A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Gorsuch’s ‘Mainstream’ Measurement

Supporters of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination describe him as a “mainstream judge.” Their evidence: He has voted nearly 99 percent with the majority on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and 97 percent of the court’s rulings were unanimous. But what do those statistics tell us? Not much.

Off Target in Sotomayor Ad

Yesterday we wrote about a radio ad attacking Florida Republican Reps. Adam Putnam and John Mica for not denouncing radio personality Rush Limbaugh for calling Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a "racist" and a "bigot." We found that the ad was accurate in capturing the words of Limbaugh and in its description of the historical significance of Sotomayor’s nomination. We left it to readers to determine how responsible the congressmen were for Limbaugh’s words.
After the story was published,

New Round of Sotomayor Ads Begins

Independent groups are taking to the airwaves to weigh in on the debate over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, whose confirmation hearings began July 13 in the Senate. The liberal Change Campaign Committee and Hispanic group Presente.org are airing a Spanish-language radio ad in Florida. The groups also posted the ad, with a translation and some video, on YouTube:

Two versions of the ad take Republican Reps. John Mica and Adam Putnam to task for not denouncing the words of radio host Rush Limbaugh,

Sotomayor, the Supremes and the Firefighters

Sonia Sotomayor isn’t mentioned in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in a much-watched reverse-discrimination case, Ricci v. DeStefano. But you can bet the decision will be mentioned plenty in the upcoming Senate confirmation hearing that could put her on that court.
Sotomayor and two other judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld a lower court decision in the case, saying that the city of New Haven, Conn., was on firm legal ground when it threw out the results of two exams firefighters took in order to be promoted.

Guns A-Blazin’

We’ve updated our Ask FactCheck item on Sonia Sotomayor and gun rights yet again. This time it’s to reflect the fact that the National Rifle Association has filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to hear its case challenging Chicago’s gun laws (which it lost this week in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals). The NRA asks the court specifically to decide the question of whether or not the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments.

Mind-meld: Sotomayor and Conservative Luminaries

We’ve just updated our recent Ask FactCheck item on Sonia Sotomayor and the Second Amendment to reflect the latest news: A ruling by three judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing with her judgment that the amendment doesn’t apply to state and local governments.
The decision in National Rifle Association v. Chicago takes some of the air out of the argument, put forward by the NRA and others, that Sotomayor is anti-gun rights.

Sotomayer First ‘Hispanic?’

Q: Would Sonia Sotomayor really be the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court?
A: Depending on your point of view, the late Benjamin Cardozo might be considered “Hispanic.”

Supremely Civil Ads … So Far

Both the Coalition for Constitutional Values, a liberal group supporting Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, and the Judicial Confirmation Network, a conservative organization that opposes President Obama’s choice, have ads up attempting to enhance or undermine her confirmation prospects. The ads are accurate and civil. JCN’s spot, which …

Sotomayor and Handguns

Q: Has Sotomayor written that states have the power to ban handguns?
A: A three-judge panel that included Sotomayor issued an unsigned decision saying that the Second Amendment does not apply to states, therefore states can regulate and ban weapons.

Sotomayor Overturned?

Q: What percentage of Sonia Sotomayor’s opinions have been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court?
A: Of the majority opinions that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has authored since becoming an appellate judge in 1998, three of them have been overturned by the Supreme Court.