National Lawyers Guild Calls for Reasoned Analysis of Sotomayor Nomination

May 26, 2009
Paige Cram
Communications Coordinator
212-679-5100, ext. 15

-In the wake of President Obama's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court, the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) encourages a reasoned analysis of Sotomayor's candidacy. Critics are focusing on accusations of judicial activism and identity politics rather than engaging in sound examination of her legal qualifications. Comments of this nature serve only to distract from meaningful discussion surrounding the judicial confirmation process.

“When Judge Sotomayor was nominated, conservative pundits immediately leveled allegations of judicial activism against her. That charge is not only hypocritical, but is also disingenuous. Bush v. Gore, supported by these same commentators in 2000, is the most vivid example of judicial activism ever displayed by the highest court,” said Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild.

Critics have increasingly questioned the role that Sotomayor’s race and gender played in her nomination. Changing the discourse from one of judicial qualifications to one of identity politics detracts from a proper evaluation of her suitability for the job.

The Guild encourages an analysis that focuses on Sotomayor’s credentials and ability to interpret the Constitution of the United States. These are the criteria by which any judicial nominee should be evaluated.

The National Lawyers Guild was founded in 1937 as an alternative to the American Bar Association, which did not admit people of color. The NLG is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.