Why would a federal court judge be considered a good choice for the Supreme Court are often overturned?

This question is more about theory than actually about Sotomayor so don’t answer simply based on your personal feelings about her or her stands on issues. Why would a president pick a judge to be a nominee for the Supreme Court if their decisions are often overturned by the Supreme Court? The only reason I can think of is that the president would be trying to tell the Supreme Court that they are wrong. Am I missing something?

A judge is required to apply law as it stands. Laws are written and passed by state legislatures and congress, that doesn’t mean they are constitutional. A judge hears the charges, listens to both sides and then makes a ruling based on the written law, even if they may personally think it is against the Constitution or if they believe it is wrong. The judge does not make law.

The supreme court will hear the same case, and look at the written law and decide if the law violates the Constitution. If they decide that it does, they can overturn the law as being unconstitutional. Only the Supreme court can declare a law as being unconstitutional.

As a judge, Sotomayor was obligated to apply the law as it was passed by the state or by the legislature. It was not her job to change law, even if she believed the law was wrong.

Most judges have decisions overturned by the Supreme Court. It is no reflection on the Judge, because the only job of the Judge is to apply the written law.

As a Supreme Court Justice, she will have to rule if a law does or does not violate the Constitution.

It is a good sign that she was not an "activist" judge. She applied the law as written, and did not try to overturn or change it.

The fact that it was overturned does not say she ruled wrong, it says that the law was flawed and against the Constitution. She did her job and ruled on the law as written.

Post Author: mark

13 thoughts on “Why would a federal court judge be considered a good choice for the Supreme Court are often overturned?

    truth seeker

    (January 28, 2010 - 5:30 pm)

    you are missing a lot. Of the three thousand plus cases that she preceded on as a judge, only two were overturned by the SC….

    don’t be "conned" into believing something that isn’t true.
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    omocron

    (January 28, 2010 - 5:46 pm)

    I would say you have it….clearly on target!
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    Creep 411

    (January 28, 2010 - 6:23 pm)

    The president picks someone with his ideaology. Sometimes, like when GW chose a hispanic, people won’t vote him in because he is hispanic. Other times, they vote her in because she is hispanic.
    Basically, trying to fill the Sureme court with women/minorities to make congress happy is a BAD way to go.
    Pick the best JUDGE! Not the best person to legislate laws for minorities/women from the bench!!!
    A wise latina——my butt!!!

    As a white male, i can only hope this "wise latina" doesn’t affect MY life directly! I know i would lose, no matter what the case was!!
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    klset

    (January 28, 2010 - 6:42 pm)

    The number of her cases that were overturned were very few.. and her record is impressive.. She is very qualified.. Now VP Palin — she was the real affirmative action pick
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    BAD PENNY BLONDE

    (January 28, 2010 - 7:27 pm)

    Racial diversity, or so Obama thinks. Sotomayor was an awful choice.
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    ColleenIsBack

    (January 28, 2010 - 7:57 pm)

    Yes, you are missing something in your premise, because Sotomayor’s decisions were not ‘often overturned’. The judge issued hundreds of decisions over 17 years. Three out of five that were reviewed by the Supreme Court were overturned. Because your question is based upon a faulty premise your question cannot even be answered sensibly.
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    Franklin

    (January 28, 2010 - 8:13 pm)

    Please name one federal court judge who has been nominated for the
    Supreme Court and has had many decisions overturned?

    If you are talking about Sotomayor, very few of her decisions as a federal court judge have been overturned (3 out of hundreds of decisions).
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    Jamal

    (January 28, 2010 - 8:32 pm)

    she is the right skin color with the right last name
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    Mark D

    (January 28, 2010 - 9:05 pm)

    You seem to be assuming that Obama carefully examined the record of reversed decisions and took that rate into account and even used that rate as the PRIMARY reason of choosing the nominee. Sorry, but I doubt anybody can come up with evidence that Obama was looking for that data. Sotomayor’s rate of reversals was probably not even on the radar screen. Obama’s number one priority for choosing her and the next nominee (anybody look at J. P. Stevens’ age lately?) will be ideology and *experience,* not rate of reversals.

    I, for one, am not concerned about her rate of being reversed. Not when I think about who is doing the reversing. It is the Supremes themselves who have been reversing her, of course. And NONE of those bozos impress me.
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Akqm.dULO4BQroBQJthSBmnty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20081121142509AAunYSh&show=7#profile-info-hGxRy0XRaa
    .
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    C B

    (January 28, 2010 - 9:40 pm)

    I think almost all of hers were overturned.

    She was the most overturned in the history of Justices.
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    Heidi 4

    (January 28, 2010 - 10:10 pm)

    Her qualifications: She is super liberal and wants to change the Constitution according to her own mind set. She fits the liberals agend that the Dems want to hold this lifetime posiltion.
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    bigmomma

    (January 28, 2010 - 10:58 pm)

    The only answer I can think of is that Pres. Obama is looking to get the Hispanic, legal and illegal, vote. Otherwise, his choice makes no sense to me.
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    J M

    (January 28, 2010 - 11:26 pm)

    A judge is required to apply law as it stands. Laws are written and passed by state legislatures and congress, that doesn’t mean they are constitutional. A judge hears the charges, listens to both sides and then makes a ruling based on the written law, even if they may personally think it is against the Constitution or if they believe it is wrong. The judge does not make law.

    The supreme court will hear the same case, and look at the written law and decide if the law violates the Constitution. If they decide that it does, they can overturn the law as being unconstitutional. Only the Supreme court can declare a law as being unconstitutional.

    As a judge, Sotomayor was obligated to apply the law as it was passed by the state or by the legislature. It was not her job to change law, even if she believed the law was wrong.

    Most judges have decisions overturned by the Supreme Court. It is no reflection on the Judge, because the only job of the Judge is to apply the written law.

    As a Supreme Court Justice, she will have to rule if a law does or does not violate the Constitution.

    It is a good sign that she was not an "activist" judge. She applied the law as written, and did not try to overturn or change it.

    The fact that it was overturned does not say she ruled wrong, it says that the law was flawed and against the Constitution. She did her job and ruled on the law as written.
    References :
    Constitutional law

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