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Judge's Votes Show No Single Ideology

Publication Date: 
June 07, 2009
The Washington Post
Jerry Markon

Lecturer in Law Kevin Russell is quoted in The Washington Post in an article that examines Supreme Court Nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor's decisions as a judge:

Three years ago, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled against a minister who had sued his church for age discrimination, and accused her Republican colleagues of judicial activism when they allowed the case to go forward.

Three months later, Sotomayor supported black and Hispanic prisoners seeking the right to vote, despite age-old laws barring felons from voting.

The decisions are among eight cases that illustrate Sotomayor's complex approach to race, discrimination and the law, and that help inform the debate over whether her ethnic identity would influence her opinions on the court. Taken together, the cases defy depictions of her record as falling neatly into either a liberal or conservative category.


Kevin Russell, one of a group of lawyers the White House has put forward praising Sotomayor's record, said that her position is "controversial" but that "it would be unfair to characterize it as showing a judge who disregards the law or engages in judicial activism."