No, I Never Said Sotomayor Wasn’t Smart Enough For The Supreme Court

When I agreed to testify in the Trump impeachment hearing, I knew that that I would be attacked for my testimony. With roughly 54 pages of testimony, there would be ample areas of good-faith disagreement. The surprising thing was the tsunami of attacks for things that I did not say. The most vile was that I previously said that Justice Sonia Sotomayor “wasn’t smart enough for the Supreme Court.” That false story appears to be traced to a tweet from from another law professor, Baltimore Law Professor Garrett Epps stating “Does anybody else remember @JonathanTurley appearing on MSNBC to explain that Sonia Sotomayor didn’t have the intellect to serve on the Supreme Court?” I certainly don’t because I never said such a thing. However, Epps and an array of reporters did not feel that such a statement required a modicum of actual research. (I am giving Professor Epps the benefit of the doubt that he did not actually watch the video that he linked. If he did, he clearly chose to ignore where I clearly state a very different point about Sotomayor’s opinions while saying that she could still emerge on the Court as a great justice like Justice John Paul Stevens).

When then-Judge Sotomayor was nominated, I was asked as a legal commentator to review her opinions and give my view of what that body of work suggested about her potential on the Court. I raised the identical objection that I made of the pre-nomination work by Stevens, Samuel Alito, David Souter, and others. They all had relatively short and unimpressive decisions before joining the Court. My point was simply that intellectual leaders on the courts are rarely selected for the Supreme Court. Before Sotomayor’s appointment, I cited various liberal judges like Judge Diane Wood who had already proven to be intellectual forces on their respective courts. However, as with Alito and others, those leading jurists were bypassed.

The fact that I said that same thing about justices from John Paul Stevens to Samuel Alito also does not matter. Likewise, it does not matter that I was making this point in arguing that Obama missed an opportunity in Diane Woods, who I had advocated as the best nominee before Sotomayor’s selection. (The fact that I called for the nomination of Woods over Sotomayor did not prevent commentators like Colin Kalmbacher from suggesting that I was motivated by sexism in describing these opinions — as many others did — as narrow and unremarkable).

Given my earlier column on intellectual leaders among liberal jurists, I was repeatedly asked about how Sotomayor’s opinions stacked up to not just my preferences of Woods but conservative powerhouse Antonin Scalia. I was also critical of opinions by Sotomayor that I viewed as inimical to free speech rights.

In the specific interview cited by Epps, I stated:

“I’ve read roughly about 30 of these opinions. She has a much larger library of opinions. But they are notable in one thing. And that is a lack of depth. There is nothing particularly profound in her past decisions. She’s been a judge a long time. That’s opposed to people like Judge [Diane] Wood on the Seventh Circuit — and she was viewed as a real intellectual powerhouse. You really can’t read the opinions of this nominee and say: “Oh yeah, this person is a natural choice for the Supreme Court.”

I then immediately stated that this is not unique and that other justices have had such short and unremarkable appellate opinions but proved more profound on the Court. I expressly compared Sotomayor to Stevens who have I long praised. I also stated that Sotomayor could prove a truly great justice but that her opinions do not offer any glimpse into how she might emerge in such a role.

Neither Epps nor those who repeated his false suggestion bothered to note other statements that I made in defense of Sotomayor. For example, after the nomination, I also stated that following:

Like a number of other professors and commentators, I have expressed disappointment in the fact that Sotomayor’s opinions lack of deeper view of the law or any particularly profound observations on the law. Conservatives, however, take this lack of depth in these opinions as evidence that Sotomayor is not smart or competent. This is demonstrably absurd. These opinions are little different from those of Alito, Souter, or the limited writings of Thomas. Clearly, Sotomayor is quite intelligent. This record is little different from records of Republican nominees who enthralled these same critics.

Here is another column around the same time making the same point:

“Sotomayor is a relatively rare commodity in that, unlike many past nominees with few written opinions, she has hundreds of opinions over the course of 18 years. Review of these opinions by academics and newspapers describe Sotomayor’s opinions as extremely narrow and conventional. There is no single opinion that stands out as particularly profound or clearly establishes why Sotomayor should be elevated to the court — though this does not distinguish her from other recent nominees like Samuel Alito.”

As I noted in that column, many of us were saying that same thing about these opinions on all of the networks: they were narrow, short, and conventional. They were therefore unhelpful in judging Sotomayor’s potential on the Court and gave no guarantee that she would prove an intellectual leader.

Thus, not only does that specific interview expressly discuss Sotomayor’s opinions and not her intellect, but I expressly rejected any use of these opinions to make assumptions about her intellect or potential as a justice. Nor does it apparently matter that I have praised Sotomayor for her opinions as a justice because she has done previously what I suggested: come into her own as a jurist on the Court just as Stevens and others did. By the way, the analogy to Stevens was to the contemporary justice I have most admired and the example of a jurist blossoming on the court in finding his voice and depth.

However, it does not stop there. Colin Kalmbacher reported Epps’ tweet and added that I “unprompted . . . brought Sotomayor’s race and gender into the 2009 discussion on MSNBC.” That is perfectly bizarre. Virtually every story and commentary noted that historical significance of Sotomayor as the first Latina on the Court. I raised it to say that people could be “rightfully” proud of that historical distinction. As a legal commentator, any review of this nomination would have been incomplete without noting that distinction. Moreover, hundreds of stories on MSNBC and other news outlets “unprompted” noted the historic distinction. I then returned to the original question on whether Sotomayor’s opinions suggest that she would be transformative intellectual leader on the Court. The opinions simply did not offer such an indication, but she is not unique in that way (hence my expression and favorable comparison to Stevens).

I have long objected to the failure to select proven intellectual leaders like Diane Woods, Richard Posner, and Guido Calabresi for the Court. (Notably, Posner has also criticized the lack of intellectual leaders on the Court). For decades I have been a critic of our nomination process. (here and here and here and here and here). All of these opinions make the same objection over the course of decades that we no longer nominate proven intellectual leaders. Indeed, one of the reasons I agreed to testify at the confirmation hearing of Neil Gorsuch was that he was an exception to this trend.

This rather lengthy account only quotes a fraction of the writing and commentary directly contradicting Epps’ irresponsible statement. My point is really over the declining state of legal commentary. What matters is the total disregard of the truth in order to paint a fellow academic as some form of racist or sexist. To put it simply, I would never have tweeted such a claim about another academic without reading his full commentary or noting that the specific interview clearly refers to the opinions and not the intellect of then Judge Sotomayor. However, in this age of rage, civility (like reason) remains a stranger.

136 thoughts on “No, I Never Said Sotomayor Wasn’t Smart Enough For The Supreme Court”

  1. Jonathan Turley has been Canceled….This is good, because only those who created the beast can annihilate it…maybe other professors will band together and subdue then stab then destroy the creature that will consume them all one day even if they hope to remain silent and hidden from the creature they created..

  2. JT when you play with fire etc……

    Don’t you know the left doesn’t allow thinking, reasoning, able to articulate, orcomment that goes against The Party in their Collective?

    It’s much more pleasant and fulfilling in the center of our Constitutional Republic where we centrists are known as independent self governing member of the wellspring of valid power tht of being a Citizen in our Constitutional Republic where the Center IS The Constitution.

  3. If you didn’t say she wasn’t smart enough for the Supreme Court, you should have, because she isn’t.

    1. However reason tells us that is why choosing by racial background etc. or worse educational background and far worse choosing those who have a vested interest shows how wise the founders were to not make those and other similar not nomination requirements. Limiting it to the Senate the supposedly senior, more experienced and wiser and letting them their citizenship standards decide the mechanics of confirmation.

      It is as it is and it is a reflection on those who choose the opposite definitions. Thus they made no provisions for people loyal to party systems or even foreign ideologies to muck it up, worse did not relegate attorneys to advisory positions only.

      As is anyone that can imitate or resemble human form regardless of age, gender, and education or lack thereof, citizenship, religion or even residents of Terra Earth Firma can also be nominated.

      The onus then transfers to each and every self governing citizen to select their Senators with great care and especially weed out those who are not true citizens under our Constitutional Repulic System of Government and reject those who claim it is something which it is not. such as a democracy or worse socialist regressive in nature.

      So maybe we should stiffen the requirements and eschew lawyers and tose who refuse to take the Constitutional Oath of Office or … uneducated cretins.

  4. You’ve received a lot of unfair criticism as of late. It’s to be expected in this political environment, but it’s still not right. You are a rare thinker. I found your blog when I was a liberal, recent college graduate. I have moved more conservative over time (though I would definitely not call myself one), but I have always enjoyed reading your thoughts. The more experienced and older I get, the more I appreciate your arguments. Somewhere along the way, many people in America have forgotten our ideals for the sake of political expediency.

    There is a trend on the left that scares me. I left the left because of the authoritarian trend that seems to want to silence speech the left doesn’t agree with and paint anyone who disagrees with them on fundamental issues (or even peripheral ones now) as racist, sexist, etc. For a group that claims to be full of intellectuals, they don’t seem to have learned the “ad hominem” logical fallacy. I think a large part of this is because much of the left’s opposition to free speech is rooted in emotion. They feel bad for all of the injustices certain oppressed groups have faced, and they want to protect them. That’s a noble goal, to be sure, but you can’t sacrifice higher principles and ideals for the politics of the moment.

    I am glad you came out and defended yourself on this. The fact that a law professor would distort your views is even worse than a political hack, because law school is supposed to teach us how to critically analyze information and pay attention to language and context. You were not afforded such a basic courtesy. If I were a student, I would be concerned about the law professor who tweeted all of this stuff about you. I would wonder if he could even be fair or if he was teaching the law or teaching his opinions.

    1. When you reach the stage of switching to become a Constitutionalist the magic of the founders truly begins. The other two are ,merely status quo regardless or status unacceptable regardless.

  5. You don’t like having untrue things said about you?
    Imagine how President Trump feels.

    1. Foxtrot, your sympathy for Trump is downright comical. Trump was born into extreme wealth, spent decades as a playboy, then decided to start his political career at the very top.

      And we’re supposed to think Trump’s been abused by by a hostile media..?? As though all his angry rants are perfectly justified..?? Like bashing people on Twitter each day is just a normal thing for statesmen..??

      It’s like Foxtrot is commenting from an alternate universe where all conventional logic is upside-down.

      1. Trump was born into extreme wealth, spent decades as a playboy, then decided to start his political career at the very top.

        He wasn’t a ‘playboy’. He was continuously employed in business concerns for nearly 50 years.

        You’re preferred candidate was Barack Obama, whose experience in business consisted of a two-year stint working as a copy editor at a company which generated corporate newsletters under contract. The closest he had to executive experience was his time as chairman of the board of the misbegotten Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The board of the Joyce Foundation rejected him for a position sloshing around their endowment income to local nonprofits. He spent 12 years marking time in legislatures. He was an identified maven in no area of policy. He took a salary from the University of Chicago for 12 years; # of scholarly articles published in that time = 0.

        1. Tabby, Trump was more of a playboy than Hugh Hefner. Trump even hung out at the Playboy Mansion. Trump was a longtime regular at Studio 54. And more recently Trump was keen on Stormy Daniels and a Playboy Playmate while married to Melania, a former model of soft porn. Trump also buddied with Jeffrey Epstein! To deny that Trump was as playboy is a total denial of who he was.

          1. Tabby, Trump was more of a playboy than Hugh Hefner.

            Again, the term ‘playboy’ does not mean what you fancy it means.

            That aside, there is no indication that Trump has anyone wandering around his homes other than family members and household staff. He’s not running some weird sex camp like the Playboy mansion.

            Epstein had a large social circle and there is no indication that Trump was anywhere but on the periphery of it, nor any indication that Trump had seen hide or hare of Epstein in more than 15 years.

            Studio 54 was operated by Messrs. Rubell and Schrager for < 3 years, so he couldn't have been a 'long-time' regular even had he been there every week. (Note, Trump wasn't a public figure of note in the disco era).

            Stormy is a grifter who hired a worse grifter to represent her legally. This pair fool you, not normal people.

            1. Tabby, Trump was already locally famous in New York during days at Studio 54. That’s where he met Roy Cohen.

              1. No, he wasn’t. His first appearance on the Forbes 400 was in 1982, Trump Tower opened in 1983, The Wollman Rink rescue was in 1986. The Art of the Deal was published in 1987.

                And the man’s name was Roy Cohn. That Trump crossed paths with Roy Cohn is unremarkable, as Cohn cut quite a swath. Sidney Zion and Nicholas von Hoffman published competing biographies of Cohn. Zion wasn’t impressed with von Hoffman making the effort, reason being: “He’s the only reporter I know of that never met him”. Studio 54 wasn’t a gay joint and Cohn was an unattractive man in his 50s when it was hot, so no clue what he was doing there.

          2. Come on Peter you know you would have loved to party at studio 54. I would have. That was before my time but it sounds like it was awesome. Who can fault Trump for that, lol

            Or are you a Puritan now too? Seems like Camille Paglia wrote an essay on the puritanical trends of today, you can look it up if you care.

            1. Kurtz, I’m sure Trump had a lot of fun during all his playboy escapades. And he used to talk like a cool, urban swinger. But somewhere along the way Trump transformed into a conservative firebrand which seems completely at odds with who he used to be.

              1. You don’t get it. Republicans are not the party of puritanism. Today Democrats have cornered the market on moralizing.

                For example. Let’s go back decades. Infamous Republican lawyer Roy Cohn, who represented a long list of famous names in politics. He was a homosexual. He just wasnt gay. I’m paraphrasing what somebody said about him, i forget who.

                Roger Stone has been known to be a “libertine” for decades. He was exposed as a swinger decades ago. He never denied it.

                Trump has dated around a lot, been married three times. I don’t hold that against him. The first lady is HOT. Hottest in history, hottest worldwide, what’s not to like? She’s so hot it hurts. Those cheekbones! the eyes! ugh. I’m in pain, the agony, the bliss!


                See the only time Democrats want to shame someone for sex is when they’re a Republican. Otherwise, it’s laissez le bon temps roulez!

              2. And he used to talk like a cool, urban swinger.

                Trump’s mode of speaking has been quite consistent for more than three decades, as is normal for adults.

              3. He was a homosexual. He just wasnt gay.

                You’ve confused Cohn with Henri Nouwen. See Sidney Zion on Cohn: “He lived in a neon closet”. He had no interest in political homosexuality and no interest in getting in the face of people who didn’t care for his avocations. He was in particular deferential to the Mafia on this point, as he had their members and associates on his client list. NB, Tennessee Williams had a similar view. He had an extensive circle of friends of a particular sort, but he did not make a public point of his homosexuality.

      2. ” Trump was born into extreme wealth, spent decades as a playboy”

        Everyone knows Peter Shill is a no nothing who makes up stories to suit his fancy. Trump spent his life working. Work is one of his great pleasures. Not everyone is a lazy do nothing like Peter.

        If you are interested in Trump work habits read the book by Donald Trump Jr. “Triggered”. Then you might have something to say. You prefer to look at the naked pictures in Playgirl or Playboy or perhaps both.

  6. Here I’ll say it: Sotomayer is not an intellectual heavyweight, writes pedantic opinions and likely was hired as much for immutable genetic characteristics as her legal acumen. The same might be said for Clarence Thomas, who likewise is no Cardozo. What’s the big deal? We’ve gotten away from merit hiring since the 60s. Pointing that out isn’t racism; it’s honesty. We can debate the benefits but not the facts. Simply put we’ve traded competency for virtue signaling. It’s an old tale for fading civilizations who forget time and time again the world is a hard, unforgiving place and only the strong survive.

    1. The same might be said for Clarence Thomas, who likewise is no Cardozo. What’s the big deal? We’ve gotten away from merit hiring since the 60s.

      Not enamored of the opinions of the Court in the last 50 years, but I think if you review the background of the members thereof, you’ll discover the preparation of the current court exceeds that of previous eras by a noticeable margin. Elena Kagan is the only appointment to the court since 1974 who hadn’t put in time as an appellate judge, and she’d argued in front of the Court as Solicitor-General. (There is a regrettable dearth of experience among them in service on the trial bench; only O’Connor was a trial judge). By contrast, Wm Rehnquist was a protege of Richard Kleindienst who had never served on the bench, Lewis Powell was a patrician lawyer from Richmond who had never served on the bench, Abe Fortas’ only experience of adjudication was time on the Securities and Exchange Commission, Arthur Goldberg had never served on the bench, Robert Jackson never served on the bench, Harold Burton was a member of Congress who never served on the bench, Wm. O. Douglas (sponsor of Fortas) experience was limited to time on regulatory commissions, and Sen. Hugo Black’s was limited to a brief tour as a JP.

      1. I knew Justice Powell and his wife, Jo, they were remarkable people. Mr. Powell was an accomplished lawyer and his stain was representing Big Tobacco. He was however an extremely intelligent guy and a natural leader. As for the others, I have no personal experience.

        1. Don’t care that he represented Tobacco companies. I do care that he signed on to Roe v. Wade and was the deciding vote in the muddle of opinions in re Alan Bakke.

  7. Remember that time you accused Trump of wanting to nuke hurricanes? Payback´s a bitch. Good times.

  8. I remember reading a book, back in the 60s, whose theme was the anti-intellectualism of America.

    BTW, JT you did kinda say she wasn’t smart enough.

    1. No. He said her opinions were “narrow, short, and conventional”, and that didn’t allow much comparison with more articulate and intelllectual candidates for the job such as Diane Wood of trhe 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

      Saying someone isn’t as”Intellectual” as another person doesn’t really address how intelligent either person is. In Sonia Sotomayor’s case it means she hewed more closely to established case law and interpreted legislation as written – which ought to have been something to warm the heart of a conservative. It’s not a matter of how intelligent Justice Sotomayor was in her previous job, but what her juridical style was.

      Since taking a seat on SCOTUS, Justce Sotomayor’s opinions have shown (perhaps with the greater scope of parsing cases which are more contentious and less settled law than before) her reasoning to a greater extent than her career prior to appointment to SCOTUS – and Prof. Turley said that, too. Nowhere did he (that I can tell) question Sonia Sotomayor’s intelligence.

  9. The testimony by Mr. Turley before the House of Congress was the most important single set of testimonial statements made in many years there. It changed the way the Democrats drafted their two Articles of Impeachment. It prevented them from discussing a bunch of fifth party hearsay. Did ya hear him say things? I did. It was great.

  10. That false story appears to be traced to a tweet from from another law professor, Baltimore Law Professor Garrett Epps stating “Does anybody else remember @JonathanTurley appearing on MSNBC to explain that Sonia Sotomayor didn’t have the intellect to serve on the Supreme Court?”

    However, it does not stop there. Colin Kalmbacher reported Epps’ tweet and added that I “unprompted . . . brought Sotomayor’s race and gender into the 2009 discussion on MSNBC.”


    A lot of your colleagues are liars. We don’t get decisions like Roe and Obergefell because the appellate judiciary and the law professoriate are generously stocked with people of integrity. See the remarks of Ann Althouse on the conduct of the two professors who testified with you in front of Adam Schiff’s committee.

    And you don’t need some ‘intellectual powerhouse’ on the Court. You need someone with just enough firepower to get his opinions out and not get too dependent on his shallow, smart-assed clerks. What you really need are men of intellectual integrity who understand themselves as bound by the text and history of laws and who practice what Robert Bork called ‘moral abstention’. It is the only mode of composing case law that is congruent with government by elected officials.

    1. in opposing the Bork nomination, it became clear the Democrats had zero concern about theoretical aspects of how the SCOTUS is or was supposed to work

      I think however that FDR made that clear in the 1930s, so, i kind of keep wondering how people still don’t see these guys for what they are.

      they have zero reluctance to twist words to mean anything they want to justify their particular ends at the moment.

      it will be going on nearly a century of this before long. that’s “progressives” in a nutshell

  11. Can you and would you sue for slander?

    Could you:
    You’re not particularly famous, public person, except that you enjoy the burden of having to testify to congress all the time. What they are saying about you is pretty obviously false, and easily verifiable. These allegations can and will bring you duress. Only malice is left and I think that these commentators are slathered in it; tricky to prove, but discovery would help here.

    Would you:
    You would appear to be disinclined – stemming from your first amendment commitments. But you’d be wrong. First, you can always settle for an on-air apology and no monetary re-compensation. More importantly, these people are engaged in character assassination and poison political debate. Your honor, and the public’s and your peer’s perception of it, is a valuable thing particularly in your profession as a lawyer and a scholar. You must not let slanderers get away with taking something valuable from you because that empowers them to do the same nasty trick to others.

    1. This would be taking the argument out of the court of public opinion and into an actual court, where Garrett Epps could argue that what he said was his opinion as a law professor. It was an obnoxiously and unfairly framed opinion, and most of us would mull a defamation action against Prof. Epps, but it’d probably fail – depending on the venue. If the case were brought in a state which granted plaintiffs the chance to sue for defamation by “false opinion”, yes, you might hang a good case on that. Otherwise, even palpably false comments about people who are “public figures” such as Prof. Turley probably aren’t going inywhere in court. I’m not an attorney, just have seen where these kinds of cases go.

      Litigation’s expensive, too. Neither side would probably wish to plead pro se, so both men would have to retain counsel and pay for the research necessary to making their cases, not to mention billable time for court appearances and preparation for such.

  12. I have long objected to the failure to select proven intellectual leaders …

    Truly great intellectual minds have suffered fates far greater than what we see today as tragic: When they behead you make sure to write your epitaph beforehand

    Sir Thomas More’s Speech at his Trial. [1535]

    If I were a man, my lords, that did not regard an oath, I need not, as it is well known, in this place, at this time, nor in this case to stand as an accused person. And if this oath of yours, Master Rich, be true, then pray I that I may never see God in the face, which I would not say, were it otherwise to win the whole world.

    In good faith, Master Rich, I am sorrier for your perjury than for mine own peril, and you shall understand that neither I nor any man else to my knowledge ever took you to be a man of such credit in any matter of importance I or any other would at any time vouchsafe to communicate with you. And I, as you know, of no small while have been acquainted with you and your conversation, who have known you from your youth hitherto, for we long dwelled together in one parish. Whereas yourself can tell (I am sorry you compel me to say) you were esteemed very light of tongue, a great dicer, and of no commendable fame. And so in your house at the Temple, where hath been your chief bringing up, were you likewise accounted. Can it therefore seem likely to your honorable lordships, that I would, in so weighty a cause, so unadvisedly overshoot myself as to trust Master Rich, a man of me always reputed for one of little truth, as your lordships have heard, so far above my sovereign lord the king, or any of his noble counselors, that I would unto him utter the secrets of my conscience touching the king’s supremacy, the special point and only mark at my hands so long sought for?

    A thing which I never did, nor ever would, after the statute thereof made, reveal unto the King’s Highness himself or to any of his honorable counselors, as it is not unknown to your honors, at sundry and several times, sent from His Grace’s own person unto the Tower unto me for none other purpose. Can this in your judgment, my lords, seem likely to be true? And if I had so done, indeed, my lords, as Master Rich hath sworn, seeing it was spoken but in familiar, secret talk, nothing affirming, and only in putting of cases, without other displeasant circumstances, it cannot justly be taken to be spoken maliciously; and where there is no malice there can be no offense. And over this I can never think, my lords, that so many worthy bishops, so many noble personages, and many other worshipful, virtuous, wise, and well-learned men as at the making of the law were in Parliament assembled, ever meant to have any man punished by death in whom there could be found no malice, taking malitia pro malevolentia: for if malitia be generally taken for sin, no man is there that can excuse himself. Quia si dixerimus quod peccatum non habemus, nosmetipsos seducimus, et veritas in nobis non est. [If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.] And only this word, “maliciously” is in the statute material, as this term “forcibly” is in the statute of forcible entries, by which statute if a man enter peaceably, and put not his adversary out “forcibly,” it is no offense, but if he put him out “forcibly,” then by that statute it is an offense, and so shall be punished by this term, “forcibly.”

    Besides this, the manifold goodness of the King’s Highness himself, that hath been so many ways my singular good lord and gracious sovereign, and that hath so dearly loved and trusted me, even at my first coming into his noble service, with the dignity of his honorable privy council, vouchsafing to admit me; and finally with the weighty room of His Grace’s higher chancellor, the like whereof he never did to temporal man before, next to his own royal person the highest office in this whole realm, so far above my qualities or merits and meet therefor of his own incomparable benignity honored and exalted me, by the space of twenty years or more, showing his continual favors towards me, and (until, at mine own poor suit it pleased His Highness, giving me license with His Majesty’s favor to bestow the residue of my life wholly for the provision of my soul in the service of God, and of his special goodness thereof to discharge and unburden me) most benignly heaped honors continually more and more upon me; all this His Highness’s goodness, I say, so long thus bountifully extended towards me, were in my mind, my lords, matter sufficient to convince this slanderous surmise by this man so wrongfully imagined against me….

    Forasmuch, my lord, as this indictment is grounded upon an act of Parliament directly oppugnant to the laws of God and his holy church, the supreme government of which, or of any part thereof, may no temporal prince presume by any law to take upon him, as rightfully belonging to the See of Rome, a spiritual preeminence by the mouth of our Savior himself, personally present upon the earth, to Saint Peter and his successors, bishops of the same see, by special prerogative granted; it is therefore in law amongst Christian men, insufficient to charge any Christian man….

    More have I not to say, my lords, but that like as the blessed apostle Saint Paul, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, was present and consented to the death of Saint Stephen, and kept their clothes that stoned him to death, and yet be they now twain holy saints in heaven, and shall continue there friends forever: so I verily trust and shall therefore right heartily pray, that though your lordships have now in earth been judges to my condemnation, we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to our everlasting salvation.

  13. Mr. Turley delivers the truth, however. Justice Sotomayer sits on the Court only because of political payback, as Obama needed a Hispanic woman as an Supreme Court Affirmative Action selection, just as he selected Elena Kagan as a favor for her helping Obama through Harvard Law School and his selection as the Harvard Law Review minority choice.

    Our nation needs truly qualified Supreme Court justices,not political hacks.

    1. They seem to be qualified enough.

      The rules need to be set by more than just old men.

      1. The “rules” need to be fair and equally applied, no matter who sets them.

        You’re a bigot.

  14. I wake every day, ready for the Leftist and NEOCON hate that infest our world.

  15. It is unfortunate that Professor Turley is on the receiving end of the threats, mischaracterizations of what he said, and false accusations of sexism. This is what passes for discussion today.

    It shouldn’t be like this.

    This should not be the norm.

    1. Yes.

      The early hope for the Internet was called “the global village”. While idle gossip was expected, no one envisioned such vitriol.

      1. There is something about the anonymity and distance of the internet that can bring out the worst in people. It lowers the bar until some say the most savage things. One wonders how feeding this antisocial aspect of this personality affects how they interact with people in person.

        It’s not only the internet. The Left has relied upon ad hominem for decades. It’s the Saul Alinsky tactic of dehumanizing their enemy. They don’t debate the facts or argue policy. If you object to higher taxes, you hate the poor. If you object to illegal immigration, you are a xenophobe. And so on.

        There are certainly reprobates of any political stripe. But the trend has been quite clear that it is the Left who harass and attack the right on a national scale. The phenomenon of harassing conservatives on college campuses, for example, has been well documented.

        What I find so disappointing is that moderates would never have behaved that way. I have observed them going silent, and even participating. People whom I previously considered kind, rational Democrats turned on their own friends and families, calling them vile names like Nazi or Fascist.

        I think moderation in the Democrat party is either going underground or fading. The irony is that those who are wrongly convinced that Trump and his supporters are evil believe the same thing about the Republicans.

      2. the early hope was that it would help seed technology and increase the American strategic advantages which derive from that particularly in defense. surely anyone with a brain knew it would be used a lot for porn just like photos, tv, movies, videos, etc. and gossip and slander.

        I don’t know what the hell the “Global village” is or who wanted that. I’m pretty sure nobody ever sent DARPA a grant application for building the global village.

        Global village? LOL who even uses that term anymore. wth.

  16. You’ve just revealed the singular America failure. The judicial branch (and associated academics) preposterously believes its “superior intellect” allows it to “interpret” (for people who already speak the language fluently), legislate from the bench; to act as the second legislative branch and to modify legislation. This presumption could not be more wrong and more destructive to the Constitution and the United States of America. Americans have lost rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities which they were provided by the Constitution and Bill of Rights ~ 240 years ago. You may call them intellectuals or elitists but the problem is their communist dictatorship. The judicial branch has but one simple charge regardless of cognitive power and that is to assure that actions comport with statute and fundamental law. Most importantly, it is the duty of the SCOTUS and judicial branch to “…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

    The power of Congress to impeach includes purview over all officers of the United States. It is long past time to go through the clear English language of the fundamental law starting with Article 1, Section 8, discover deliberate alterations and apply that power to the SCOTUS and the entire judicial branch. The SCOTUS and judicial branch have illicitly ignored, modified and legislated to the detriment of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and America.

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton

  17. Jonathan Turley, maybe we don’t want “intellectual leaders” as supremes. Might do something radical…

    1. @DBB: “intellectual” is, in the case Prof, Turley used it (I think, anyway) a juridical style. It’s neither good nor bad, but tends toward deeper inquiry as to what the law (case and statute) means, than the “conventional” style of judging which hews closer to predecent, case law, statute wording and the opinions of other jurists. That, as well, is a juridical style, not in itself better or worse than a more intellectual style. Either style can be used or abused.

      Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s opinion in Buck vs. Bell, which argued for the Court that a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, especially those with cognitive impairment, “for the protection and health of the state” is a case of intellectualism producing cringe-worthy statements such as

      “We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.

      and “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” This opnion was certainly intellectual, but informed by the now-discredited idea that eugenic considerations ought to be written into law. After World War Two, German physicians and nurses were executed and imprisoned for adopting American eugenics laws, and carrying them to horrible extremes.

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