NPR's Nina Totenberg, on Monday's Charlie Rose, told the PBS host that Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor actually has "a pretty conservative record." Totenberg claimed Sotomayor's record is "very much in the mainstream," and that "you could say that she's more conservative than some members of the Supreme Court, including Justice Scalia, perhaps."
Of course Judge Sotomayor's decision to uphold the New Haven firefighter case, Ricci v. DeStefano, which was overruled by the High Court this May, and whose majority included all four of the "conservative" justices, clearly illustrates that Sotomayor is in no way, shape, or form a conservative.
During the 2005 confirmation hearings for Chief Justice John Roberts, Totenberg made it a point on multiple occasions to remind everyone that he was a "very, very, conservative man," in order to paint his judicial philosophy as out of the mainstream. "People who know him know that John Roberts is a really conservative guy....Don't forget his wife was an officer, a high officer of a pro-life organization. He's got adopted children. I mean, he's a conservative Catholic....a hardline conservative."
The following exchange was aired on the July 13 edition of Charlie Rose:
CHARLIE ROSE: Can you get away with that if you've got the kind of judicial record she has? I mean, this is not coming with a clean slate.
NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: You know, for a Democrat, she has a pretty conservative record. Very much in the mainstream. In fact, on a lot of criminal law issues, you could say that she's more conservative than some members of the Supreme Court, including Justice Scalia, perhaps. So I think that's why they're hooking so much on her speeches, on what they view as racial identity politics. A little bit the firefighters' decision. And the Judiciary Committee, let's face it, it's like a dysfunctional family, they are fighting, last 10 fights they had and the rest of the world doesn't know what they're talking about.
- Sam Theodosopoulos is an intern for the News Analysis Division of the Media Research Center