Maloney hails Senate Judiciary Committee's approval of Sotomayor
Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) issued the following statement today on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approval of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court:
"Judge Sotomayor’s appointment is truly historic, not just because she is the first Hispanic to be nominated, or the third woman, but because these are not the first things people talk about when they talk about her. They talk about her background, her intellect, her decisions, the fact that she saved Major League Baseball, the fact that she is the most experienced appointee in 70 years, what her judicial philosophy is. The Judiciary Committee’s vote reinforces the message that in America it doesn’t matter where you came from or who you are – every child can dream of reaching the highest pinnacle of his or her profession."
Maloney was party to a key exchange with Judge Sotomayor, which shed important light on the nominee’s thinking on judicial interpretation. On Dec. 11, 1991, at a meeting of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, of which Judge Sotomayor was a member from 1988 until she became a federal judge in 1992, Maloney objected to a board advisory opinion that said that expenditures by a political party did not count toward individual candidates’ spending limits under the city’s election financing law. Maloney argued that the board’s interpretation would allow "the political machines to ride roughshod over our good government efforts to limit campaign spending."
Ms. Sotomayor replied:
"I assume in any situation in which there is a board, or even judges, that the people who write the laws are going to disagree with the way we interpret them. I hope that you don’t take our decision with respect to the political party spending as being an endorsement of that concept, meaning that’s the way we, as a board, believe it should be.
“Our decision was based on what we thought the law said. Not on what we thought would be right in the law. That question we leave to the Council to decide and if it changes it, so be it. That is their prerogative as legislators to change that if they disagree, but we wanted to make sure that the Council understands our decision was not based on what we think the law should be, but only what we thought the law said as it exists."