know, that this is on tape, and I should never say that. Because we don't 'make law,' I know. [audience laughter] Okay, I know. I know. I'm not promoting it, and I'm not advocating it. I'm, you know. [audience laughter] Having said that, the Court of Appeals is where, before the Supreme Court makes the final decision, the law is percolating. Its interpretation, its application." [Duke University School of Law, 2/25/2005, 43:19,]

• At a 2001 U.C. Berkeley symposium marking the 40th anniversary of the first Latino named to the federal district court, Sotomayor said that the gender and ethnicity of judges does and should affect their judicial decision-making. From her speech:

"I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society....

"I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that - it's an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others....

"Our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor [Martha] Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." [U.C. Berkeley School of Law, 10/26/2001]

Cases Reviewed by the Supreme Court

• Ricci v. DeStefano 530 F.3d 87 (2008) -- decision pending as of 5/26/2009

• Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA, 475 F.3d 83 (2007) -- reversed 6-3 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg)

• Knight vs. Commissioner, 467 F.3d 149 (2006) -- upheld, but reasoning was unanimously faulted

• Dabit vs. Merrill Lynch, 395 F.3d 25 (2005) -- reversed 8-0

• Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. vs. McVeigh, 396 F.3d 136 (2005) -- reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, Alito)

• Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp., 299 F.3d 374 (2000) -- reversed 5-4 (Dissenting: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer)

• Tasini vs. New York Times, et al, 972 F. Supp. 804 (1997) -- reversed 7-2 (Dissenting: Stevens, Breyer)

• Affirmative Action (New Haven firefighter case): Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in February 2008 to uphold a lower court decision supporting the City of New Haven's decision to throw out the results of an exam to determine promotions within the city's fire department. Only one Hispanic and no African-American firefighters qualified for promotion based on the exam; the City subsequently decided not to certify the results and issued no promotions. In June 2008, Sotomayor was part of a 7-6 majority to deny a rehearing of the case by the full court. The Supreme Court agreed to review the case and heard oral arguments in April 2009. Ricci v. DeStefano 530 F.3d 87 (2008)

• Environment (Protection of fish at power plants): Sotomayor, writing for a three-judge panel, ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency may not engage in a cost-benefit analysis in implementing a rule that the "best technology available" must be used to limit the environmental impact of power plants on nearby aquatic life. The case involved power plants that draw water from lakes and rivers for cooling purposes, killing various fish and aquatic organisms in the process. Sotomayor ruled that the "best technology" regulation did not allow the EPA to weigh the cost of implementing the technology against the overall environmental benefit when issuing its rules. The Supreme Court reversed Sotomayor's ruling in a 6-3 decision, saying that Sotomayor's interpretation of the "best technology" rule was too narrow. Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg dissented, siding with Sotomayor's position. Riverkeeper, Inc. vs. EPA, 475 F.3d 83 (2007)

• Taxes (Deductability of trust fees): In 2006, Sotomayor upheld a lower tax court ruling that certain types of fees paid by a trust are only partly tax deductable. The Supreme Court upheld Sotomayor's decision but unanimously rejected the reasoning she adopted, saying that her approach "flies in the face of the statutory language." Knight vs. Commissioner, 467 F.3d 149 (2006)

• Finance (Rights of investors to sue firms in state court): In a 2005 ruling, Sotomayor overturned a lower court decision and allowed investors to bring certain types of fraud lawsuits against investment firms in state court rather than in federal court. The lower court had agreed with the defendant Merrill Lynch's argument that the suits were invalid because the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 required that such suits be brought only in federal court. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned Sotomayor's ruling in an 8-0 decision, saying that the federal interest in overseeing securities market cases prevails, and that doing otherwise could give rise to "wasteful, duplicative litigation." Dabit vs. Merrill Lynch, 395 F.3d 25 (2005)

• Health Insurance (Reimbursement of insurance benefits): In 2005, Sotomayor ruled against a health insurance company that sued the estate of a deceased federal employee who received $157,000 in insurance benefits as the result of an injury. The wife of the federal employee had won $3.2 million in a separate lawsuit from those whom she claimed caused her husband's injuries. The health insurance company sued for reimbursement of the benefits paid to the federal employee, saying that a provision in the federal insurance plan requires paid benefits to be reimbursed when the beneficiary is compensated for an injury by a third party. The Supreme Court upheld Sotomayor's ruling in a 5-4 opinion. Justices Breyer, Kennedy, Souter, and Alito dissented. Empire Healthchoice Assurance, Inc. vs. McVeigh, 396 F.3d 136 (2005)

• Civil Rights (Right to sue federal government and its agents): Sotomayor, writing for the court in 2000, supported the right of an individual to sue a private corporation working on behalf of the federal government for alleged violations of that individual's constitutional rights. Reversing a lower court decision, Sotomayor found that an existing law, known as "Bivens," which allows suits against individuals working for the federal government for constitutional rights violations, could be applied to the case of a former prisoner seeking to sue the private company operating the federal halfway house facility in which he resided. The Supreme Court reversed Sotomayor's ruling in a 5-4 decision, saying that the Bivens law could not be expanded to cover private entities working on behalf of the federal government. Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer dissented, siding with Sotomayor's original ruling. Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp., 299 F.3d 374 (2000)

• Intellectual Property (Distribution of freelance material): As a district court judge in 1997, Sotomayor heard a case brought by a group of freelance journalists who asserted that various news organizations, including the New York Times, violated copyright laws by reproducing the freelancers' work on electronic databases and archives such as "Lexis/Nexis" without first obtaining their permission. Sotomayor ruled against the freelancers and said that publishers were within their rights as outlined by the 1976 Copyright Act. The appellate court reversed Sotomayor's decision, siding with the freelancers, and the Supreme Court upheld the appellate decision (therefore rejecting Sotomayor's original ruling). Justices Stevens and Breyer dissented, taking Sotomayor's position. Tasini vs. New York Times, et al, 972 F. Supp. 804 (1997)

Other Notable Cases

• Abortion (Mexico City policy): Sotomayor ruled against an abortion rights group in its challenge to the so-called "Mexico City Policy," which states that nations that receive U.S. funds may neither perform nor promote abortions. The abortion rights advocates alleged that the policy violated their First Amendment, due process, and equal protection rights. Sotomayor upheld a lower court ruling dismissing the case, saying that the group's First Amendment rights had not been violated and that it had not been denied due process. On the equal protection claim, Sotomayor wrote, "The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds." Sotomayor did not address the underlying abortion issue. Center for Reproductive Law and Policy vs. Bush, 304 F.3d 183 (2002)

• Major League Baseball Strike: As a district court judge, Sotomayor issued an injunction against team owners for alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act during collective bargaining negotiations with the MLB players association. The owners had sought to end the system of free agency and salary arbitration and imposed a lock-out against players as negotiations began to break down. The ruling ended the longest baseball strike in history. National Labor Relations Board vs. Major League Baseball, 880 F. Supp. 246 (1995)

Labels: ,

Who Is Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomajor? CNN Tries To Answer The Question.

Read more from CNN, or below:

(CNN) -- Judge Sonia Sotomayor knew she wanted to go into law from an early age.

As a child, she aspired to be like Nancy Drew, the detective in the popular children's mystery series. But at the age of 8, she was diagnosed with diabetes and told she might need to rethink her dreams.

Her struggle with diabetes was just one of many adversities she faced while growing up.

Sotomayor's parents came to New York from Puerto Rico during World War II. Her father worked in a factory and didn't speak English.

She was born in the Bronx and grew up in a public housing project, not far from the stadium of her favorite team -- the New York Yankees. Her father died when she was 9, leaving her mother to raise her and her younger brother on her own

Her mother, whom Sotomayor describes as her biggest inspiration, worked six days a week to care for her and her younger brother, and instilled in them the value of an education.

Sotomayor later graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and went on to attend Yale law school, where she was editor of the Yale Law Journal.

In her three-decade career, she has worked at nearly every level of the judicial system, and on Tuesday she became President Obama's pick to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.

Sotomayor thanked Obama for "the most humbling honor of my life."

"I hope that as the Senate and American people learn more about me, they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences," she said.

The 54-year-old judge, if confirmed, would become the first Hispanic to serve on the high court. She would also be the third female named to the Supreme Court, and the second on the current court.

Sotomayor is touted by supporters as a justice with bipartisan favor and historic appeal.

She currently serves as a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The liberal-leaning justice was named a district judge by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and was elevated to her current seat by President Clinton.

Supporters say her appointment history, along with what they describe as her moderate-liberal views,
will give her some bipartisan backing in the Senate.

Sotomayor presided over about 450 cases while on the district court. Prior to her judicial appointments, Sotomayor was a partner at a private law firm and spent time as an assistant district attorney prosecuting violent crimes.

Robyn Kar, who clerked for Sotomayor from 1998 to 1999, described her as a "warm, extraordinarily kind and caring person."

"She has an amazing story, but she's also just an amazing person," he said, adding that she has a knack for getting to know those around her. "She was the judge who, in the courthouse for example, knew all of the doormen, knew the cafeteria workers, who knew the janitors -- she didn't just know all of the other judges and the politicians. She really went out of her way to get to know everyone and was well loved by everyone."

Conservatives argue Sotomayor has a "hard-left record" and believes that judges should consider experiences of women and minorities in their decision-making. They also described her as a "bully" who "abuses lawyers."

Asked about allegations that she tends to be prickly with her colleagues, Kar said, "I would say no to that. What I would say is that she has a reputation for being prickly on the bench, which is a bit different."

Kar said if attorneys have with a weak argument, "she's very quick ... and intellectually demanding."

"They'll have a hard time if they show up in her court without really doing their homework," he said.

Margarita Rosa, a college classmate of Sotomayor, said she's always known the high court nominee to be "measured and methodical" in her decision-making.

"She really looks at the facts and she is, I think, very evenhanded and fair -- but does bring to the table a very valuable understanding of the challenges and experiences, I think, of average people," he said.

Sotomayor was confirmed to her current seat by the Senate in 1998, a process that took more than a year. The final vote was 67-29.

Though a majority of Senate Republicans opposed her nomination, she did win several key Republican votes that year, which could prove critical in this year's confirmation fight.

In 1998, the New York judge won the support of 25 Republicans, including eight senators who still serve. If Sotomayor is able to maintain the support of just a few of those GOP senators this year, Senate Republicans would face an almost impossible task in defeating her nomination, even by filibuster, which requires 40 votes. Currently, Republicans hold 39 senate seats.

All 29 votes against her 1998 nomination were from Republicans, 11 of whom still serve.

Labels: , ,

BREAKING News: California Supreme Court Approves Proposition 8, BANS Future Gay (Homosexual) Marriages, But Allows Existing Marriages To Stand.

Read more from ABC News.

I shall post (and discuss) the opinion later.

Update: Read a more expansive news coverage here.

Do you want to read the court's opinion for yourself?

Well, check it out here.


Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomayor Says: "Court Of Appeals Is Where Policy Is Made". Watch Video. Wow. That Was Not What We Were Taught In Law School!

Editor's comment: "Courts make policy?"
WOE. As a Lawyer, I am floored! This is NOT what we were taught in law school!!

What were we taught, you ask?

That the legislature makes policy; the executive implements it; and, the Judiciary interprets what the policy is.

Labels: ,

POTUS Barack Obama Quotes Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: "The Life Of The Law Has Not Been Logic; It Has Been Experience". Watch Video.

Update On Judge Sonya (Sonia) Sotomajor's Selection For Supreme Court Vacancy: RNC Chair., Micheal Steele, Takes A "Wait And See" Approach.

May 26, 2009
CONTACT: Press Office




Labels: , , ,

As I Predicted, POTUS Barack Obama Picks A Hispanic Woman, Appeals Court Judge, Sonia Sotomayor, To Replace David Souter On The U. S. Supreme Court.

Announcement will follow this a. m. . I shall post the anoouncement, but meanwhile you can read this short bio or check out Wiki on her.

Quick Editor's comment: This nomination is not surprising, but I'll withhold my judgment until later, after I gather all the facts surrounding the SCOTUS pick. On the political front, POTUS Barack Obama has hit a home run. On the judicial front, it appears he may have hit one, too, but I'm not yet ready to call it -- yet!

Labels: , ,

As We Ponder Who POTUS Barack Obama Will Name To The Supreme Court, It Shall Be Well To Ponder This Information. Read More Below.

No judging how a justice will turn out
The upbringing and life experiences of Supreme Court picks are not always reliable predictors of where they stand legally.

By David G. Savage and James Oliphant

Reporting from Washington -- Several years ago an Alabama prisoner sued three guards after he was handcuffed to a post with his arms above his shoulders. He was left in the hot sun without a shirt for seven hours. His case eventually made it to the Supreme Court.

To Justice John Paul Stevens, who was born into a wealthy family in Chicago, the punishment was cruel and unusual. He spoke for a 6-3 majority and said inflicting "wanton and unnecessary pain" on a prisoner violated the Constitution.

Justice Clarence Thomas, who was born into poverty in rural Georgia, dissented. He faulted his colleagues for imposing their "own subjective views on appropriate methods of prison discipline."

The Supreme Court careers of Stevens and Thomas offer a cautionary note on predicting how the life and experience of a justice might influence his legal decisions.

This week, President Obama is expected to decide on his first nominee to the high court, and he has said he wants someone who has "the heart, the empathy" to put themselves in the place of someone less fortunate. He has spoken of a judge who can "recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom" or "what it's like to be poor or African American or gay or disabled or old."

Obama, who was a community organizer on Chicago's South Side before he went into politics, has said he is focused on those who weigh the law's effect on "the daily realities of people's lives," not on "some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book."

Along with that criteria, Obama is expected to choose a woman to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter.

The lone woman on the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has not been reticent in criticizing her colleagues for failing to consider the effect the court's decisions have on ordinary people -- or for relating to the plight of women in the workplace.

Last week, Ginsburg dissented in a workplace discrimination case, complaining about a decision the all-male majority made that denied female workers at AT&T Corp. credit toward their pensions for time they took off for maternity leave.

In another example of why it is perilous to assume a judge's gender or background contributes to their worldview, one of the candidates on the president's short list for the high court took an approach opposite that of Ginsburg.

Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, who was interviewed by Obama for the court last week, rejected a claim similar to those made by the plaintiffs in the AT&T case, and the company cited her decision as one reason why the Supreme Court should take the case. In a decision written by Souter, the court agreed with Wood's view of the case.

Another leading candidate for the high court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, has said that her gender and Puerto Rican heritage affect her decisions.

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life," Sotomayor said in a 2001 speech at UC Berkeley.

The Supreme Court's history is full of justices whose early life and career did not predict whether they would have the "heart" and "empathy" to identify with the plight of others unlike themselves.

When Earl Warren became chief justice in 1953, he came with a reputation as a tough prosecutor in Oakland and as a state official who called for imprisoning thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II. He went on to lead the court in ending racial segregation in the South and giving new rights to criminal defendants.

Shortly after Alabama's Hugo Black joined the court, it was revealed that he had once been a member of the Ku Klux Klan. For the next 30 years, however, he was one of the court's strongest advocates for civil rights.

When Souter was chosen for the court in 1990, some critics, including women's rights groups, questioned whether his solitary life as a bachelor in a small New Hampshire town would give him the depth of experience to understand the diverse lives and struggles of Americans.

A year later, when the 43-year-old Thomas was fighting for confirmation, several senators said his up-from-poverty life in the segregated South would make him more sensitive to the struggles of others, especially those who were poor and black.

Neither forecast proved accurate.

Souter won praise through most of his career from many of the liberal groups that opposed his nomination. And Thomas said his duty was to follow the original meaning of the Constitution, period.


POTUS Barack Obama Looks For Guantanamo (Gitmo) Exit. Watch And Laugh.


Monday, May 25, 2009

George F. Will: Limiting Political Speech.

Limiting political speech
By George F. Will

WASHINGTON — For several decades, most of the ingenuity that liberal academics have invested in First Amendment analysis has aimed to justify limiting the core activity that the amendment was written to protect — political speech. These analyses treat free speech as not an inherent good but as a merely instrumental good, something justified by serving other ends — therefore something to be balanced against, and abridged to advance, other goods.

The good for which Zephyr Teachout would regulate speech is combating corruption, which, as she understands it, encompasses most of contemporary politics. A visiting law professor at Duke, writing in the Cornell Law Review ("The Anti-Corruption Principle"), she makes an astonishingly sweeping argument for emancipating government from First Amendment restrictions on its powers to regulate political speech — speech about the government's composition and conduct.

Hitherto, most arguments for such emancipation — for McCain-Feingold and other measures regulating the quantity, content and timing of political speech — have rested on the supposed need to curb corruption or the "appearance" thereof, with corruption understood as quid pro quo transactions, political favors exchanged for financial favors. But bribery has long been criminalized, and courts are wary about allowing the criminalizing of the constant transactions of mutual support between politicians and factions.

Teachout's capacious definition of corruption includes even an unseemly "attitude" of citizens as well as officeholders "toward public service." She says the Framers thought limiting corruption was their "primary task." Therefore the "anti-corruption principle" should have "as much weight" as the First Amendment, giving Congress considerable "leeway" to regulate the political "process," which is mostly speech. What Teachout disparagingly calls "the apotheosis of speech" and "the sanctified meme of 'free speech'" is, she says, "a serious problem" requiring a rethinking of "the proper relationship of speech to self-serving public actors."

She advocates, as proponents of an elastic Constitution often do, an "evolving standard," this time a standard about how we define, measure and condemn "self-serving" behavior, aka corruption. This standard might license Congress to restrict speech in order to combat:

"Unequal access" to the political process; "unfair deployment of wealth"; "undue influence" by this or that group; speech that is "distorting" or lacks "proportionality" or results in "drowned voices" or a "passive" or "dispirited" public or that causes a "loss of political integrity" or creates "moral failings for members of Congress." Such speech might not be constitutionally protected if we properly "refine the meaning of the privilege of political speech."

So, political speech is not a right but a privilege, something granted by government when government deems it consistent with what Teachout calls the "equally important" anti-corruption principle. Imagine the "self-serving" uses incumbent legislators might have for the terms in the paragraph above as reasons for restricting political speech.

The word "corruption" or some permutation of it occurs 58 times in the 85 essays that are the Federalist Papers. James Madison wrote not only many of the papers but also this: "Congress shall make no law ‚Ķ abridging the freedom of speech." He saw no conflict between that proscription and efforts to minimize corruption. He and other Framers considered corruption a vice requiring constant vigilance precisely because it is inextricably entwined with a virtue, America's vast scope — constitutionally protected scope — for self-interested behavior, including political speech.

Congressional Democrats want to kill a small voucher program that gave some mostly poor and minority students alternatives to the District of Columbia's failing public schools, and the Obama administration spent additional billions to avoid a declaration of bankruptcy by General Motors. Some people think both decisions represented disinterested assessments of the public good. Others think the decisions represented obeisance by Democrats to the teachers' and autoworkers' unions, respectively. If the decisions were such obeisance, they were, by Teachout's standards, corrupt.

If corruption is as ubiquitous as Teachout's standard ("self-serving" behavior) says, then reasons for restricting political speech also are ubiquitous. Under today's regulatory and redistributionist government, which is busily allocating wealth and opportunity, politics frequently "appears" to many people "self-serving." It will not, however, be prettified by regulating speech.

If Teachout considers the politics produced by today's gargantuan government unlovely, she should not try to further enlarge the government by empowering it to comprehensively regulate speech about government. Instead, she should join the movement to restrain government's incessant regulating and redistributing transactions on behalf of myriad factions — transactions that create more and more clamorous factions. The movement is called conservatism.

George F. Will is a syndicated columnist with The Washington Post.


I Forgot To Post POTUS Barack Obama's Memorial Day Speech At Arlington National Cemetery. Watch It.


Larry Forgy Accuses Mitch McConnell Of "Standing On [Jim Bunning's] Air Hose." I Just Can't Stop Laughing.

Read more here, or excerpts below:

Analysis: Power to push out Bunning is limited

By Jack Brammer

FRANKFORT — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may be the ranking member in his state and national party, but he has scant power to nudge U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning out of the 2010 Senate race.

McConnell can’t make Bunning balk because the Hall of Fame pitcher knows he will be the Republican nominee if he just stays in the game, said Larry Forgy, a Lexington attorney who was narrowly defeated by Democrat Paul Patton in the 1995 race for governor.

The only Republican who could beat Bunning is Agriculture Commissioner and former University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer, “and he is not running,” said Forgy, a vocal critic of McConnell.
mcconnell and bunning

Sen. Mitch McConnell, left, and Sen. Jim Bunning

The other most likely contender for the spot, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, has vowed not to enter the race if Bunning remains committed to re-election. “Trey certainly would be disrespected by Republicans if he ran against his friend when he has said he would not,” Forgy said.

The story of the strained relationship between McConnell and Bunning — last week Bunning, 77, admitted that McConnell told him privately in December that he was “too old” and “couldn’t win” re-election — and their different political desires should ring familiar to Kentuckians.

In many ways, it’s a replay of the state’s 2007 race for governor.

“He walked away from his friend, Ernie Fletcher, in 2007, and now he is walking away from his friend, Jim Bunning,” Forgy said.

Fletcher, who was vulnerable because of political scars from a state hiring scandal, received competition in the GOP primary election from former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of Louisville.

Forgy thinks McConnell, who had urged Fletcher to enter the 2003 governor’s race, was behind Northup’s candidacy, even though McConnell maintained public neutrality in the race.

Fletcher won the 2007 primary but lost the general election to Democrat Steve Beshear.

Now, Bunning, whom McConnell helped win a U.S. Senate seat in 1998, is considered to be the most vulnerable incumbent seeking re-election to the Senate in 2010.

McConnell again finds himself in the awkward position of maintaining public silence — he’s said nothing negative about Bunning to the media — while working behind the scenes to find a stronger candidate to face the Democratic Party’s candidate — probably either Attorney General Jack Conway or Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo.

McConnell has nothing to gain by commenting publicly about Bunning, said Joe Gershtenson, director of Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for Kentucky History and Politics.

“Why respond and get in a shouting match with his colleague?” asked Gershtenson. “McConnell simply is waiting to see how all this turns out.”

Behind the scenes, McConnell is applying pressure on Bunning by withholding financial help. As the leader of his party in the Senate, McConnell has tremendous influence in corporate America and could help Bunning raise funds, Forgy said.

“But he thinks he can starve Bunning into financial submission and force him out of the race,” Forgy said. “He may not be saying much about Bunning but he’s standing on his air hose.”

Louisville businessman Bill Stone, who is close to Bunning, said he takes Bunning at his word that “he is in the race.”

“This is a Hall of Fame pitcher who faced baseball greats, strong, tough men,” Stone said. “He’s not going to get out of the race simply because someone tells him to do so.

“If he gets out, it will be his decision.”

Bunning has said he will reassess his campaign efforts after seeing how much money he can raise in the second quarter of the year.

In the meantime, McConnell’s decision to remain silent in the face of weekly criticism from Bunning gives McConnell deniability, said Donald Gross, chair of the University of Kentucky’s political science department.

“It certainly appears that McConnell is concerned about Bunning’s ability to get re-elected but you can’t find where McConnell has publicly bad-mouthed Bunning and might have to answer to that someday, especially if Bunning turns out to be the party nominee,” Gross said.

Editor's comment: Jim Bunning finds himself in the Fix. "This race isn't complicated: if Bunning is the nominee, then Democrats win."

Labels: , ,