Aug 06 2009
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), today made the following statement regarding his vote to oppose the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Today I opposed Judge Sotomayor's confirmation to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“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 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.
“Supreme Court Justices are vested with the power to interpret the Constitution and the laws of the United States. 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 could not vote in favor of Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation.”