Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Current Events Watch-Constitution

The Constitution gives the President the power to appoint all federal judges. However, it also gives the Senate the power to confirm or reject those appointments by majority vote. Research the recent appointment of a federal judge, and write a brief response on his or her background and how senators from the opposing party responded to the President's nomination.


  1. The most recently appointed judge, Sonia Sotomayor, was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009 (confirmed August 6 by Senate). She is the third woman and first Latina Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents. Her father never attended college and died when she was 8 years old. She attended Princeton University and Yale Law School. She served as the Assistant District Attorney to large Manhattan law firm, started her own private practice, and served as Federal District Judge for the Southern District of New York before being appointed federal judge. A few Republican senators actually backed Sotomayor. According to Senator Mel Martinez of Florida, "Judge Sotomayor is knowledgeable of the law, would be a fair and impartial judge" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/17/AR2009071701310.html). However, most others opposed Sotomayor because they feel that her judgement would be biased due to her unique background as a woman and latina.

  2. Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York City and is of Puerto Rican descent. to me personally this is all the qualification she needs to win; Others however may disagree. Many opposing representatives say that Sotomayor is under-educated and un-experienced. Sotomayor has however been in many political positions such as an editor at the Yale Law Journal, she played an active role on the boards of directors for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board. On top of that three separate presidents appointed her to these positions. If anyone is up for the job it's Sonia Sotomyor.

  3. James Andrew Wynn, is an American jurist, currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and formerly on both the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court.Wynn served in the Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG) of the United States Navy on active duty from 1979 to 1983 and as a reservist from 1983 to 1 August 2009. His military assignments included service as a military judge; Staff Judge Advocate for Readiness Command Six in Washington, DC; Admiralty Attorney for reserve unit supporting the Commander-in-Chief for the Atlantic Fleet; and various military justice positions. In 1990, Wynn was elected in a statewide contest to fill an unexpired term of two years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He was reelected to eight-year terms in 1992, 2000, and 2008.President Barack Obama nominated Wynn and North Carolina Superior Court Judge Albert Diaz for seats on the Fourth Circuit on Nov. 4, 2009. Obama's renomination of Wynn and nomination of Diaz were jointly endorsed by North Carolina senators Kay Hagan, a Democrat, and Richard Burr, a Republican. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 18-1 on Jan. 28, 2010 to send Wynn's nomination to the Senate floor. His nomination was confirmed by the full Senate on August 5, 2010 by unanimous consent. No one opposed to Wynn's nomination because of his very long and decorated career, he was voted in by every member of the Senate


  4. The recent appointment of a federal judge is Sonia Sotomayor who President Obama nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the first hispanic U.S. Supreme Court Justice and the "third woman to serve on high court" (http://articles.cnn.com). She was born in the Bronx of New York and is Puerto Rican. She graduated from Princeton University in 1976 and from Yale Law in 1979. She then worked as a assistant district attorney in New York She actively participated in Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund as well as the state of New York Mortgage Agency and the New York City Campaign Finance Board. She was nominated to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York City by President George Bush and taught at two law schools. In 2009, President Obama elected her to the U.S. Supreme Court. He said that she "has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breadth of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice" (http://articles.cnn.com). The Republicans did not approve of Obama's decision because of something she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life" (http://en.wikipedia.org). The conservatives called her a racist and took this line offensively and said that her approach was "troubling" (ttp://en.wikipedia.org).

    Rebecca Y
    Period 1
    Virtual Government

  5. Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954 in New York City. She was raised solely by her mother, when her father passed away when she was nine. Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. and obtained her J.D. from Yale Law School. She was also editor for the Yale Law Journal, assistant district attorney in New York, and she played a big role in helping her fellow Puerto Ricans.
    Sotomayor was first nominated by George W. Bush in 1991 and confirmed in 1992. While on duty, she ended the 1994 baseball strike. Later, she was nominated by Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, she was eventually confirmed in 1998. Sotomayor has been considered very accomplished by having heard more than 3,000 cases and written about 380 opinions. Sotomayor has also taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School. Finally, President Barack Obama has nominated Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court and was confirmed in August 2009.
    Although such an accomplished woman has been confirmed into the U.S. Supreme Court, she has received criticisms of, "describing her as a hardline liberal who would impose her personal agenda on the Court." Sotomayor is viewed as a divider of our nation instead of bring the nation together. Some also believe that Sotomayor will not put the interest of the state ahead of everything. She is considered the most radical of all nominees.

  6. Sonia Sotomayor was recently appointed the federal judge by President Barack Obama. Through Sotomayor father's death and her mother installing a high importance on education. "Driven by an indefatigable work ethic, and rising to the challenge of managing a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes, Sotomayor excelled in school." (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Background-on-Judge-Sonia-Sotomayor/). Some Republicans did not agree with the Presidents decision because of some comments she made in her speech. For some republicans were disapproval of it like, "Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican, there was no holding back from criticism of the man who tapped Judge Sotomayor to be the first Latina justice on the high court." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Sotomayor_Supreme_Court_nomination#Other_reactions_to_nomination).

  7. Janiece B. period 1

    Elena Kagan was nominated to the supreme court by our current president, Barack Obama, on May 26, 2009 while serving as Solicitor General of the United States. Before Kagan was was confirmed by the Senate as the 112th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on August 5, 2010, she recieved a length of education. She recieved her bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton in 1981. She attended Worcester College, Oxford, as Princeton's Daniel M. Sachs Graduating Fellow, and received a Master of Philosophy in 1983. She then attended Harvard Law School, where she was supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude in 1986.her bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton in 1981. She attended Worcester College, Oxford, as Princeton's Daniel M. Sachs Graduating Fellow, and received a Master of Philosophy in 1983. She then attended Harvard Law School, where she was supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude in 1986.( http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscourtsystem/a/Elena-Kagan-Associate-Justice-Of-The-U-S-Supreme-Court.htm)

    The Senate confirmed Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court with a final vote of 63-37. Five Republicans crossed the aisle to support Kagan – Lindsey Graham, Judd Gregg, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Richard Lugar – while Ben Nelson broke with the Democrats to oppose her. Kagan's nomination was received positively by most Democrats, who praised her abilities and the fact that she came from outside the so-called 'judicial monastery'. Republicans were quicker to express criticism, particularly over her handling of military recruiters during her time as Dean of Harvard Law School. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_Kagan_Supreme_Court_nomination)

  8. Stephen Breyer was appointed in August of 1994 by Bill Clinton. He was confirmed in senate by an eighty seven to nine vote. He got well over the majority approval. He is a democratic Federal Judge. Senators from the opposite party did not disapprove of his appointment, as shown by his confirming vote. HE has farely liberal views, he supports abortion rights, and is indifferent to most legislation on the first amendment and supports loose interpretation of the sixth amendment.


  9. Vijay Gandhi , was recently sworn in as a Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court of the Central District of California by President Obama. Gandhi is the first Indian-American federal judge in California as well as the second Indian-American federal judge in the history of the United States. At the age of 38 , he also happens to be one of the youngest federal judges currently serving in the Central District. Gandhi graduated from the University of Southern California Law School and was previously a litigation partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP. He bagan to practice law in 1998 at the firm, starting of as an associate and was later elected to equity partner in 2006. Before becoming a partner at Paul Hastings, Gandhi had been a clerk for Kenneth Hoyt, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Texas. Gandhi has been recognized as a "Rising Star Lawyer" in the "Super Lawyers" Edition of Law & Politics Magazine. Many other judges, as well as Gandhi's followers believe that "He will be an outstanding magistrate judge."(http://www.indiapost.com/community-post/7826-Vijay-Gandhi-appointed-Federal-Magistrate-Judge.html)

  10. Judge Ted Stewart was nominated by President Bill Clinton on July 27, 1999, to the United States District Court of the District of Utah. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 5, 1999 and sworn in on November 15, 1999. Before he became a Federal District Court Judge, Stewart was Chief of Staff for Governor Michael O. Leavitt from March 1998, to November 1999. From January 1993, to March 1998, he worked as the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Utah. He graduated with a B.S. degree from Utah State University and got his juris doctorate degree from the University of Utah.


  11. Judge Elena Kagan was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 9, 2010 to the Supreme Court to succeed John Paul Stevens. Kagan was born in New York City. After attending Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard Law School, she completed federal Court of Appeals and Supreme Court clerkships. Her first career was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, leaving to serve as Associate White House Counsel, and later as policy adviser, under President Clinton. After a nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she became a professor at Harvard Law School and was later named its first female dean. There was not to many senators from the opposing party that agreed with her. Only five republicans had voted for her to be a new Supreme Court member. Also only one Democrat had voted against her.


  12. Samuel A. Alito, Jr., was appointed on October 31, 2005, by President George W. Bush. Samuel was appointed to the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and replaced Sandra Day O'Connor. Between1987-1989, Alito served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. He was well known for prosecuting drug trafficking, organized crime, white collar crimes and violations of civil rights. Samuel A. Alito was confirmed by a 58 to 42 vote by the senate. He is the 110th justice appointed to the Supreme Court. “In 1990, President George H. Bush nominated Judge Alito to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Alito was unanimously confirmed by voice vote by the U.S. Senate.” (http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscourtsystem/a/alitobio.htm)

  13. Denny Chin, was nominated to the federal appeals court on October 6, 2009 by President Barack Obama, later confirmed on April 22, 2010. Chin was the first Asian American appointed as US District Judge outside of the Ninth Circuit as well as the only Asian american serving in the federal court system.
    Born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, he came to the US when he was just 2, eventually capturing the attention of many as he gradually stepped up in the political world. He was first nominated by President Bill Clinton to the bench on March 24, 1994, and since then has never looked back.
    A notable case in his past was the Madoff investment scandal which eventually caused the court case of U.S. v Madoff. He was quite disturbed by Madoff's activities and "condemned Mr. Madoff's crimes as 'extraordinarily evil' and imposed a sentence that was three times as long as the federal probation office suggested and more than 10 times as long as defense lawyers had requested". Chin is very knowledgeable of the law and is rarely baffled in the court of law.
    Opposition from the rival party will have a hard time criticizing him, as he has barely any flaws, in the judicial sense. However, they will point out that he is highly controlling in the court, "criticiz[ing] the conduct of lawyers in several caes, imposing sanctinos on some".


  14. Judge Elena Kagan, was nominated by President Obama to the Supreme Court and served since August 7, 2010. Elena Kagan is the fourth female to serve in the supreme court. Elena Kagan was born in New York, and raised there as well. She attended Princeton, Oxford and Harvard Law School. Many senators were against her nomination to the Supreme court because of her lack of experience being a judge, "The primary criticisms of Kagan were that she had no experience behind the bench, and that, as a careful and ambitious lawyer, she had put very few of her personal views on the record, making her hard to pin down" (http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Elena_Kagan)
    Many Senators were against her nomination for her beliefs and her liberal point of view.

  15. Sonia Sotomayor is the third female justice as well as the first hispanic justice. Sonia was appointed by Barack Obama on May 26, 2009. According to Barack Obama, Sonia Sotomayor was like the "embodiment of the American Dream", coming up from her past to an Ivy League. Sonia Sotomayor raised controversy between the republicans, because Sotomayor is considered as a liberal activist. The republicans continued to critisize her, although they did not have enough votes to stop her from becoming part of the Supreme Court. In the end, Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed a Supreme Court Justice.

  16. Samuel A. Alito, Jr. was born in Trenton, New Jersey on April 1, 1950. "Alito Jr. was raised in Hamilton Township and educated at Priceton University and Yale Law school. Alito served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit prior to joining the Supreme Court." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_A._Alito,_Jr)
    Alito Jr. was nominated by George W. Bush and served as a judge in January 31, 2006 as an " Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."
    "People considered as a conservative jurist with a libertarian streak.On October 31, President Bush announced that he was nominating Alito to O'Connor's seat, and he submitted the nomination to the Senate on November 10, 2005."
    Alito Jr. views on prosecuting laws would be the ban on drug use for the under aged which had happened in "2007 landmark free speech case Morse v. Frederick."

  17. Soniya Sotomayor has an impressive background in schooling and in the government. The fact that she is a woman and that she is Latina shows that she had to overcome an immense ammount of prejudices. The opposing party wasn't fond of her candidacy, it seems they underestimate her because of her being a Latina woman. I believe that her being a Latina woman means that she had to work harder to get where she's at because of the barriers that she had to break down.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sonia_Sotomayor_in_SCOTUS_robe.jpg)

  18. An associate justice, Stephen Gerald Breyer, was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. He is considered more of a liberal than a conservative. In 1967, he was a well-known professor at Harvard Law School. During that time he wrote text books that continue to influence and be used today. In one of his books, he stated that the judicial courts should "seek to resolve issues to encourage popular participation in governmental decisions." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_G._Breyer) "He held other prominent positions before being nominated for the Supreme Court, including special assistant to the United States Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, and assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_G._Breyer)

  19. James A. Wynn Jr. was born in Robersonville, North Carolina. His father was a farmer/carpenter and his mother ran a factory. He has degrees from University of North Carolina, Marquette University Law School, and University of Virginia School of Law. He was in the navy as a military judge. in 1999, Bill Clinton nominated Wynn for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. However, he was never appointed judge. In 2009, he was nominated by Obama and in 2010 he was confirmed by the full senate.


  20. President Barrack Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court to replace John Paul Stevens on May 9, 2010. She swore an oath on August 7th after the Senate confirmed her. Before she was able to join the Supreme Court, she first had to have a high level of education under her belt. Kagan attended Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard Law School and her education didn't stop there. She also did Federal court appeals as well as supreme court clerkships. After her education she taught at the University of Chicago Law school among many other careers she had prior to the supreme court.

  21. Barack Obama nominted Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. supreme court on May 26, 2009. If Sotomayor makes it on the supreme court she will be the first Hispanic and third woman to serve the supreme court. She recieved her education at Princeton, she graduated in 1976 and recieved the highest award for undergraduates. After graduating she entered Yale Law Shcool and was editor of the Yale Law Journal. In 1980 she worked as assistant district attorney in New York. In 1984, she worked in a private practice and served on a board for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense. President H.W. Bush nominated her in 1992 and when she joined the court she was the youngest judge. In 1998, she was promoted to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals and was voted in by 68 to 28. She is now the the first Latina in Supreme Court Justice in the U.S.

  22. Stephen Breyer was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the First circuit from 1980 to 1994. In 1994 Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate approved Stephen Breyer with a 87 to 9 vote. Stephen Breyer wrote many text books in his younger years that are still used to this day. He held other prominent positions before being nominated for the Supreme Court, including special assistant to the United States Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, and assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973.