Friday, May 29, 2009

The Sotomayor Project

I'm leaving Georgia.

Not physically, but virtually.

For the next week, I'm going to take a break from Georgia politics and explore the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. The opportunity to write about one of our more fascinating and infrequent Constitutional processes is too enticing.

I'm not a lawyer, but I love arguing with lawyers. Even though I am not lettered in the law, I feel I have a good layman's understanding of the Constitution and the workings of the courts. However, everything I write will be from a lawyman's perspective. If I don't know something (for example if the court has ever clearly defined the term "arms), instead of diving into case law, I'll say I don't know. Hopefully, my common man jumping off point will encourage those lettered in the law who visit this little community to jump in and provide elucidation for us all.

My starting point for this series of essays will be the SCOTUS blog's analysis of Judge Sotomayor's rulings on civil cases while a member of the 2nd Circuit.

As with all my writing, it will not be objective but it will attempt to be fair. My hope is my own analysis of the cases will continue the exploration of the "griftdrift philosophy" I expressed on Monday.

Expounding on this principle further, I would never expect to agree or disagree with any potential Justice but I always expect to at least understand the reasoning, logic and law behind the opinions.

Although in the current climate, I am considered left leaning (I'm convinced 50 years ago I would be considered a moderate Republican), I will approach each case with my personal filters of leaning to the left on individual liberty and leaning to the right on issues of federal supremacy. These personal standards will be my guide and the paint peeling talking points already being blasted about will be ignored.

That's what we'll be doing for the next week. Hope you jump on for the ride.

And we might as well make the first leap a breath sucker - on Monday - 2nd Amendment.


Sara said...

This should be fun.

Here's the appellant's brief, and he does not cite a single case defining "arms" or supporting the definition of nunchaku as arms. That tells me there probably isn't a case out there that defined the term.

Link to brief, see Section III

Jen said...

I anticipate that the Court will continue pretend that the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments do not exist to protect criminal defendants from the government..

Jeff said...

looking forward to this Grift. I'll at least point some people over here from my own little corner of the blogosphere...

griftdrift said...

Ahhhhh criminal law. Maybe I'll talk about that in the second phase of this little project. Given you all know my personal hero, you can probably imagine my feelings on the 4th Amendment.

machine2473 said...

Some resources...

2nd Circuit Court of AppealsOyez Project

Jen said...

Who is your personal hero? Tommy Chong?

Sara said...

The Gonzo theme is a clue.