Sotomayor not so bad after all?
She gives an excellent defense of free speech in the excerpt from one of her judgments below:
"One of her more controversial cases was Pappas v. Giuliani, involving an employee of the New York City Police Department who was terminated from his desk job because, when he received mailings requesting that he make charitable contributions, he responded by mailing back racist and bigoted materials. On appeal, the panel majority held that the NYPD could terminate Pappas for his behavior without violating his First Amendment right to free speech. Sotomayor dissented from the majority's decision to award summary judgment to the police department. She acknowledged that the speech was "patently offensive, hateful, and insulting," but cautioned the majority against "gloss[ing] over three decades of jurisprudence and the centrality of First Amendment freedoms in our lives just because it is confronted with speech it does not like."
In her view, Supreme Court precedent required the court to consider not only the NYPD's mission and community relations but also that Pappas was neither a policymaker nor a cop on the beat. Moreover, Pappas's speech was anonymous, "occur[ring] away from the office on [his] own time." She expressed sympathy for the NYPD's "concerns about race relations in the community," which she described as "especially poignant," but at the same time emphasized that the NYPD had substantially contributed to the problem by disclosing the results of its investigation into the racist mailings to the public. In the end, she concluded, the NYPD's race relations concerns "are so removed from the effective functioning of the public employer that they cannot prevail over the free speech rights of the public employee."
But maybe she just doesn't like the NYPD, which would not be hard. She comes from NYC so frustrating them a bit could well appeal to her. It does appear that feelings are an important criterion for her in the judgments she hands down.
Sotomayor rules against free speech for blogger
"President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy has yet another tie to Connecticut. She sided against a student in the infamous “douche bag” case, and that has upset some free-speech advocates.
In August 2007, Judge Sonia Sotomayor sat on a panel that ruled against an appeal in Doninger v. Niehoff. Avery Doninger was disqualified from running for school government at Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington after she posted something on her blog, referring to the superintendent and other officials as "douche bags" because they canceled a battle of the bands she had helped to organize.
The case went to court and in March 2008, Sotomayor was on a panel that heard Doninger’s mother’s appeal alleging her daughter’s free speech and other rights were violated. Her mother wanted to prevent the school from barring her daughter from running. Sotomayor joined two other judges from the 2nd Circuit in ruling that the student’s off-campus blog remarks created a “foreseeable risk of substantial disruption” at the student’s high school and that the teenager was not entitled to a preliminary injunction reversing a disciplinary action against her
The ruling in this case has come under heavy criticism from some civil libertarians. Some say this case presents a solid rationale for rejecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the seat of retiring Justice David Souter.
“The continual expansion of the authority of school officials over student speech teaches a foul lesson to these future citizens,” Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, told the New Britain Herald. “I would prefer some obnoxious speech [rather] than teaching students that they must please government officials if they want special benefits or opportunities.”
So she only upholds free speech when it suits her.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here