Almost 100% of the People Who Visit Emergency Rooms Bleeding Need Medical Attention

A question in the comments, reacting to the cable television coverage of the Sotomayor nomination:

Um, where did this “90% of her opinions have been overturned.” crap come from?

Limbaugh, like you needed to be told:

I doubt that Sotomayor can be stopped. She should be. She is a horrible pick. She is the antithesis of a judge, by her own admission and in her own words. She has been overturned 80% by the Supreme Court. She may as well be on the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals, given all the time she’s overturned. She has been reprimanded by a truly strong Hispanic judge, Jose Cabranes. She has been rebuked in writing by Cabranes for opinions that she wrote that had no bearing on the constitutional issues before her in the case that was being decided. Details on that coming up. But here is why, even though she may not be able to be stopped, here is why Sonia Sotomayor needs to be opposed by the Republicans as far as they can take it, because the American people need to know who Barack Obama really is, and his choice of Sonia Sotomayor tells everybody, if we will tell the story of her, who he is.

Yeah, about that 9th Circuit (despite the fact she is from the 2nd Circuit, we will look at the Ninth since Rush is holding it up as the standard for outrageously high numbers):

As Media Matters for America has documented (here, here and here), the 9th Circuit’s reversal rate of 76 percent during the 2003-04 Supreme Court term was virtually the same as the national average of 77 percent for all circuit courts. Likewise, the percentage of reversals — 75 percent — of 9th Circuit decisions for the 2002-03 Supreme Court term was almost the same as the national average of 73 percent for the total number of federal circuit court cases reviewed. For the 2001-02 term, the 9th Circuit’s reversal rate was 76 percent while the national average was 78 percent. During the 1990s, however, the 9th Circuit’s reversal rate did exceed the national average, most notably during the 1996-97 term, when the court’s 95-percent reversal rate topped the national average of 71 percent and “earned the Western circuit its reputation as the nation’s ‘most reversed,’ ” according to a July 3, 2004, article in the Sacramento Bee.

Basically, they are hoping you are a moron and have no idea how Supreme Court cases are picked.

*** Update ***

Commenter KG elaborated on this as I was writing this post, and pretty clearly we have a mind meld going:

she’s had something like 6 decisions while on the Second Circuit go up to the Supremes. Three of them have been overturned. This is not wholly uncommon. Usually when a case makes it to the Supreme Court it’s because there is a Circuit split. One circuit has ruled that the law says X and another says that the law says not-exactly-X, or even Y. The Supreme Court must then figure out what the law says. Sometimes they hold that it says X, sometimes they say it says not-exactly-X, sometimes they say it says Y, and on occasion, they’ll even say “you’re both wrong, it says Z.”

This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding – in many cases, a purposeful ignorance – of how, exactly, the American legal system works. I made the mistake of listening to Rush this morning on the way into the office (without even knowing the pick had been made), and was just amazed at how little he knew of the legal system.

This “x% of her opinions have been overturned” is just more nonsense.

*** Update #2 ***

More here from Smooth Like Remy.

*** Update #3 ***

Via the comments:

According to this edition of the Harvard Law Review at pp 522-524, the Ninth Circuit’s won/loss record – how many times its decisions were affirmed on appeal to the Supreme Court, was:

94 3-14
95 2-11
96 1-27
97 3-14
98 4-14
99 1-10
00 4-13
01 4-14
02 5-18
03 6-15

It doesn’t mean they were ‘reversed’ each time. Sometimes, cases were vacated, remanded, or otherwise resolved – but the point is their holdings didn’t hold up well at BigBoy Court. You’d call a football team with that record The Browns. Cherry picking it for the year the 9th made the playoffs or had fewer cases vacated and more remanded wouldn’t hide the fact they are out of sync with the Supreme Court. (Not saying the Supreme Court is on the right side in these, just that they have final word).

That states Media Matters cherry picked the data I used in the original results, and this .pdf backs it up. Regardless, this is besides the point, since Sotomayor is on the 2nd Circuit, not the Ninth.

*** Update ***

Yes:

So, to boil it down to it’s essence. Rush says Sotomayor has been reversed 80% by the Supreme Court. We find out through various tortuous arguments that She has heard 380 cases of which only 6 have been reviewed by the Supremes. Of these only 3 have been overturned. So thats .8% are overturned. In the recent past The reversal rates for all cases heard by the Supremes are 61% and Sotomayor has been reversed 50% of the time.

In other words there is no there there, Rush is full of shit and the sun sets in the west.






110 replies
  1. 1
    JR says:

    Well, the people who are repeating that ARE morons, so…

  2. 2
    MIkeL says:

    While Greater Wingnuttia is busy throwing everything at her, hoping something, anything will stick, Radley has quietly found a legitimate concern.

  3. 3
    Craig says:

    Sotomayor comes from the 2nd. You may already know that, but the post is kind of confusing in that regard.

  4. 4
    AhabTRuler says:

    @MIkeL: Only if one expected her to violate clear precedent set by the Supremes. IANAL, but circuit court judges aren’t supposed to overturn the USSC, n’est pas?

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    @Craig: Right, but Rush was holding up the ninth because the wingnut meme is they are the kookiest of the kooky. his point was she is so bad she could be on the ninth, and then I showed that the ninth really isn’t that out of line with any other circuit, and that Sotomayor is right in the mainstream with her numbers.

  6. 6
    The Moar You Know says:

    I made the mistake of listening to Rush this morning on the way into the office (without even knowing the pick had been made), and was just amazed at how little he knew of the legal system.

    Rush knows quite a bit about the legal system – firsthand, as it were. His “ignorance” is of the deliberate kind.

  7. 7
    The Moar You Know says:

    @MIkeL: Kelo is the precedent. The end.

    I’ll give you a point for trying, though. Pathetic as it was.

  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    The Supreme Court turns down thousands of appeal requests each year, ostensibly agreeing with the decisions in those cases.

    For someone to argue that the SC only agreed with 6 of Sotomayor’s / the Second Circuit opinions and not count the however many tens or hundreds of 2nd Circuit opinions that were reviewed and found valid is purposely misleading.

    .

  9. 9
    Craig says:

    @John Cole: It’s just that, if I was a wingnut, right before I blew my brains out for being a fucking moron, I’d come in here all triumphantly saying that you were looking at the 9th’s numbers and Sotomayor was from the 2nd and also Tea Parties and socialism and Sarah Palin and judicial activism.

  10. 10
    Keith says:

    Mark my words, by tomorrow morning, the Fox n Friends will be claiming “virtually all of her decisions have been reversed by the SCOTUS”. Very similar to the Tea Party #s (thousands, to tens of thousands, to Nate 538’s statistical estimation of 300k, to FnF’s morning-after indicating “millions around the country”)

  11. 11
    Frank says:

    Given how much Rush et al screech about how judges so often reach the “wrong” result, I’m surprised that they’re putting that much stock in “reversal rates.” After all, who’s say that just because a minimum of five people came to a different conclusion on a legal question than lower court judges that that conclusion must be “right”?

    The entire point of law school (besides institutionalized hazing) is to get otherwise assertive people to answer a question with: “It depends.”

  12. 12
    Laura W says:

    I just got an email, like most of you, surely, from President Barack Obama titled: “My Supreme Court nominee” wherein he introduces her, embeds a video, and asks me to pass it on.

    I know this is the sort of stuff we are all habituated to since we pretty much live online, but when you stop and think about how brilliantly he has used, and continues to use, technology and the internets specifically, it’s pretty awe-inspiring. To me. And the wine spritzer.

  13. 13
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    Please see my post at

    href=”http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=21747#comment-1245529″ DanSmoot’sGhost:

    for another example of how the talkingheadblatherati just don’t take the time to understand what the hell they are talking about.

    Bah!

  14. 14
    demkat620 says:

    @Laura W: Obama inspired a wine spritzer? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

    Btw, thanks John, for quoting me. Man, I’ve made it now. Front page of Balloon-Juice. When do those Soros checks start rolling in?

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    @demkat620: Wait a minute. When do I get my Soros checks?

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    @Frank:

    After all, who’s say that just because a minimum of five people came to a different conclusion on a legal question than lower court judges that that conclusion must be “right”?

    Um… the US Legal System?

    That said, I’m not sure what to read into the high reversal rate. To a certain degree, it makes sense. If it was settled law, the SCOTUS would just refuse to hear the case. They’re not going to rehash the same death penalty appeal a dozen times, or the same property rights case, or the same school admittance quota system, or what have you.

    On the flip side, if the SCOTUS really is overturning a large number of federal appeals court cases, I imagine that would say a lot more about the SCOTUS than about the appellate courts. When dozens of justices reach conclusion A in district cases only to have a slim majority 5-4 decision overturn them, which layer of the justice system is out of the mainstream?

    You only need to look as far as Ledbetter to see a case where public opinion differs radically from the conclusions of the court.

  17. 17
    Laura W says:

    @demkat620: Obama turns my filtered well water into wine spritzers all the time.
    He is just that A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

  18. 18
    JGabriel says:

    @John Cole:

    Wait a minute. When do I get my Soros checks?

    How long before Redstate accuses John of switching parties only because Soros picked up the BJ tab after PJ Media stopped advertising?

    (ETA: What, you say the chronology doesn’t fit, that Cole switched long before PJ stopped advertising? Why would that effect Redstate logic?)

    .

  19. 19
    Calouste says:

    @John Cole:

    You have to wait. Soros is too busy cutting checks for Micheal Steele.

    (Unless you have a more rational explantion for the way the RNC chairman behaves the way he behaves than that he is a Democratic mole sponsored by Soros.)

  20. 20
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    Sorry.

    The ACME(tm) editor prevents me from successfully making a simple edit to my previous post. The destination of the link can be devined by looking at the link itself.

    In a world with technology more current than 1979, such a thing would not happen. I think we will see that world here in about 2120.

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    … because the American people need to know who Barack Obama really is, and his choice of Sonia Sotomayor tells everybody, if we will tell the story of her, who he is.

    Let me guess. World According to Rush: Obama is an un-American socialist dictator.

    Originally, we were forced to deal with the nonsense of Stealth Candidate Obama. Now, it’s been replaced by Stealth President Obama.

    Morans.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    Wait a minute. When do I get my Soros checks?

    You must provide id verification that includes at least one mandated gay abortion with celebratory fetus stem cell gorging.

  23. 23
    The Cat Who Would Be Tunch says:

    OT: In other legal news, SCOTUS rules that suspects can be questioned without a lawyer.

    The Supreme Court overturned a long-standing ruling that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant’s lawyer is present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects. The high court, in a 5-4 ruling, overturned the 1986 Michigan v. Jackson ruling, which said police may not initiate questioning of a defendant who has a lawyer or has asked for one unless the attorney is present.

  24. 24
    Jrod says:

    Some of her decisions were overturned? Wowie, it’s almost as though she was some kind of judge who, like, is supposed to make difficult decisions on matters which aren’t, whas the word, decided. What would you call a judge like that? Like she was part of a court of, um, redeciders. Or something.

    Obviously a judge like that won’t do.

    Obama should nominate Limbaugh to the SCOTUS. He doesn’t mar his decisions with deep thinking! He’s guaranteed empathy free, as well! And let’s face it, that’s the only way the Repugs will ever turn on fatso.

  25. 25
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I heard that 50% of people are below average.

  26. 26
    Hedley Lamarr says:

    Some members of the lower courts would be surprised if their correct opinions were not incorrectly overturned by the Supreme Court.

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    In other legal news, SCOTUS rules that suspects can be questioned without a lawyer.

    I look forward to Karl Rove’s interview with a baseball bat where the sun don’t shine.

  28. 28

    Obama inspired a wine spritzer? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

    Wine spritzers are easily impressed.

  29. 29
    Frank says:

    @Zifnab

    My point wasn’t entirely clear. I agree that under our system of government, decisions from the Supreme Court are “right” for the purposes of the legal system.

    What I don’t agree with is that the assumption that Rush makes is that for everything in the law, there is one unyielding, right answer. That view ignores the idea that there are other, generally perfectly reasonable answers to a legal question that could also be “right.”

  30. 30
    demkat620 says:

    Yeah, I’ve got another question, the GOP’s had what, two weeks to dig about this judge and this is the best they can come up with? Seriously, Scott Wheeler? This is just pathetic.

    I never thought I could get sick of popcorn but, wow. Clown Shoes is right.

  31. 31
    Zifnab says:

    @Brachiator:

    Originally, we were forced to deal with the nonsense of Stealth Candidate Obama. Now, it’s been replaced by Stealth President Obama.

    Who is Barack HUSSIEN Obama?! After four years of increasing media exposure, two autobiographies, a grueling and exhaustive primary, a grueling and exhaustive election, and four months in office WE STILL DON’T KNOW!

    Well, except for the wingnuts who – with the powers endowed by our creator and Ronald Reagen’s secret commie-spotter sun glasses – can see the really really real Obama for what he really really is despite all media lies and government propaganda to the contrary. And that’s why they’re forced to repeat the question – WHO IS BARACK hussien OBAMA?! – over and over again. It’s the magic words that power the sun glasses, you see.

  32. 32
    gwangung says:

    @The Cat Who Would Be Tunch:

    The Supreme Court overturned a long-standing ruling that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant’s lawyer is present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects.

    “Because of the protections created by this court in Miranda and related cases, there is little if any chance that a defendant will be badgered into waiving his right to have counsel present during interrogation,” Justice Scalia said.

    Can we all say BULLSHIT, Justice Scalia? That kind of out-of-touch reasoning said we’d be greeted as liberators, waterboarding is “enhanced interrogation” and why Senator Obama required the police to videotape all interrogation of suspects in Illinois.

    Sotomayor can’t come to this court soon enough.

  33. 33
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Rush knows quite a bit about the legal system – firsthand, as it were.

    Well, in his defense, he was stoned out of his mind during that experience.

  34. 34
    demkat620 says:

    Why am I in moderation?

  35. 35
    Laura W says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Wine spritzers are easily impressed.

    True that.
    Damn spritzer even thought Tweety was pretty good tonight but does not have the balls to go tell Smoot’s Ghost so in previous thread.
    Easily impressed and easily “spooked”.

  36. 36
    eric says:

    @gwangung: i believe Justice Scalia lacks himself some “empathy.”

    check and mate.

    eric

  37. 37
    Zifnab says:

    @Frank:

    What I don’t agree with is that the assumption that Rush makes is that for everything in the law, there is one unyielding, right answer. That view ignores the idea that there are other, generally perfectly reasonable answers to a legal question that could also be “right.”

    Rush only knows one “right” answer, and it’s the answer he happens to be spouting at that very moment, all other answers – including those spoken by himself at some previous point – be damned.

    You can’t take the words of a propagandist like that at any value. Even the higher concept – that there is “one right answer” – will change on a dime in Rushland the moment you start exploring states rights or civil rights or taxes or foreign policy or whatever he happens to be ignorantly blathering about tomorrow. What was the singular “right answer” today will become the “one world government dogma” of tomorrow.

    Don’t take anything Rush or his ilk say seriously. Because you’ll never pin them to it. If you bring up an old talking point, it’ll just get dismissed as a distortion and ignored. And you’ll be labeled a liberal reactionary America-hating intellectual idiot for your trouble of speaking. It’s a Sisyphean struggle because Republicans are never going to let you define their reality. Rush is always right, even when he’s wrong – which simply goes to prove how right he always was. End of story.

  38. 38

    @The Cat Who Would Be Tunch:

    Yeah, there’s your Activist Judges, such great timing, huh?

  39. 39

    @Laura W:

    Ditto on the spritzer and on the POTUS team’s awsomeness on using technology.

  40. 40
    malraux says:

    Even if you grant the idea that a lot of her opinions have been overturned by the higher court, is that a reason to disqualify her? Pretty conceivably, if one disagrees with the court’s views, one might pick a nominee who also disagreed with the high court’s views. Would anyone be surprised to learn that Obama voted against the president in 00 and 04?

  41. 41

    @JGabriel:

    What he said, please ask Nate Silver to run the numbers on this, what would the percentage be then?

  42. 42
    John Cole says:

    Yeah, I’ve got another question, the GOP’s had what, two weeks to dig about this judge and this is the best they can come up with? Seriously, Scott Wheeler? This is just pathetic.

    I was actually going to post about this later once all the cable shows are over and I have collected enough stupid quotes, but you are exactly right. They just had Tom Tancredo on Ed Schulz blowing a gasket, earlier Gonzales was on CNN, it is like a parade of GOP fail.

    The simple fact of the matter is the GOP has one choice to make, and one choice only. Are they going to filibuster or not?

    If the answer is “no,” they should just cut everyone loose to vote the way they want, and firmly warn everyone to keep their tongues in check so they don’t give more footage to be used in the 2010 midterms in districts that have large hispanic populations. The problem though, isthat they can’t, because the WingNet base is going to demand they MAKE A STAND and OPPOSE OPPOSE OPPOSE and that THEY DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND, and the allure of fund-raising will prove to be too much, and they will then succumb to the mania and the fauxtrage and say all sorts of over the top offensive and hyperbolic nonsense with the predictable tragic results.

    And I’ll laugh the entire time.

  43. 43

    @demkat620:

    What did you think of Scott Wheeler’s choices as acceptable nominees, Joe Lieberman and Mario Cuomo? Hmmm, how many federal cases have either of them heard?

    It seems the best way to create a SCOTUS nominee (according to Mr. Wheeler) is to make sure they have no experience at all. Crazy? You betcha!

  44. 44
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @The Cat Who Would Be Tunch: This is fucking bullshit.

    @gwangung: And Scalia is supposed to be the intellectual heavyweight? Yeah, uh huh.

    As for Rush. Well, I can’t say what I’m thinking, even on this very permissive site.

    Who is Scott Wheeler, please? Just a summary as I can’t stomach much more crap today. Thanks.

  45. 45
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    @Laura W:

    Not sure what it means when we refer to a spritzer as a pronoun …. but um …. Tweety and Ed together couldn’t argue their way out of a thimble with a bullhorn and all the briefcase babes on Deal Or No Deal together …. if they can’t look at a simple observation by an appeals court judge and not take it to mean something not even remotely in the ballpark of what it actually meant.

    If only I could spritz. Then maybe I could put up with these morons!

  46. 46

    @John Cole:

    If the answer is “no,” they should just cut everyone loose to vote the way they want,

    The fact that Orrin Hatch said earlier that they need at least 90 days to finish this process sure sounds like they’re going to filibuster.

  47. 47
    dmsilev says:

    @John Cole:

    If the answer is “no,” they should just cut everyone loose to vote the way they want, and firmly warn everyone to keep their tongues in check so they don’t give more footage to be used in the 2010 midterms in districts that have large hispanic populations. The problem though, isthat they can’t, because the WingNet base is going to demand they MAKE A STAND and OPPOSE OPPOSE OPPOSE and that THEY DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND, and the allure of fund-raising will prove to be too much, and they will then succumb to the mania and the fauxtrage and say all sorts of over the top offensive and hyperbolic nonsense with the predictable tragic results.

    And it’s a pretty good bet that this is the reaction that the White House is looking for from the radical fringe. A grade-A political wedge, separating the GOP base and infrastructure from one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country.

    -dms

  48. 48
    George Soros says:

    Wait a minute. When do I get my Soros checks?

    Oh sorry, I’ve been sending your checks to Juan Cole.

  49. 49

    @Calouste:

    (disclaimer I have not yet read all the comments), my guess he is also too busy writing checks to Pat Buchanan who (apparently) this morning (no doubt on Morning Joe) said that this was an “affirmative action” nomination. WAY TO GO PAT! Way to tell every hispanic and woman (or both) voter in the country that no matter how humble their beginnings, no matter how hard they work, no matter the blood, sweat and tears they put in to getting into and being the best in some of the best schools in the country that IT DOESN’T MATTER cause no matter what you achieve it is just “affirmative action”, keep at it Pat, with you being the mouthpiece (and Rush Mr. “reverse racist” Limbaugh) the republicans are going to be lucky if they can get elected to the board of the local Animal Control any time in the next 100 years. (the new PC word for Dog Catcher).

  50. 50
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    They want to push the thing past the summer vacation deadline, and be in position to be obstructionist in September and the court is getting ready to start on its next session and short a justice. They also want that obstructionist momentum for the healthcare fight, which is the real biggie that they don’t want you to get excited about just yet.

    Their tv ad campaign started already, I saw the first ads today. They are launching a brutal attack on “government healthcare.” Believe me, Sotomayor is just the sausage race before the big game.

  51. 51
    John Cole says:

    @Little Dreamer: That is a pretty standard time period, if I remember correctly.

  52. 52
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    @George Soros:

    LMFAO.

  53. 53
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    @John Cole:

    I don’t think so. I heard today (NPR?) that recent SCOTUS confirmations were averaging 72 days.

  54. 54
    Laura W says:

    @DanSmoot’sGhost:

    If only I could spritz. Then maybe I could put up with these morons!

    You’re right. I’m wrong.
    ;-)

    EDIT: Lou Dobbs UP!

  55. 55
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    @Laura W:

    Oh christ, I am losing my mojo.

    ;)

    Rome, help me out, please. I can’t seem to piss anyone off any more.

    Was it the hair?

  56. 56

    @The Cat Who Would Be Tunch:

    Christ on a moped, the expletives that are going to be coming out of my bosses mouth tomorrow are going to be incredible. This is a shining, shining example of why Supreme Court nominations matter.

  57. 57
    demkat620 says:

    And I’ll laugh the entire time.</blockquote.

    Tom Tancredo just now on Ed Schultz:”She appears to be a racist”

    Less. Than. 24. Hours.

    Pat Buchanan and Tom Tancredo for the GOP.

  58. 58
    someguy says:

    According to this edition of the Harvard Law Review at pp 522-524, the Ninth Circuit’s won/loss record – how many times its decisions were affirmed on appeal to the Supreme Court, was:

    94 3-14
    95 2-11
    96 1-27
    97 3-14
    98 4-14
    99 1-10
    00 4-13
    01 4-14
    02 5-18
    03 6-15

    It doesn’t mean they were ‘reversed’ each time. Sometimes, cases were vacated, remanded, or otherwise resolved – but the point is their holdings didn’t hold up well at BigBoy Court. You’d call a football team with that record The Browns. Cherry picking it for the year the 9th made the playoffs or had fewer cases vacated and more remanded wouldn’t hide the fact they are out of sync with the Supreme Court. (Not saying the Supreme Court is on the right side in these, just that they have final word).

  59. 59
    Martin says:

    Inhofe is concerned about her ability to be adequately white and male. The GOP never disappoints, do they?

  60. 60

    @DanSmoot’sGhost:

    Orrin Hatch said it on MSNBC. He stated confirmations were averaging 72 days.

  61. 61
    DanSmoot'sGhost says:

    @Little Dreamer:

    Ah, I knew I heard it somewhere today.

    Then it must have been him who went on to say that Sotomayor has been a judge for so long, there is too much material to review to do it in less than 90 days.

    He is a lying sack of shit. They are mapping out a game plan all the way into October, they know exactly what they are doing.

  62. 62

    @someguy:

    Notice that those numbers rise after Bush’s SCOTUS appointments. As someone said earlier, it indicates more a change in SCOTUS, not in the 9th.

  63. 63

    @DanSmoot’sGhost:

    Ummmm, you sure you want me to go there? ;)

  64. 64

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    It is worse than I thought Robertson actually said she is an “affirmative action” nominee on Hardball! What a maroon. Anyone want to go back and do a search of anyone saying that Thomas was an “affirmative action” nominee? Anyone?

  65. 65

    Keep it up GOP, I predict by mid-term elections, you’ll garner about 10% support, maybe. ;)

  66. 66
    Tsulagi says:

    Next up might be from the crowd who believe the 2nd Amendment is the only one that should have been added to the Constitution.

    Don’t know how I got on a couple of loony listservs, but according to them Sotomayor wrote a thesis at Princeton titled Deadly Obsession: American Gun Culture in which she argues not only the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give private citizens the right to bear arms, but that it’s illegal for them to do so. This is Obama’s first major step in his agenda to take away your guns. Be afraid, be very, very afraid.

    Look forward to popping some popcorn before the upperdown vote on this SCOTUS pick.

  67. 67
    demkat620 says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: It was Buchanan, not Robertson.

  68. 68
    D-Chance. says:

    The more I read from E.D. Kain, the more I realize that the League of Ordinary Gentlemen should be a bookmarked site. This passage, from the comments section of an American Scene post on Mark Levin’s hateful screeds:

    The conservative movement has staked its reputation on JTP, waterboarding, and Mark Levin (etc.) If somebody doesn’t save them from themselves (as Conor is attempting) then they are lost entirely. Truly, nothing is more loyal to conservatism than weeding out the nonsense that has usurped it and pretends to bear its standard.

    If Conor is beating up your “strongest voices” then perhaps those voices, strength aside, are simply not the correct voices to begin with. And as long as they remain the only ones at the megaphone, no valid, viable conservatism will be able to grow. Conservatism is a garden of weeds, and pointing fingers at other gardens will never change that fact.

  69. 69
    dbrown says:

    We should trust a Supreme Court that still has many of the pigs that single-handedly overthrew an elected President Gore and as an illegal Junta installed the ass wipe bush against the will of the People and all the Laws of this land. Now if the low lifes that voted bushwhack into power all would die like rehnquist and finally allow a lawfully elected President to repair the damage and nominate real Justices that follow the countries laws and will of the People during a valid election. May skinhead scalia, and uncle tom his sex slave both follow the lead of their fearful Junta leader Rehnquist into oblivion and make the world a cleaner and more democratic place.
    But I don’t want to sound bitter.

  70. 70
    JGabriel says:

    Daniel Solove at Concurring Opinions has an interesting post on 9th Circuit SC reversal rates (via TPM).

    BTW, just want to remind people that Sotomayor was on the Second Circuit. We’re talking about the 9th Circuit a lot in this thread and didn’t want anyone to go away with the impression that it was Sotomayor’s record we were discussing when we mention the 9th.

    .

  71. 71
    Martin says:

    The scale of all of this is missing.

    So in 2003, 21 9th circuit decisions (yeah, I know she was in the 2nd) went to the Supreme Court, but how many total decisions did the court make that year? My general assumption would be that any decision that the Big Boys didn’t take up is probably in sync.

    Are we talking 21 out of 50, or 21 out of 200 to change the reversal rate to 6/50 or 6/200?

  72. 72
    JL says:

    Instead of an August recess, I think that the nomination is so important, Congress needs to stay in session.

  73. 73

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Scott Wheeler is the executive director of the National Republican Trust PAC.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    demkat620 says:

    from http://www.swampland.com

    Judge Sotomayor, we are told, “was raised as a Catholic and attends church for family celebrations and other important events.” For those of you keeping score at home, that’s the description of a non-practicing, cultural Catholic. Stand down, Notre Dame protestors.

    That could describe me as well.

  76. 76
    JGabriel says:

    Truly, nothing is more loyal to conservatism than weeding out the nonsense that has usurped it and pretends to bear its standard.

    I’m always amazed by Conservative arguments that Conservativism is not defined by what Conservatives practice, preach, and vote for – but instead it is only defined by whatever lofty Platonic ideal the conservative writer is pushing at the time.

    They really do create their own “reality”.

    ETA: We need a word for GOP “reality”, like Colbert’s “truthiness”. Reallyness? Realityland? I don’t know. Maybe someone else can come up with something better.

    .

  77. 77
    tde says:

    The “reversal rate” must actually be the percentage of cases accepted for review that are reversed, not the percentage of all cases that the judge authors.

    I am just going to take a wild guess here and say that even the 9th Circuit probably only has less than 5% of its total opinions reversed.

  78. 78
    KG says:

    @71 – the Supreme Court usually hears somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-120 cases each term.

  79. 79
    someguy says:

    My general assumption would be that any decision that the Big Boys didn’t take up is probably in sync.

    That would be incorrect.

    For an appeal to go up from a three judge panel either to the circuit sitting en banc, or to the Supreme Court, the losing party has to file an appeal, it has to be reasonably well argued, and either the circuit sitting en banc or the Supremes have to agree to exercise their discretion to take the case. Egregiously decided and/or important cases, particularly where several circuits have weighed in and split on an interesting or important point of law, have a better chance of getting picked up at the Supreme Court. Appellate courts sitting en banc pick up cases for the same reasons (including settling important splits *within* the circuit) and for housekeeping purposes (e.g. to settle minor procedural questions or tie up loose ends of the law that recur frequently). Generally – there are always exceptions to this.

  80. 80
    Martin says:

    @KG:

    I figure that. How many did the 9th circuit hear? If we’re talking reversal rate, we need to know how many total cases were settled by the circuit court to know how many the Supreme Court decided to take up and then reverse.

  81. 81

    @JGabriel:

    We need a word for GOP “reality”

    How about “Bullshit”?

    ;)

  82. 82
    Xenos says:

    @gwangung: Can we all say BULLSHIT, Justice Scalia?

    Exactly. And now the only useful advice a lawyer should give his clients is to never talk to the police, about any subject, no matter what they say, ever, ever, ever. You open your mouth, you waive all your rights.

    Lets see how successful the police are at investigating crimes now that nobody can trust them.

  83. 83
    Martin says:

    That would be incorrect.

    Ok, then we can’t draw any conclusion on reversal rate from what’s been presented then.

    How about a different metric – what is the typical reversal rate from all circuits and how does the 2nd circuit compare? My sense is that the reversal rate for cases that go to the Supreme Court is high – higher than Sonia’s 50% (of a ludicrously small sample size). So if so, the conclusion isn’t that she has a high reversal rate, rather that either ALL circuit courts are out of sync with the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court is out of sync with the rest of the judicial system, or the Supreme Court is highly biased toward cases that it expects to reverse.

    Actually, I’d be curious to know since we have this 3/6 reversals from Sonia, whether there are any judges out there with a better track record and at least 6 cases heard.

    I mean, the GOP would like to present this as a ‘best qualified’ contest, as though there were something like the SATs to grade against. So far, the 3/6 reversals is the only (if totally stupid – who am I to say…) objective metric to use. So who on the circuit courts has her covered? Where’s Nate and his spreadsheets?

  84. 84
    omen says:

    via jusiper:

    Voting for Sonia Sotomayor in 1998: the following GOP Senators:

    Bennett, Collins, Gregg, Hatch, Helms, Lugar, Snowe, Specter.

    21 of the 29 votes against her came from GOP senators in southern or mountain states.

  85. 85
    Xenos says:

    @Martin:

    Actually, I’d be curious to know since we have this 3/6 reversals from Sonia, whether there are any judges out there with a better track record and at least 6 cases heard.

    Better yet, what is the rate for cases presented for cert? Since the Supreme Court accepts a small percentage, of the applications for cert, somebody appealing to reverse a Sotomayer decision whose case is not taken up is given, in practical terms, an affirmation of the decision.

    And since the Supreme Court does not grant cert except in those cases where there is a decent likelihood of reversing the lower court, at least in part, even a 95% reversal rate would not necessarily indicate that the vast majority of that judge’s cases were not perfectly sound.

  86. 86
    Irony Abounds says:

    I can’t seem to find Roberts’ or Alioto’s reversal rates, but in any event, batting .500 in this context really is pretty damn good. It is so depressing dealing with the constant nonsense that emanates from the wingnuts (and gladly spread around without question by the media). This country is surely too high maintenance at the moment.

  87. 87
    AnotherBruce says:

    So, to boil it down to it’s essence. Rush says Sotomayor has been reversed 80% by the Supreme Court. We find out through various tortuous arguments that She has heard 380 cases of which only 6 have been reviewed by the Supremes. Of these only 3 have been overturned. So thats .08% are overturned. In the recent past The reversal rates for all cases heard by the Supremes are 61% and Sotomayor has been reversed 50% of the time.

    In other words there is no there there, Rush is full of shit and the sun sets in the west.

  88. 88
    Calouste says:

    @Martin:

    I’d expect the Supreme Court to overturn more than half of the cases they hear. The reason they pick cases to hear is because they think there is a possibility of overturning it. The correct divisor would not be the number of cases that were heared by the Supremes, but the number that were appealed to the Supremes, and many of the appeals (the vast majority I think) are never even heard by the Supremes because they see no cause for possibly overturning it.

  89. 89
    omen says:

    another one for the hypocrisy file.

    circa the florida recount, remember circuit court judge n. sander sauls? he turned down gore’s request for hand count of the ballots. that turned judge sauls into a folk hero on the right. didn’t matter to them that he had a high record of being overturned.

  90. 90
    Calouste says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Yep. See JK’s comment in the thread upstairs about the National Review’s editorial:

    Judge Sonia Sotomayor is female, Hispanic, liberal, and mediocre

    Sounds like someone was told before publication to remove the word “therefore” from between “and” and “mediocre”.

    In the eyes of some people, if you are not white and male, you are not just to be fully counted.

  91. 91

    @AnotherBruce:

    In other words there is no there there, Rush is full of shit and the sun sets in the west.

    I know that we have to look at specifics, but was there ever any doubt, really?

  92. 92
    Kirk Spencer says:

    Lest anything be left as assumption of truth, I’ll slam the bit about Cabranes rebuking Sotomayor. Rush uses the plural, as though he’d done it numerous times. In reality, he’s done so zero times.

    Cabranes wrote the dissent in the Ricci case. The majority ruled with a per curiam decision, a far from atypical decision. “Hey, the lower court got it right and we have nothing to add or adjust, and there’s no reason to hear this.” Cabranes disagreed with that – rebuking the OTHER judge as much as Sotomayor (recall it was a 2-1 decision). Then there’s the icing on this one – when an en banc hearing was requested (ie, when Ricci et al requested the entire appeal’s court panel hear it instead of just three judges) the appeals court said “no”. That would tend to mean the majority of the appeals court agreed with Sotomayor.

    Limbaugh’s statement makes it seem Sotomayor was constantly under negative review by her superior. Yep, lying again.

  93. 93
    Martin says:

    he has heard 380 cases of which only 6 have been reviewed by the Supremes. Of these only 3 have been overturned. So thats .08% are overturned

    .8%, but still a small number.

  94. 94
    MikeL says:

    #4, #7 – my point was that Radley was trying to have a real discussion on an important issue. That proceeded to happen in the comments. What serious discussion has Limbaugh brought forth?

    And I really don’t think I deserve to be called pathetic for pointing that out. But, no one else seemed to have an issue with it, so I think I’ll just keep to other forums from now on.

  95. 95
    AnotherBruce says:

    .8%, but still a small number.

    Yeah you’re right and I regret the error, ‘specially since John front paged it.

  96. 96
    Martin says:

    Since the Supreme Court accepts a small percentage, of the applications for cert, somebody appealing to reverse a Sotomayer decision whose case is not taken up is given, in practical terms, an affirmation of the decision.

    Well, I was taking someguy’s word that it shouldn’t be taken as an affirmation of the decision.

    But I agree the better denominator would be cases that were presented to the court.

    But being the numbers guy that I am, I am now suspicious that the GOP, with all of their resources hasn’t put forward a better objective measure of her ‘mediocrity’ than the data the folks in this thread have been able to compile, I assume, in a matter of minutes.

    If they can put forward White Guy #2 who has had a dozen cases appealed and heard by the Supreme Court and only one overturned, that’s an argument worth listening to. But it seems to me that all of these ‘most qualified’ arguments boil down to which student with perfect SATs do you want to pick? They’re all objectively well qualified, with ‘most qualified’ being lost in the margin of error, so you have to pick based on other things. What they add to the experience of the court seems to be a reasonable thing in the absence of any data that anyone can put forward.

    I know this is just the usual screaming from the opposition, and I know we shouldn’t expect anything more from the party of ‘no’ than for them to scream ‘NO’, but it would be nice if at least a bit more of the general public could get with the program.

  97. 97
    Martin says:

    Yeah you’re right and I regret the error, ‘specially since John front paged it.

    Let me guess, calculator barfed out 7.9e-03 and you slapped on an extra 0? You want to know how many times I’ve made that mistake?

  98. 98
    Davis X. Machina says:

    She’s sure as shit not from the Fourth Circuit, the one where thanks to Reagan and the Bushes Plessey is probably considered still good law. The Fourth makes the clubhouse at Augusta National look like a Howard graduation.

  99. 99
    AnotherBruce says:

    My calculator barfed out .00789. I just didn’t chop off enough zeros.

  100. 100
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @demkat620:Tom Tancredo just now on Ed Schultz:”She appears to be a racist”

    Well, Tancredo would know. They don’t describe KKK robes “tancredoic” for nothing.

  101. 101
    cleek says:

    Rush isn’t saying that out of ignorance. he’s saying it to mislead and distract.

    calling him a moron is letting him off the hook.

  102. 102
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @JGabriel:

    We need a word for GOP “reality”, like Colbert’s “truthiness”.

    “Realitesque” (as in reality-esque, but also a portmanteau of “reality” and “grotesque”)?

  103. 103
    E.D. Kain says:

    @D-chance

    Thanks, man. I appreciate the kudos.

    John,

    I guess what I don’t understand about all of this is why conservatives think that an ideologically liberal judge is inherently wrong. I understand why they think one would be bad for conservatives, but how they can pin ideology up as a bad thing is beyond me.

    Are conservative judges not ideological? Am I missing something? Is there some post-partisan non-ideology guiding Roberts or Scalia?

    Balance is key, and Sotomayor retains the balance, plain and simple.

  104. 104
    JGabriel says:

    E.D. Kain:

    Are conservative judges not ideological?

    Of course not. In the Conservative worldview, conservative judges are simply strict constructionists who merely follow the rule of law, while liberals are ideological bomb-throwers who make law from the bench, want to restrict all our freedoms, and want to give therapy to the terrorists.

    I wish I was exaggerating.

    .

  105. 105
    Mark in SJ says:

    @jGabriel: We need a word for GOP “reality”, like Colbert’s “truthiness”. Reallyness?

    Psychosis.

  106. 106

    @JGabriel:

    I’ve never understood why liberals want to restrict freedoms. Hmmmm. If someone is liberal, wouldn’t that mean they want to make decisions that would allow people to be able to do MORE of what they couldn’t previously?

  107. 107

    I’ll bet you that douchebag saw a .8% number somewhere and said to himself, “.8? That’s 80%!” What a moron.

  108. 108

    […] many blog posts responding to the character assassination from the right, such as from Adam Serwer, John Cole, Matthew Yglesias, Digby, Chris Bowers (here and here), Nate Silver, Media Matters,  Joan Walsh, […]

  109. 109
    rmenglish says:

    Perhaps the 9th Circuit gets reversed a lot because those in the west have a different view of society and the law than those in the east, and the Supreme Court is primarily an eastern insitution. On some cases, the difference in perspective could lead to different judgements. Unless we believe that anyone who disagrees with the Court majority is incompetent, or that the job of an appellate court is to attempt to predict the judgment of the Supreme Court, rather than to render the best judgment it can, based on its judgment of law and precedent, I see no reason to see reversal rates as indicative of quality.

  110. 110
    Jim says:

    If you’re trying to show that rush is an idiot (which he is, resoundingly so), shouldn’t it be “Rush is full of shit and the sun sets in the east“?

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