Jul 28 2009

SHELBY TO OPPOSE SOTOMAYOR CONFIRMATION

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), today made the following statement regarding the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“After careful consideration, I will oppose Judge Sotomayor's confirmation to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.  During her confirmation hearings and after meeting with her privately, she was unable to allay my concerns regarding two major issues she has considered -- Second Amendment rights and race-based preferences.

“I remain very concerned with the ruling Judge Sotomayor joined in Maloney v. Cuomo, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit stated that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states.  While the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet had occasion to rule on this question, history and common understanding are very clear that the Second Amendment guarantees the fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms.  I cannot and will not support the confirmation of any judge who does not affirm this fundamental freedom.

“I also remain concerned with the decision Judge Sotomayor joined in Ricci v. DeStefano upholding New Haven's action to disregard promotion exams based on the ethnicity of those who both passed and failed the exam.  It violates fundamental principles of fairness and equal protection under the law to discriminate on the basis of race, as New Haven did in this instance.  Citing fears of future legal claims from the group who received favorable treatment, as the court endorsed, is no justification.  Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed this ruling.

“The Supreme Court is comprised of nine individuals who have lifetime appointments and are vested with the power to determine what the Constitution and the laws of the United States mean.  Such responsibility, power and longevity is unparalleled anywhere else in American public life.  As such, we must be very cautious in selecting those to whom we grant membership on the Court.  Because of my concerns with her willingness to properly and dutifully uphold fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution, I cannot, in good conscience, vote in favor of Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation.”