Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog takes a look at Sotomayor’s rulings on cases involving race while she sat on the Second Circuit.
There are roughly 100. They cover the gamut from employment discrimination to racial bias in jury selection. I decided that I would stop and write an interim report once I got through her 50 most recent race-related cases other than Ricci because the numbers are sufficiently striking and decisive. Here is what I found.
In those 50 cases, the panel accepted the claim of race discrimination only three times. In all three cases, the panel was unanimous; in all three, it included a Republican appointee. In roughly 45, the claim was rejected. (Two were procedural dispositions.)
On the other hand, she twice was on panels reversing district court decisions agreeing with race-related claims–i.e., reversing a finding of impermissible race-based decisions. Both were criminal cases involving jury selection.
In the 50 cases, the panel was unanimous in every one. There was a Republican appointee in 38, and these panels were all obviously unanimous as well. Thus, in the roughly 45 panel opinions rejecting claims of discrimination, Judge Sotomayor never dissented.
It seems to me that these numbers decisively disprove the claim that she decides cases with any sort of racial bias.
Tagged: Sonia Sotomayor