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Press Release

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Libertarians blast Sotomayor pick

Obama Court nominee ruled government should discriminate based on race

WASHINGTON -- America’s third largest party Tuesday criticized President Barack Obama’s nomination of federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, citing past rulings that public employers should discriminate in hiring based on race.

“While Judge Sotomayor deserves a fair and impartial hearing, Supreme Court justices should be nominated for their thorough knowledge of and adherence to the Constitution and the rule of law,” said William Redpath, Libertarian National Committee Chairman. 

“By nominating Sonia Sotomayor, Barack Obama has made it clear he prefers an activist for his personal causes over a rational interpreter of law,” said Redpath.

Sotomayor is best known for the Ricci v. DeStafano case, in which the New Haven, Conn. fire department decided it didn’t like the results of an officers promotion exam in which whites and Hispanic firefighters outperformed black firefighters.  The city threw out the results of the exam, denying several firefighters promotions solely because of their race.  The firefighters sued the city, claiming racial discrimination under Title VVI of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Sotomayor disagreed, ruling the city has a right to discriminate against white and Hispanic public employees to construct a politically correct racial mix in hiring, even if it goes against the results of a racially-neutral competency exam.

The case is now before the Supreme Court.  Sotomayor has had her rulings thrown out by the court a troubling four times.  In three of those cases, the Court ruled Sotomayor had incorrectly interpreted the law.

“It is troubling that Obama, who won the highest elected office in the world without racial preferences, would nominate someone who openly admits the government should racially discriminate against its own citizens to serve the needs of political correctness,” said Redpath.

“Libertarians believe that, while the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of association allows private parties to hire whomever they please, government has no right to discriminate.  Public employers should treat all citizens of all colors, races and ethnicities with equal respect and value and Sotomayor’s radical rulings are a jarring departure from that principle.”

For more information on this issue, or to arrange an interview with the Libertarian Party, please call Director of Communications Donny Ferguson at 703-200-3669 or 202-333-0008, x. 225, or email Donny.Ferguson@lp.org.

The Libertarian Party is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting http://www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

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