Sotomayor: Above Ethics

If this is true:

Federal judges are bound by a code that says they shouldn’t join any organization that discriminates by race, sex, religion or nationality.

via Sotomayor quits women’s club after GOP criticism.

Then Sotomayor’s membership (until Friday!) of the Belizean Grove Organization is extraordinarily disturbing. I knew Sotomayor was a racist and am not surprised that she is a bigot, but her shamelessness in flaunting her own code of ethics in actually carrying a sexist membership card is astounding.

The following should now happen.

1. President Obama should withdraw Sotomayor’s name from consideration

2. President Obama should encourage Sotomayor to resign from the Appeals Court. Failing this, he should encourage Congress to begin impreachment-and-conviction proceedings against her.

3. Informal investigations should be held to determine what federal laws Sotomayor violated in this case. For instance, did she break perjury laws at any time by stating that she was complying with her ethical obligations when she – in fact – did not?

Sotomayor is simply a racist, sexist judicial thug. Unlike Geithner, she does not deserve the death penalty.* Still, like Geithner, she should not hold any federal office of any sort. She cannot be trusted.

[* Article III Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution reads:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

This is operationalized by 18 US 2381:

whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Geithner is overseeing a tribal raid against the U.S. Treasury, different from pirate raids against U.S. ships only by target (Geithner’s attacks wealth on the homeland), scale (Geithner’s is much greater) and death toll (more Americans people have died as a result of the economic downturn than from pirate attacks).

17 thoughts on “Sotomayor: Above Ethics”

  1. Gee, I hope she wasn’t in a soriority or the Girl Scouts. If she was maybe we should just go ahead and burn her at the stake.

    Geithner may be incompetent or blindly following an incredibly bad policy, Bad decisions lead to more bad decisions when people can’t admit to being worng, but that’s debatable.

    But treason? The death penalty?

    Really?

  2. Aherring,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I look forward to a rephrased version of it.

    As of now, the first analogy is absurd, and the second ‘argument’ is simply restating my conclusion but with a question mark at the end.

  3. “The following should now happen.
    1. President Obama should withdraw Sotomayor’s name from consideration” (tdaxp)

    Dan Tdaxp, you still don’t seem to get it? We are entering a new racial and identity political era. Your Anglo-Saxon sense of fairness and chivalry must be blinding you to this reality? Obama isn’t going to remove Sotomayor from consideration for her racialism/feminism becuase HER RACIALISM/FEMINISM IS EXACTLY WHY OBAMA PICKED HER IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!

  4. My first statement was intended to be absurd just as the call for the nomination of Sotomayor to be withdrawn is absurd. This is an issue that smacks of rampant political-correctness and should be disregarded as such. A judge’s record and the concepts described in their written opinions are the standard by which he/she should be judged. Sotomayor has an exceptionally long record compared to many who are nominated for the Supreme Court. If there is a legitimate argument against her nomination to the Court it should be found there rather than in her personal life.

    My second ‘argument’ about Geithner wasn’t intended to be an argument, rather more a question of your seriousness about the issue. The charge of treason is reserved for the ultimate, and willfull, betrayal of the trust of a society as a whole. This is an incredibly serious charge, and one that should never, ever, be spoken of lightly. To call for charges of treason against a member of the government who is acting in line with the stated policy of the executive branch is irresponsible. To call for the death of that individual, the ultimate sanction, is beyond the pale.

    Dan, you are a really smart guy. I have a very high opinion of your thinking and writing. I read your blog on a daily basis. I agree with you on many topics. I value you as a source of information and inspiration. However, posts like this one do you a disservice.

  5. Seerov,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I outlined what Obama should do, not what I expect him to do, or what would be in line with his political thinking.

    Aherring,

    My first statement was intended to be absurd just as the call for the nomination of Sotomayor to be withdrawn is absurd

    I recognize this, but presenting a purposefully sabotaged argument does not serve to further a dialog. It certainly did not serve as a reductio ad absurdum, either.

    This is an issue that smacks of rampant political-correctness and should be disregarded as such.

    Your statement here is an example of the genetic fallacy.

    Whether it is included within political correctness is not the point. Rather, Sotomayor both (a) violated her own code of ethics to (b) joined an explicitly sexist club. (a) is worrying. (b) is disqualifying.

    A judge’s record and the concepts described in their written opinions are the standard by which he/she should be judged.

    Only to the extent that a politican’s voting records and the concepts described in his floor speeches are the standard by which he/she should be judged. [1]

    My second ‘argument’ about Geithner wasn’t intended to be an argument, rather more a question of your seriousness about the issue.

    The statement is made seriously. No, if you disagree and wish to engage in dialogue, do so.

    The charge of treason is reserved for the ultimate, and willful, betrayal of the trust of a society as a whole.

    I disagree. I believe the charge of reason is reserved for in levying War against [the United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    My standard is based on the Constitution. Yours appears to be based on empty rhetoric.

    Which one of us is serious here?

    This is an incredibly serious charge, and one that should never, ever, be spoken of lightly.

    Agreed. Hence, I urge you to begin discussing the subject seriously, if you are curious about it, instead of using nonsensical and legally empty rhetoric about ‘society as a whole,’ etc.

    To call for charges of treason against a member of the government who is acting in line with the stated policy of the executive branch is irresponsible. To call for the death of that individual, the ultimate sanction, is beyond the pale.

    These two sentences appear to sum to a statement that calling for the legally proscribed punishment for officers of the United States who engage in treason is taboo. Obviously, such a conclusion is absurd.

    To paraphrase a friend of mine: Aherring, you are a really smart guy. I have a very high opinion of your thinking and writing. I read your comments on a regular basis. I agree with you on many topics. I value you as a source of information and inspiration. However, comments like this one do you a disservice.

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2009/05/30/sotomayor-back-to-the-past.html

  6. Did we read the same article? This paragraph in particular seems to suggest that her membership isn’t necessarily a big deal:

    “Sotomayor’s backers noted that the court’s only current woman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, belongs to the membership-only International Women’s Forum. So did former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who defended her involvement in all-women groups during her Senate confirmation hearings in 1981. ”

    Note, too, that first quote you gave:

    “Federal judges are bound by a code that says they shouldn’t join any organization that discriminates by race, sex, religion or nationality.”

    If taken literally, it means that no Federal judge should be allowed to belong to a Church that puts demands of belief on its members.

  7. Michael,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Did we read the same article? This paragraph in particular seems to suggest that her membership isn’t necessarily a big deal

    1. Did this occur before or after the ethics rule was promulgated?
    2. If after, does a pattern of rule-breaking mean that we should expect continued rulebreaking?

    If taken literally, it means that no Federal judge should be allowed to belong to a Church that puts demands of belief on its members.

    I would love to hear Sotomayor make this argument, as it would demonstrate a complete ignorance of the Constitution.

    It would be nonsensical to interpret a judicial ethics rule as overriding or ignoring the Free Exercise clause of the US Constitution, not to mention the Religious Tests clause.

  8. But don’t most churches, synagogues, etc, limit or even forbid participation by people who don’t share the beliefs espoused by the governing religious body? If so, then the statement you quoted would suggest that belonging to such churches would be a violation of judicial ethics.

  9. I caught that the first time, actually. So shouldn’t the quote be
    “Federal judges are bound by a code that says they shouldn’t join any organization that discriminates by race, sex, or nationality.”?

    If not, and there are some types of religious organizations that aren’t covered by the 1st Amendment in this case, then why (other than a lack of relevant Constitutional Amendments) aren’t similar gradations of acceptability present in race-,sexuality- and nationality-based based organizations?

  10. Michael,

    Great question.

    If not, and there are some types of religious organizations that aren’t covered by the 1st Amendment in this case, then why (other than a lack of relevant Constitutional Amendments) aren’t similar gradations of acceptability present in race-,sexuality- and nationality-based based organizations?

    I am not sure what religious organizations are not covered by the Free Exercise Clause.

    However, the basic answer is that the Free Exercise Clause protects Free Exercise of religion, not the free exercise of golf clubs, political parties, mercantile guilds, etc.

    The reason why, I would imagine, is that while in 1789 political parties did not exist in their modern form, mercantile guilds were seen as reasonable targets of regulation, and the establishment of a National Church (or some “patriotic association” of churches) was seen as a great threat to liberty.

  11. Religion was included in that quote for some reason. Could be a writer getting ahead of him/herself in rhetoric.

    Just guessing, though, the boundary of acceptability would probably be whether the religious organization in question actively denies the validity of the 1st Amendment. An aggressive church that wants to become a National Church, for example, or a cult that uses coercive or illegal methods to bring about conversions and member retentions for example. Or maybe groups that exist mainly to discourage religions they don’t like.

  12. Michael,

    Just guessing, though, the boundary of acceptability would probably be whether the religious organization in question actively denies the validity of the 1st Amendment.

    I doubt it, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses rationale for refusing to make the Pledge of Allegiance is the same as KSA’s classification of laws as ‘regulations’ — only God can make Law.

  13. “I doubt it, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses rationale for refusing to make the Pledge of Allegiance is the same as KSA’s classification of laws as ‘regulations’ — only God can make Law.”

    Do the Jehovah’s Witnesses advocate for a takeover of the nation’s lawmaking by their own (or a sympathetic) organization? If not, then one could argue that they have de facto recognized the Separation of Church and State even if they don’t recognize the validity of the law requiring it.

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