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A standard by which to assess Sotomayor

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by wireguy, Jun 1, 2009.

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  1. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    "In every trial -- every single trial -- judges solemnly instruct American citizens who are compelled to perform jury duty that they will have a sworn obligation to decide cases objectively -- without fear or favor. If a person is unwilling or unable to do that, if the person believes he or she has a bias or prejudice, especially one based on a belief that people are inferior or superior due to such factors as race, ethnicity, or sex, the person is not qualified to be a juror. ...[W]e strive to keep those attitudes out of our law -- even to the point of expecting prospective jurors to tell us honestly whether they have such biases so we can make certain they don't get on a jury. Non-biased decision-making, we tell every ordinary citizen called for jury duty, is the most basic obligation of service in the legal system. Would Judge Sotomayor be qualified to serve as a juror? Let's say she forthrightly explained to the court during the voir dire (the jury-selection phase of a case) that she believed a wise Latina makes better judgments than a white male; that she doubts it is actually possible to 'transcend [one's] personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on the reason of law'; and that there are 'basic differences' in the way people 'of color' exercise 'logic and reasoning.' If, upon hearing that, would it not be reasonable for a lawyer for one (or both) of the parties to ask the court to excuse her for cause? Would it not be incumbent on the court to grant that request? Should we have on the Supreme Court, where jury verdicts are reviewed, a justice who would have difficulty qualifying for jury service?" --National Review editor Andy McCarthy
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