Sen. Jeff Sessions congratulated Sonia Sotomayor after she was confirmed to the highest court in the land, but on the senate floor, he voted against raising her to the Supreme Court because, in the end, he felt her rulings were not objective.
At the conclusion of his statements, Sen Sessions summed up why those who voted against Sotomayor did so:
"Empathy-based rulings, no matter how well-intentioned, do not help society but imperil the legal system that is so essential to our freedoms and so fundamental to our way of life.
"We need judges who uphold the rights of all, not just some – whether they are New Haven firefighters, law-abiding gun-owners, or any American looking for their fair day in court. We need judges who put the Constitution before politics, and the right legal outcome before their desired social outcome. We need judges who understand that if they truly care about society, and want it to be strong and healthy, then they must help ensure that our legal system is fair, objective and firmly rooted in the Constitution.
"Our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, said of the Constitution that “[n]o other document devised by the hand of man ever brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. The good it has wrought can never be measured.”
And he was right.
"That document has given us blessings no people, of any country, has ever known. Which is why real compassion is found not in the empathy standard but in following the Constitution.
"Judge Sotomayor, however, has embraced the opposite view. For many years before her hearings, she has bluntly advocated a judicial philosophy where judges ground their decisions not in the objective rule of the law, but in the subjective realm of personal “opinions, sympathies and prejudices.”
"A Supreme Court Justice wields enormous power over every man, woman and child in this country. It is the primary guardian of our magnificent legal system. Because I believe Judge Sotomayor' philosophy of law and her approach to judging fail to demonstrate a firm commitment to those ideals, I must withhold my consent."
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