Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Obama Nominates Sotomayor To Supreme Court

Sotomayor President Obmama has just announced that he will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor, currently on the Second Circuit, to fill Justice Souter's seat on the Supreme Court.  Given the excess of info we're going to be seeing about Judge Sotomayor, I'll spare readers anything more than one labor trivia fact about her:  while serving as a district court judge in the Southern District of New York, Judge Sotomayor issued the preliminary injunction [Westlaw link to 880 F.Supp. 246] that ended the 1994-1995 Major League Baseball Players strike.

[Due to popular demand--at least that of Joe Slater--I bring extra tidbits on Judge Sotomayor.]  The New York Times has some short descriptions of her opinions in various areas, including racial discrimination and disability law.  The Times' take on the Ricci case, which she joined:

Judge Sotomayor's most high-profile case, Ricci v. DeStefano, concerns white firefighters in New Haven who were denied promotions after an examination yielded no black firefighters eligible for advancement. Joining an unsigned opinion of a three-judge panel of the appeals court, Judge Sotomayor upheld the rejection of a lawsuit by white firefighters, one of them Hispanic, claiming race discrimination and, as part of the full appeals court, she declined to rehear the case. The Supreme Court is currently considering the case, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is the likely swing vote. Among the questions in the case is whether the law should treat diversity in the work force differently from diversity in the classroom.

And the Times' summary of some of her disability cases:

Some of Judge Sotomayor's more prominent opinions on discrimination concern people with disabilities. In one case, Judge Sotomayor ruled that a law school graduate with a reading and learning disability was entitled to extra time in taking the bar exams. After the Supreme Court decided that people are not protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act if they can function normally by wearing glasses, taking medication or otherwise compensating for their disabilities, it told the Second Court to reconsider its decision in this case. Judge Sotomayor again found that the woman was disabled, and must be given accommodations, writing that test scores alone were not enough to diagnose a disability. Another case concerned a trucking company that rejected applicants who were taking some medications. Judge Sotomayor dissented from the majority, writing that Hunt, the company, had determined the applicants were "substantially limited in the major life activity of working," and not, as the, majority found, merely "unsuited for long-distance driving of Hunt's 40-ton trucks on irregular stressful schedules."

Finally, Michael Fox at Jottings by an Employer's Lawyer has posted an extensive list (with links) of Judge Sotomayor's labor/employment opinions.



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Don't spare us, tell us whatever you know and have the time to post about her and labor/employment cases (please)!

Posted by: Joseph Slater | May 26, 2009 8:44:54 AM

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