Fox host Bill O'Reilly sees Moses at the Supreme Court as proof of America's Judeo-Christian roots. But wait till he finds out who else is depicted on the Court walls.
From Free Press's helpful explainer of the AP phone records scandal, noting the legal background: Smith v. Maryland — In this 1979 decision, the Supreme Court found that people have no expectation of privacy when it comes to the numbers they call because they understand it has to be transmitted through a third party (telephone company). Thus, the [Digital Media Law Project] notes, "the government can obtain that information simply by issuing a subpoena to a telephone company or other third party." As Mr. Bumble says, "If the law supposes that, the law is a ass–a idiot." Everyone who wouldn't […]
Under the headline "Future Nominations Are at Stake in Hearing," New York Times reporters Peter Baker and Charlie Savage suggested that Sonia Sotomayor's nomination is a given; the real battle among partisans and legal activists is "to define the parameters of an acceptable nomination in case another seat opens up during Mr. Obama's presidency." Interesting, then, to see what the parameters of debate are like in this report. The Times solicits comments from five conservatives or Republicans–Rachel Brand, Fred McClure, James R. Copland, Manuel Miranda and Kenneth M. Duberstein. The Times also quoted one law professor with a liberal reputation […]
Number of stories in the Nexis news database dated today that mentioned Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R.-Ala.) questioning of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, in which Sessions accused Sotomayor of harboring ethnic prejudices: 69 Number of such stories that recalled that Sessions was rejected as a judicial nominee in 1986 in part because of his approving remarks about the Ku Klux Klan: 2
This Associated Press story ("Debate Over Who Sotomayor Is a Sensitive One," 5/29/09) sure is confused. Luckilyreporter Sharon Thiemermakes at least that much clear from the very start: There are two sides to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor: a Latina from a blue-collar family and a wealthy member of America's power elite. The White House portrays Sotomayor as a living image of the American dream, though its telling of the rags-to-riches story emphasizes the rags, a more politically appealing narrative, and plays down the riches. Yes, somehow the White House picked her despite the fact that she is no longer […]
The New York Times' front-page piece today (5/29/09) on Sonia Sotomayor's work with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund is a good example of what is meant by "framing"–and a bad example of how it can distort a story. The bulk of the story describes various cases that the group took on while Sotomayor was involved with it, which is interesting enough. But making a case for the importance of the story (justifying its inclusion on Page 1?), writers Raymond Hernandez and David W. Chen write: Ms. Sotomayor's involvement with the defense fund has so far received scant […]
Charlie Savage did some good reporting on the Bush signing statements, but his front-page story in today's New York Times on reproductive rights groups' reaction to Sotomayor is way off course. His lead explains that abortion rights advocates are worried about Sotomayor, because "when she has written opinions that touched tangentially on abortion disputes, she has reached outcomes in some cases that were favorable to abortion opponents." OK, so what are those opinions? Here's what he names: She ruled in favor of the Bush administration's reinstatement of the global gag rule; she ruled that anti-abortion protesters could take police to […]
Politico's Mike Allen writes (5/27/09) The media's left-of-center bias is rarely more apparent than during court fights. The coverage running up to the pick was slanted heavily toward the notion of how "pragmatic" Obama's legal views are and how unlikely he was to pick a liberal. So coverage of Supreme Court fights is one of the best illustrations of corporate media's supposed lean to the left? Only three of the current justices had what could be described as a "fight" over their confirmation: Clarence Thomas (confirmed by a vote of 52-48), John Roberts (78-22) and Samuel Alito (58-42); all the […]