Thomas Sowell

A poll of such attorneys showed them rating her worse than other judges in her treatment of those who appeared before her. A tape of Judge Sotomayor's abusive behavior in court backed up the attorneys' picture. It is also consistent with someone in pay-back mode.

A confirmation decision on a Supreme Court nominee is not like deciding whether someone is innocent or guilty of a crime. It is right in criminal cases that the burden of proof is on those making an accusation, and that the accusation be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Judge Sotomayor is not in jeopardy of either criminal or civil penalties. So there is no reason why either the criminal standard or proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" or the civil standard of "the preponderance of evidence" is required for determining whether she is the right person to be given a lifetime appointment to the highest court of the land.

It is hundreds of millions of Americans-- current and future-- whose fundamental rights are at stake whenever any nominee is being considered for the Supreme Court of the United States. It is the American people as a whole who are entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

One of those fundamental rights was taken away just four years ago, when a 5 to 4 decision by the Supreme Court gave local politicians the right to seize your home or business and turn the property over to some other private party that they favor. Just one vote on the Supreme Court can make a huge difference.

We have been told endlessly about Sonia Sotomayor's biography and her symbolism as a Hispanic woman. Is that enough to risk millions of other Americans' fundamental rights?


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate



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