Conservative Groups Already Gunning Against Sotomayor

Posted May 26, 2009 at 11:11am

Conservative judicial activists quickly moved into high gear Tuesday, wasting no time in attacking President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.

Groups like the Committee for Justice and the Judicial Confirmation Network have already started rallying grass-roots activists and targeting red-state Republican Senators to oppose Sotomayor, who is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Although it is unlikely that conservatives will be able to derail Sotomayor’s confirmation, the third-party groups have mapped out a strategy to rally Congressional conservatives against the 54-year-old jurist, and use the nomination as a rallying point at the state level for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

“This is just red meat for anyone who does not believe in judicial activism,— said Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice.

Levey will be focusing on Sotomayor’s decision in two federal court cases where she ruled in favor of racial preferences and against the right to bear arms.

In Ricci v. DeStefano, Sotomayor supported the city of New Haven’s decision to reject the results of its firefighter promotion test because almost no minorities qualified for a higher rank.

In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor rejected the argument that a ban by the state of New York on the martial arts weapon known as a nunchaku violated the plaintiff’s Second Amendment rights.

“Those two issues are very important for red-state Senators, and that’s where this is going to play out,— Levey said.

Additionally, Levey expects the Committee for Justice to put some money into advertising inside the Beltway and the home states of Republican Senators.

The Judicial Confirmation Network has already engaged in the public relations campaign against Sotomayor.

The group unveiled a Web site May 18, obamasfrontrunners.com, to highlight conservative critiques of a three potential nominees, including Sotomayor.

The JCN has been actively trying to ramp up state-level networks and has fundraised in the “seven figures— for possible TV and radio ad buys, according to the group’s legal counsel Wendy E. Long.

“Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written,— Long said in a statement.

“She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one’s sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench.—

Conservative activists are also looking for some allies among African-Americans and Hispanics.

Traditional Values Coalition’s Andrea Lafferty said the religious-based group will be reaching out to Hispanic and African-American members to show that not all minorities are going to “be in lock step— behind Sotomayor.

“We’re not surprised that he nominated someone of her ilk,— Lafferty said. “He can trot her family out and talk about her story and it’s very touching, but that’s separate from what kind of job she will do.—